Archive for Kerrie Mengersen

back from down under

Posted in Books, pictures, R, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2012 by xi'an

After a sunny weekend to unpack and unwind, I am now back to my normal schedule, on my way to Paris-Dauphine for an R (second-chance) exam. Except for confusing my turn signal for my wiper, thanks to two weeks of intensive driving in four Australian states!, things are thus back to “normal”, meaning that I have enough of a control of my time to handle both daily chores like the R exam and long-term projects. Including the special issues of Statistical Science, TOMACS, and CHANCE (reviewing all books of George Casella in memoriam). And the organisation of MCMSki 4, definitely taking place in Chamonix on January 6-8, 2014, hopefully under the sponsorship of the newly created BayesComp section of ISBA. And enough broadband to check my usual sites and to blog ad nauseam.

This trip to Australia, along the AMSI Lectures as well as the longer visits to Monash and QUT, has been quite an exciting time, with many people met and ideas discussed. I came back with a (highly positive) impression of Australian universities as very active places, just along my impression of Australia being a very dynamic and thriving country, far far away from the European recession. I was particularly impressed by the number of students within Kerrie Mengersen’s BRAG group, when we did held discussions in classrooms that felt full like a regular undergrad class! Those discussions and meetings set me towards a few new projects along the themes of mixture estimation and model choice, as well as convergence assessment. During this trip, I however also felt the lack of long “free times” I have gotten used to, thanks to the IUF chair support, where I can pursue a given problem for a few hours without interruption. Which means that I did not work as much as I wanted to during this tour and will certainly avoid such multiple-step trips in a near future. Nonetheless, overall, the own under” experience was quite worth it! (Even without considering the two weeks of vacations I squeezed in the middle.)

Back to “normal” also means I already had two long delays caused by suicides on my train line…

applied Bayesian statistical modelling (PhD course at CREST)

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2012 by xi'an

Next month, Kerrie Mengersen (QUT, Brisbane, Australia, and visiting us at CREST and Paris-Dauphine this coming May) will give a PhD course at CREST on the theme of applied Bayesian statistical modelling.

Here is her abstract:

Bayesian hierarchical models are now widely used in addressing a rich variety of real-world problems. In this course, we will examine some common models and the associated computational methods used to solve these problems, with a focus on environmental and health applications.

Two types of hierarchical models will be considered, namely mixture models and spatial models. Computational methods will cover Markov chain Monte Carlo, Variational Bayes and Approximate Bayesian Computation.

Participants will have the opportunity to implement these approaches using a number of datasets taken from real case studies, including the analysis of digital images from animals and satellites, and disease mapping for medicine and biosecurity.

The classes will take place at ENSAE, Paris, on May 3, 10 (14:00, Amphi 2), 14, and 21 (11:00, Room S8). (The course is open to everyone and free of charge, but registrations are requested, please contact Nadine Guedj.)


Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by xi'an

The first trans-Atlantic edition of Significance contains a paper by Kerrie Mengersen on her recent work in the jungles of Borneo, analysing a survey among villagers about the populations of orangutans and the evolution patterns of those populations. I knew Kerrie was involved in this study in the past years, but it is nice to see the outcome in such a clear format. I am looking forward the technical aspects of the spatial analysis that allows for a better understanding of the population patterns and of their dynamics. (The title of the paper is great as well: “The sound of silence: listening to the villagers to learn about orangutans”.)

Mixture estimation and applications

Posted in Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by xi'an

The meeting on mixtures we organised with Kerrie Mengersen and Mike Titterington at ICMS, Edinburgh, will start tomorrow. While the meeting per se is by invitation only, there will be two public lectures (by definition open to anyone!, so feel free to attend if you are in Edinburgh):

Public Lecture by Kerrie Mengersen (Queensland University of Technology) Doors at 15 South College Street, Edinburgh will open at 17.30 on Wednesday 3 March for a Public Lecture entitled, “Where are they and what do they look like?  Discovering patterns in data using statistical mixture models”  [abstract] The lecture will commence at 18.00 prompt.  Please note that latecomers will not be permitted into the lecture theatre.

Distinguished Lecture by Michael Jordan (University of California, Berkeley) This lecture will be held in Room G07, the Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh on Thursday 4 March at 16.30as part of the Informatics Distinguished Lecture series. It is entitled, “Applied Bayesian nonparametrics[abstract]


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