le grand amphithéâtre de l’Université de Lyon

The talks of the statlearn 2017 conference took place in an amazing 19th Century amphitheatre that looked in much better conditions than the corresponding amphitheatre of La Sorbonne. After checking on-line, I found that this place had suffered a major fire in 1999 and had been renovated since then.

The main wall features a very academic painting by Jean-Joseph Weerts representing a rhethoric competition in Lugdunum (the hill of the god Lug, in Latin), under the Roman emperor Caligula. (It is hard to imagine this was painted at the time of the Impressionist revolution!) Which creates a huge distraction from listening to the first talk when one enters this room, as there are many stories woven into the painting, including the fate of the poor rethoricians, thrown in the Rhône by the emperor’s guards!

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