Introduction to mixing times

The mixing time of a Markov chain is a parameter that describes the time required for the distance to stationarity to be small. The idea of the talk will be to introduce the concept of a mixing time and give bounds for some examples that are indicative of some standard techniques. In particular we will show that the spectral gap characterises the mixing time for irreducible and reversible continuous time Markov processes with finite state spaces. Some relevant references are:
Markov Chains and Mixing Times by Levin, Peres and Wilmer,
Lectures on Finite Markov Chains by Saloff-Coste.