hasty changes of plan (and of hemisphere)

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2021 by xi'an

As we [the entire family] were about to leave for La Réunion for a two-week vacation, the local authorities decided to start a severe lockdown over the whole island. Which makes sense given the large number of cases and the low proportion of vaccinated inhabitants that led to the saturation of the health system, to the point of flying patients to Paris for treatment. And which would have meant [for us] being stuck in our Airbnb except for sport activities on the nearest beach, but with no chance of trail running or hiking to the local tops or into the magnificent calderas. (Besides being rather unethical by putting local non-vaccinated people at risk.) Hence we cancelled the trip at the last minute (with great service from Air France and a full loss with Airbnb.) After first considering Iceland, which sounded fully booked, we then switched to a trip to Corsica, where surprisingly there were still available plane seats and cars to rent at the airport. And less surprisingly hardly any place to rent! After a whole morning of failed attempts, we eventually secured two rental places, the first one turning out to be quite nice. Last time I visited the island there was in the summer of 1980, where I hitch-hiked from Normandy to join high school friends for a month of camping, snorkeling, and wind-surfing! (And not much progress in reading Kant’s Critique I had taken as my beach book!)

Sumo [France TV on Tokyo Olympics]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2021 by xi'an

fake application

Posted in Books, University life with tags , , , , on August 2, 2021 by xi'an

A while ago, I was part of a hiring committee for a university abroad and among the applications we found one that was so blatantly fake as to wonder what was the purpose of the person (persons?) behind it. From a massive vita including all rewards in the field, incl. a COPSS presidential award, to publications in all top journals and conferences, with the applicant name added to the list of real authors, to fake affiliations, to a completely fake Google Scholar page, &tc. I was surprised at the possibility to include papers on one’s Scholar profile without appearing among the authors but this is apparently possible. And I wonder at the attempt itself since the application is screaming “fake”! A very weird form of performance art?! After searching a wee bit more, I found that some of my French colleagues had opened a webpage to warn about the activities of this individual (?). Including plagiarised papers or books still for sale on Amazon.

Cauchy’s head [jatp]

Posted in pictures, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2021 by xi'an

3-D bridge now opened!

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2021 by xi'an

The 3D printed bridge I had mentioned in a previous blog was installed and officially opened over an Amsterdam canal, last month. Besides the company printing this steel bridge, over six months, researchers from the Turing Institute, including my friend Mark Girolami, developed a virtual version of the bridge using embedded sensors to monitor the behaviour and evolution of the real bridge over time and usage. Next time I am in the city, I’ll make sure to run bridge sampling!