Probability Theorist

If you toss a coin, how likely is it that the “heads” side will face up when it lands? If you throw two six-sided dice, what’s the chance that you’ll get “doubles” (two of the same number)? And when a person tries for the jackpot in a lottery, how likely are they to win it? These are simple examples of questions asked in probability, a kind of math which explores how often something tends to happen (always, never, or something in between). Mathematicians doing stochastic analysis study random processes in time. Helena Kauppila, a mathematician whose doctoral dissertation explored applications of stochastic processes in the mathematics of finance, now uses art to explore the complicated relationships between random events and rules. Her interest in genetic codes, the placement of stars, and other powerful realities which emerge from chaos inspires her painting.