Congratulations to Etienne Pienaar on the award of his PhD!

13 Dec 2016 - 08:45

Congratulations to one of our students, Etienne Pienaar, on the award of his PhD entitled "Diffusion Processes and Applications". Below is an abstract of Etienne's thesis:

Diffusion models are useful tools for quantifying the dynamics of continuously evolving processes. Using diffusion models it is possible to formulate compact descriptions for the dynamics of real-world processes in terms of stochastic differential equations. Despite the flexibility of these models, they can often be extremely difficult to work with. This is especially true for non-linear and/or time-inhomogeneous diffusion models where even basic statistical properties of the process can be elusive. As such, we explore various techniques for analysing non-linear diffusion models in contexts ranging from conducting inference under discrete observation and solving first passage time problems, to the analysis of jump diffusion processes and highly non-linear diffusion processes. We apply the methodology to a number of real-world ecological and financial problems of interest and demonstrate how non-linear diffusion models can be used to better understand such phenomena. In conjunction with the methodology, we develop a series of software packages that can be used to accurately and efficiently analyse various classes of non-linear diffusion models.