Vielä Helsingissä!

Helsinki1The meeting of the panel at the Academy of Finland is quite interesting with panelists from such a very wide range of disciplines, covering most aspects of computational sciences. In particular, the approach to reviewing grant proposals appears to be highly dependent on the discipline in the sense that the arguments are more or less theoretical depending on the referee’s discipline. At the mathematical end of the gamut, I have stronger inclinations to be severe with proposals that are missing a minimal probabilistic background to validate simulation experiments, while bioinformaticians will most likely bite at projects with poorly motivated protein structures… This makes for interesting debates, when compared with an NSF statisticians-only panel. Overall, I am quite impressed by the extremely high quality of most proposals, some of which are  clearly internationally leading-edge projects. A point of further interest I discovered this morning when entering its building is that the Academy of Finland is distinct from the Finnish Academy of Science: the former is in fact the funding body for public research in Finland while the later is working on the same principles as the National Academy of Science or The Royal Society… (Two Academy members with strong connections with Bayesian Statistics and MCMC are Elja Arjas and Esa Nummelin.)

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