# Tilings, Randomness, and Undergraduate Research

### Jim Propp

### Mathematics Department

MIT

### Friday, February 6, 1998

4:00 PM

### Room 102, Bradley Hall

A tiling is a way of covering a region with pieces ("tiles")
so that there are no gaps or overlaps between the tiles. It is not surprising
that there can be very many ways of tiling a large finite region with tiles
of a specified shape and size. What is surprising is that there are tiling-problems
such that, if you choose randomly from the set of tilings, the tiling you
get is very likely to look very un-random! I will describe why this is
true, and talk about the role undergraduate research assistants have played
in this work.