Samuel S. Watson

Samuel S. Watson

Uniform spanning forest headshot

I am the Director of Graduate Studies in the Data Science Initiative at Brown University. I'm a co-organizer of the discrete math seminar in pure math department, where I was a Tamarkin Assistant Professor from 2015 to 2018.


My research area is theoretical probability. I study conformally invariant two-dimensional statistical physics models and their continuum scaling limits. I work on problems related to percolation, conformal loop ensembles, and the Gaussian free field.

If you're interested in learning about my field of research and you aren't a mathematician, please read this non-technical overview of the key idea which drives much of the current research in conformally invariant probability. It discusses why this idea is so compelling and how it has been mathematically fruitful (accounting for two recent Fields medals).


I have written notes for Brown courses on data science, multivariable calculus, third-semester calculus (including complex variables, differential equations, and Fourier series), and probability. I use a variety of technologies in the classroom and was the recipient of the 2018 Teaching with Technology award at Brown.