## MCMSki IV [mistakes and regrets]

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, R, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , on January 13, 2014 by xi'an

Now that the conference and the Bayesian non-parametric satellite workshop (thanks to Judith!) are over, with (almost) everyone back home, and that the post-partum conference blues settles in (!), I can reflect on how things ran for those meetings and what I could have done to improve them… (Not yet considering to propose a second edition of MCMSki in Chamonix, obviously!)

Although this was clearly a side issue for most participants, the fact that the ski race did not take place still rattles me!  In retrospect, adding a mere 5€ amount to the registration fees for all participants would have been enough to cover the (fairly high) fares asked by the local ski school. Late planning for the ski race led to overlook this basic fact…

Since MCMSki is now the official conference of the BayesComp section of ISBA, I should have planned well in advance a section meeting within the program, if only to discuss the structure of the next meeting and how to keep the section alive. Waiting till the end of the last section of the final day was not the best idea!

Another thing I postponed for too long was seeking some sponsors: fortunately, the O’Bayes meeting in Duke woke me up to the potential of a poster prize and re-fortunately Academic Press, CRC Press, and Springer-Verlag reacted quickly enough to have plenty of books to hand to the winners. If we could have had another group of sponsors financing a beanie or something similar, it would have been an additional perk… Even though I gathered enough support from participants about the minimalist conference “package” made of a single A4 sheet.

Last, I did not advertise properly on the webpage and at all during the meeting for the special issue of Statistics and Computing open to all presenters at MCMSki IV! We now need to send a reminder to them…

## Les Escures, Mas del Périé

Posted in Wines with tags , , , on December 20, 2013 by xi'an

## O’Bayes 2013

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , on December 17, 2013 by xi'an

It was quite sad that we had to start the O-Bayes 2103 conference with the news that Dennis Lindley passed away, but the meeting is the best opportunity to share memories and stress his impact on the field. This is what happened yesterday in and around the talks. The conference(s) is/are very well-attended, with 200-some participants in total, and many young researchers. As in the earlier meetings, the talks are a mixture of “classical” objective Bayes and non-parametric Bayes (my own feeling being of a very fuzzy boundary between both perspectives, both relying to some extent on asymptotics for validation). I enjoyed in particular Jayanta’s Ghosh talk on the construction of divergence measures for reference priors that would necessarily lead to the Jeffreys prior. With the side open problem of determining whether there are only three functional distances (Hellinger, Kullback and L1 that are independent of the dominating measure. (Upon reflection, I am not sure about this question and whether I got it correctly, as one can always use the prior π as the dominating measure and look at divergences of the form

$J(\pi) = \int d\left(\dfrac{\text{d}\pi(\cdot|x)}{\text{d}\pi(\cdot)}\right) m(x)\text{d}x$

which seems to open up the range of possible d’s…) However, and in the great tradition of Bayesian meetings, the best part of the day was the poster session. From enjoying a (local) beer with old friends to discussing points and details.  (It is just unfortunate that by 8:15 I was simply sleeping on my feet and could not complete my round of O’Bayes posters, not even mentioning EFaB posters that sounded equally attractive… I even missed discussing around a capture-recapture poster!)

## Domaine Gauby, Les Calcinaires

Posted in Wines with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2013 by xi'an

## Rully blanc “La Pucelle”

Posted in Wines with tags , , , on October 20, 2013 by xi'an