Airplane boarding and space-time geometry

Airplane boarding and space-time geometry

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Eitan Bachmat, Ben-Gurion University and Brandeis University
Fine Hall 214

It is hard to think of a process that is more boring than boarding an airplane. In the hope of relieving, or at least shortening, some of the pain, airlines have devised various boarding strategies such as back-to-front, window to aisle, boarding by zones or even unassigned seating. In the talk we will try to overturn the negative image that airplane boarding has and will try to portray it as a very exciting process which is modeled via space-time (a.k.a Lorentzian) geometry with a touch of random matrix theory. Using the model we will try to figure out what are the better strategies. If time permits, we will use insights from the airplane borading process to suggest an interpretation for Einstein's law of motion in which god plays the ultimate dice game. The talk is entirely self contained. Partly based on joint works with D. Berend, L. Sapir, S. Skiena, M. Elkin and V. Khachaturov.