snapshot from Budapest (EMS 2013 #4)

sunset on the Danube, Budapest, July 23, 2013Last day at EMS 2013! I started the day with an attempt to run inside the big necropolis on the east of town (Nemzeti sirkert), attempt that failed as I was too early. I then delivered my ISBA Thomas Bayes memorial lecture, with an amazing number of people (amazing conditional on the fact that it was delivered at 9am the morning after the banquet, on the last day of the conference, that it was a memorial historical talk which could be (mis-)perceived as Bayesian propaganda, and that I had put my slides on line already!). I managed (in I hope a comprehensible and not-too-boring way!) to cover most of the slides, skipping some ABC details, in the allotted hour, and not forgetting the historical note (Teller was born here) and the local ABC picture… Many aspects of past and current Bayesian statistics were missing: Fabrizio Ruggeri pointed out prior elicitation and Xiao-Li Meng [who wore a special tie with Thomas Bayes’ picture!] George Box. As an aside, has anyone versed in image analysis ever tried to link Thomas Bayes somehow doubtful portrait with his father’s? They do not look the least related to my unexpert eyes…

The rest of the day went very quickly, with a Bayesian computation session on SMC and exact approximations, and an afternoon consisting of Larry Brown’s talk on linear models as approximations (bringing a new light on the topic!) and of Xiao-Li Meng’s talk on measuring the impact of priors through a new information device. While I attended the “Future of Statistics” panel like most of the remaining participants, the future remained rather foggy, as I could not make my mind between the optimist side pointed out the growing need of statisticians at every level and the pessimist view that those jobs were mostly taken by poorly trained non-statisticians… In conclusion, I enjoyed the meeting for its diversity and range of talks, as well as its fantastic location of course!

2 Responses to “snapshot from Budapest (EMS 2013 #4)”

  1. Glad you liked the city. It’s a pity you have missed the cemetry (well, at least pity conditional on having decided to go there :) ); there are many famous Hungarians buried there. For example including Riesz (but excluding Rényi and Erdős). But then, during running it is not easy to spot the names. :)

    Were there many Hungarians on the conference?

    Best,

    An econometrics student who bought your book, and started following your blog just when you visited his hometown. Coincidence. :)

    • Thanks! I was impressed by the whole city and did not miss that much missing the cemetery. The following day, I went running aroung Margarit Island. There were a lot of local statisticians at the conference indeed. Very impressive as well. Good luck with The Book!

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