Archive for the University life Category

quantum computing reproducibility crisis?

Posted in Books, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2021 by xi'an

While standing in a train to my mother’s house in Brittany, I was catching up on earlier Nature issues and came upon this April issue where, following the retraction of a Nature paper on the topic, Sergey Frolov casts doubt on the possible detection of a new type of quantum particle, the Majorana fermion, whose existence still remains inconclusive. The criticism concentrates on the data analysis of signals where the appearance of a narrow peak should support the hypothesised existence. The article is interesting (to me) as a reflection of someone having published positive, then negative articles on the topic, upon the tendency for authors in the field to cherry-pick experiments where some peaks occur. Among dozens or hundred of experiments where they did not. And calling for open data and more stringent review(er)s on the matter (and others). The arguments in the opinion tribune sound most reasonable but I wonder whether or not other particle physicists share the same concern.

Statistics at Bristol [& U]

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on September 14, 2021 by xi'an

For the celebration of the recently renovated Fry Building, which I visited in Feb 2019 (my last time in Britain!), the University of Bristol is holding the Fry Conference series, with one dedicated to statistics on 16-17 September 2021. With Peter Green, Arnaud Doucet, and Judith Rousseau among the speakers. It is sadly on-line so does not give one the opportunity to admire the renovated bulding. And the Voronoi sculpture! (And You figures in the title of the conference.)

what a party!

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2021 by xi'an

We ended up having a terrific b’day party last Thursday after noon, with about 30 friends listening in Institut Henri Poincaré to Florence, Pierre, and Sylvia giving lectures on my favourite themes, namely ABC, MCMC, and mixture inference. Incl. subtle allusions to my many idiosyncrasies in three different flavours!  And a limited number of anecdotes, incl. the unavoidable Cancún glasses disaster! We later headed to a small Ethiopian restaurant located on the other side of the Panthéon, rue de l’Ecole Polytechnique (rather than on the nearby rue Laplace!), which was going to be too tiny for us, especially in these COVID times, until the sky cleared up and the restaurant set enough tables in the small street to enjoy their injeras and wots till almost midnight. The most exciting episode of the evening came when someone tried to steal some of our bags that had been stored in a back room and when Tony spotted the outlier and chased him till the thief dropped the bags..! Thanks to Tony for saving the evening and our computers!!! To Éric, Jean-Michel and Judith for organising this 9/9 event (after twisting my arm just a wee bit). And to all my friends who joined the party, some from far away…

ring of fire [jatp]

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2021 by xi'an

While leisurely biking in Paris the previous (grey) weekend, my wife and I stopped by the entrance to the Jardin des Plantes, in front of a (grey) renovated building of l’Institut de physique du globe, where we both attended (maths) lectures in the 1980’s. I had noticed the renovation years ago and in particular the red neon fractured line going over the faces of the building, but never considered it had a specific meaning.In fact, the apparent random walk has nothing random as it reproduces the Ring of Fire, a Fuller projection of the continuum of volcanoes that ring the Pacific Ocean. (This sculpture was created by Angela Detanico et Rafael Lain.)

B’day party!

Posted in Kids, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on August 30, 2021 by xi'an