As the strike drags on, I’ve had some time to actually do some maths. In particular, I’m preparing to run a weekly seminar on using representation theory for certain statistical problems. The plan is to work from some old lecture notes by Persi Diaconis entitled ‘Group Representations in Probability and Statistics.’ These deal with, for example, how long one should apply a random shuffling process before the thing which is being shuffled is well-mixed. Particular examples include the question of how many times one should shuffle a deck of cards, and how long one should let a random walk on Z_n run before we can be reasonably sure that every point has been reached. There are numerous real-world applications of the results, and it uses a lot of first-rate representation theory along the way!