Archive for April, 2011

Bayesian job in Cambridge

Posted in R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on April 26, 2011 by xi'an

Here is an email that could appeal to some readers:

Job in Cambridge MRC-BSU – Bayesian statistician
Career development fellow
MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge

We are offering an exciting opportunity to work on Bayesian models for infectious disease dynamics. A statistician is required to contribute to a programme of research to develop inferential approaches to estimation and prediction of epidemic evolution when relevant information, possibly from diverse sources, arrives at regular intervals, and, likely, in real time. Examples include the monitoring and prediction of long standing epidemics such as HIV, as well as new emerging epidemics (e.g. Swine Flu). Challenges include the need to synthesise heterogeneous and biased information to produce timely updates of epidemic evolution. You will have a PhD in statistics, or a relevant discipline; computing experience, both of statistical packages (e.g. R) and programming languages (e.g. C, C++); and experience of Bayesian statistics. Experience of Bayesian computation (e.g. MCMC) and of Bayesian inference for disease transmission would be advantageous. You must have good communication skills and be able to contribute substantially to writing scientific papers. Starting salary will be in the range of £26,022 – £28,764 per annum.

Applications are handled by the RCUK Shared Services Centre; to apply please visit our job board to view the full job description and person requirements and complete an online application quoting reference IRC18709. If you are unable to apply online please contact us on 01793 867003.

Closing date: 11th May 2011 Interview date: 25th May 2011

Bayesian conference in वाराणसी

Posted in Mountains, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2011 by xi'an

Following a successful meeting in 2005, the DST Centre for Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences, at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, is organizing an ISBA Regional Meeting on January 06-10, 2013.  This is in almost two years from now, but it is worth advertising that early. (Besides, given the heavy traffic to and from India at this time of the year, plane tickets should be booked well in advance if not that in advance!) I have been kindly invited to this conference and I definitely plan to attend. Not only the previous program was quite exciting, but this is also the ‘city of temples’ and of ghats along the Ganges, and a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. Plus, this is certainly the place for a Bayesian conference that is the closest to the Himalayas!

MAP, MLE and loss

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , on April 25, 2011 by xi'an

Michael Evans and Gun Ho Jang posted an arXiv paper where they discuss the connection between MAP, least relative surprise (or maximum profile likelihood) estimators, and loss functions. I posted a while ago my perspective on MAP estimators, followed by several comments on the Bayesian nature of those estimators, hence will not reproduce them here, but the core of the matter is that neither MAP estimators, nor MLEs are really justified by a decision-theoretic approach, at least in a continuous parameter space. And that the dominating measure [arbitrarily] chosen on the parameter space impacts the value of the MAP, as demonstrated by Druihlet and Marin in 2007.

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166 days to half-marathon

Posted in Running with tags , on April 24, 2011 by xi'an

Last weekend, I was in Argentan and did two good training runs on the small country roads. This is in long-term preparation for the half-marathon in early October. If I do not suffer from [more] mechanical problems in the meanwhile, my hope is to run the half-marathon in less than 1:24 as this is a hard race with up-hill segments and most often a terrible wind (and that I am turning v2 this year). A big if and a big hope!

A kitsch Monument aux Morts

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , on April 23, 2011 by xi'an

Close to Argentan, there is a little village called Le Pin au Haras with a beautiful national stud and a rather kitsch war memorial: the soldier bust is indeed painted in the original colours of the first World War French uniform, the famous bleu horizon that, along with red pants, made soldiers such great targets… Even the medal (presumably the Croix de Guerre) , the fourragère and the helmet jugular are painted in the right (?) colours… This may have been the original version of the bust, only recently restored to its original colors, as google shows there exist other painted war memorials in France.

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