Open main menu

Allan Murray Sly is an Australian mathematician and statistician specializing in probability theory who won the MacArthur "Genius" Fellows award in 2018. He is a professor of mathematics at Princeton University.

Education and careerEdit

Sly was a member of the Australian team at the 1999 and 2000 International Mathematical Olympiads, earning honourable mention and a silver medal.[1] He attended Radford College, where he was dux of the year in 2000.[2] He then studied at Australian National University, winning the University Medal in 2004,[3] earning a bachelor's degree, and in 2006 earning an M.Phil.[4]

He completed his Ph.D. in 2009 at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation, Spatial and Temporal Mixing of Gibbs Measures, was supervised by Elchanan Mossel.[5]

After postdoctoral study at Microsoft Research, he joined the statistics faculty at Berkeley in 2011, and moved to Princeton University as a professor of mathematics in 2016.[6][7]


Sly's work has included research on finding clusters in networks, the use of information percolation to analyze the "cutoff" phenomenon in which Markov chains exhibit a sharp transition to their stationary distribution, embeddings of random sequences, and phase transitions for random instances of the satisfiability problem.[4]


Sly won a Sloan Research Fellowship in 2012.[8] He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2018 for "applying probability theory to resolve long-standing problems in statistical physics and computer science".[4][7] He is the winner of the 2019 Loeve prize.[9]


  1. ^ Allan Sly, International Mathematical Olympiad, retrieved 2018-12-02
  2. ^ Allan Sly (2000) – Macarthur Fellow 2018, Radford Collegians, 2018, retrieved 2018-12-02
  3. ^ University Medallists from 1970 and winners of the University Prize 1963–1979 (PDF), Australian National University, retrieved 2018-12-02
  4. ^ a b c Allan Sly, MacArthur Foundation, 2018, retrieved 2018-12-02
  5. ^ Allan Sly at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  6. ^ Two Berkeley alums win MacArthur ‘genius’ awards, UC Berkeley Public Affairs, October 5, 2018, retrieved 2018-12-02
  7. ^ a b Allan Sly named 2018 MacArthur Fellow, Princeton University Department of Mathematics, 2018, retrieved 2018-12-02
  8. ^ Q&A: Allan Sly on probability theory and random processes, UC Berkeley Public Affairs, February 15, 2012, retrieved 2018-12-02
  9. ^ Loeve Prize, retrieved 2019-07-14

External linksEdit