Deliverance!!! We have at last completed our book! Bayesian Essentials with R is off my desk! In a final nitty-gritty day of compiling and recompiling the R package bayess and the LaTeX file, we have reached versions that were in par with our expectations. The package has been submitted to CRAN (it has gone back and forth a few times, with requests to lower the computing time in the examples: each example should take less than 10s, then 5s…), then accepted by CRAN, incl. a Windows version, and the book has be sent to Springer-Verlag. This truly is a deliverance for me as this book project has been on my work horizon almost constantly for more than the past two years, led to exciting times in Luminy, Carnon and Berlin, has taken an heavy toll on my collaborations and research activities, and was slowly turning into a unsavoury chore! I am thus delighted Jean-Michel and I managed to close the door before any disastrous consequence on either the book or our friendship could develop. Bayesian Essentials with R is certainly an improvement compared with Bayesian Core, primarily by providing a direct access to the R code. We dearly hope it will attract a wider readership by reducing the mathematical requirements (even though some parts are still too involved for most undergraduates) and we will keep testing it with our own students in Montpellier and Paris over the coming months. In the meanwhile, I just enjoy this feeling of renewed freedom!!!
Archive for Berlin
For once, while being away at a conference (WSC 2012), I will not be reporting on every day and session, for the simple reason I attended very few sessions and have therefore little to report! Last year in Phoenix, I had already resented a certain difficulty to relate with most of the talks and felt it unprofitable to attend most sessions, except those organised by Pierre Lécuyer and co-authors. This year, the pervasive combination of snowed-in Berlin, of a nice rental apartment (five time cheaper than the fancy Intercontinental), shared with Jean-Michel Marin whose inputs on the book were way overdue, of the distance to the Intercontinental, and of moderately exciting sessions meant that we spent most of the conference closeted in this apartment in Schöneberg, except for a quick stroll on Unter den Linden and for the inaugural conference by Stefan Rahmstorf on climate change (whose contents were surely worth broadcasting, although mildly related with simulation), a session on rare event simulation, and the session I organised on Monte Carlo Methods in Statistics (same title as the special issue of TOMACS, not coincidentally!). Actually, the feeling was mutual, apparently!, as our session attracted very few WSC 2012 attendees, a shame when considering the three great talks delivered by Anthony Lee, Jean-Michel Marin, and Nial Friel. To wit, Anthony talked about several scenarios for running ABC (see my earlier post of yesterday), Jean-Michel explained the tolerance selection developed in our recent paper, and Nial Friel discussed an on-going project dealing with composite likelihood in Gibbs random fields, a topic obviously close to my interests and the just accepted PNAS paper!
Tough ride to Berlin, although nothing terrible in the end! First, the plane departure was quite delayed in Paris by snow falling over Berlin, meaning the runways had to be cleaned. Second, loud kids in the seat behind me with a fairly ineffective if equally loud father repeating he was going to get angry if they did not stop…and eventually switching seats with his wife who surprise surprise managed much much better! Third, more delays in Berlin as the runways were only partly cleared and all gates were busy and the bags took more than one hour to come…
Here is a sample of the conversation in the plane (French fluency clearly superfluous!, but I could not transcribe Henri’s part, as it was half in French, halbst im Deutsch…):
Henri, ce n’est pas gentil, tu arrêtes de donner des coups de pied à Joséphine!
Attaches-toi, Henri, sinon Papa va se fâcher…
Donne-lui des serviettes pour essuyer, chacun une. Fais-le bien…
Encore un gâteau, Henri ? Je vais demander au stewart.. Maman dit non, plus de gâteau.
Tu lui as fait mal, Henri, ramasse ton biberon. Et le chapeau du biberon, il est où?
Henri, tu te rattaches et tu te détaches plus, sinon Papa se met en colère.