Advisory Board

Professor Olle Häggström

Olle Häggström, Ph.D. is Professor of Mathematical Statistics, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden and is author of Finite Markov Chains and Algorithmic Applications.
Olle was born in 1967. He earned his M.Sc. (civilingenjör) in electrical engineering in 1991 and his Ph.D. in mathematical statistics in 1994. From there, he quickly advanced to docent in 1997 and full professor of mathematical statistics in 2000. He has more than 80 peer reviewed publications, mainly in probability theory. In addition to this, he has a relatively large production of popular science in Swedish, including his books Slumpens skördar (2004) and Riktig vetenskap och däliga imitationer (2008).
His papers include Transparent Neural Networks: Integrating Concept Formation and Reasoning, Rigorous computer analysis of the Chow-Robbins game, Percolation beyond Z^d: The contributions of Oded Schramm, The two-type Richardson model with unbounded initial configurations, A Law of Large Numbers for Weighted Majority, The random geometry of equilibrium phases, Characterization results and Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms including exact simulation for some spatial point processes, First passage percolation and a model for competing spatial growth, and Phase Transition in Continuum Potts Models.
Olle is elected member of no less than three royal societies — KVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) in 2004, KVVS (Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg) in 2006, and IVA (Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences) in 2010 — but for the sake of balance and in order not to convey the false impression of being a royalist he recently joined the Republikanska föreningen. Among many other positions of trust, he has served as chairman of the Swedish Mathematical Society. At present he serves on the Scientific council for natural and engineering sciences at VR (Swedish Research Council), and is head of the mathematical statistics division at Chalmers’ and University of Gothenburg’s joint Department of Mathematical Sciences.
Olle is happily married since 1996. He stands an imposing 6′4″ and enjoys running and skiing, having completed the half marathon Göteborgsvarvet 14 times (with a personal best of 1.53.50 in 2008) and the 90 km skiing race Öppet spär thrice (with a personal best of 8.29.41 in 2012). He has broad intellectual interests and likes reading (with Kurt Vonnegut, Paul Auster, Daniel Dennett, Lena Andersson, Joakim Pirinen, and Greg Egan among his favorite authors) as well as listening to music (Depeche Mode, Melody Gardot, Nils Landgren, …). Over the years he has spent an obscene amount of time on chess.
His social skills are marred by an urge, sometimes irresistible, to inform others when they are wrong — often publicly in outlets ranging from Dagens Nyheter and Axess to Filosofisk tidskrift and Notices of the American Mathematical Society, and more recently on his blog Häggström hävdar. He honestly wants to make the world a better place, but is still uncertain how best to achieve this. Speaking of worlds, his childhood ambition to visit celestial bodies other than his home planet has unfortunately not (yet) been realized.
Watch Oded Schramm Memorial Conference: Day One, Session Three and Counterexamples in the Central Limit Theory of Markov Chains.