After ABC in Paris in 2009, ABC in London in 2011, and ABC in Roma last year, things are accelerating since there will be—as I just learned— an ABC in Sydney next July (not June as I originally typed, thanks Robin!). The workshop on the current developments of ABC methodology thus leaves Europe to go down-under and to take advantage of the IMS Meeting in Sydney on July 7-10, 2014. Hopefully, “ABC in…” will continue its tour of European capitals in 2015! To keep up with an unbroken sequence of free workshops, Scott Sisson has managed to find support so that attendance is free of charge (free as in “no registration fee at all”!) but you do need to register as space is limited. While I would love to visit UNSW and Sydney once again and attend the workshop, I will not, getting ready for Cancún and our ABC short course there.
Archive for ABC in Paris
In the past years, I noticed a clear inflation on conference fees, inflation that I feel unjustified… I already mentioned the huge $720 fees for the Winter Simulation Conference (WSC 2012), which were certainly not all due to the heating bill! Even conferences held by and in universities or societies seem to face the same doom: to stick to conferences I will attend—and do support, to the point of being directly or indirectly involved—, take for instance Bayes 250 in London (RSS Headquarters), £135, Bayes 250 at Duke, $190, both one day-long, and O-Bayes 2013, also at Duke, $480 (in par with JSM fees)… While those later conferences include side “benefits” like meals and banquet, the amount remains large absolutive. Too large. And prohibitive for participants from less-favoured countries (possibly including speakers themselves in the case of O-Bayes 2013). And also counter-productive in the case of both Bayes 250 conferences since we want to get together to celebrate two and a half centuries of Bayesian statistics. Since most of the talks there will be partly commemorative, rather than on the brink of research, I fear some people may have to make a choice to allocate their meagre research funds to other conferences. And I do not understand why universities now consider organising meetings as a source of income rather than as a natural part of their goals.
Now, you may ask, and what about MCMski on which I have more than a modicum of control..?! Well, the sole cost there is renting the conference centre in Chamonix, which is the only place I knew where a large conference could be held. Apart from that, no frill! The coffee breaks will be few and frugal, there will be no free lunch or breakfast or banquet, and no one will get a free entry or a paid invitation. As a result, the registration fee is only 170€ for three days (plus a free satellite meeting the next day), an amount computed on an expected number of participants of 150 and which could lead me to pay the deficit from my own research grants in case I am wrong. (And may I recall the “ABC in…” series, which has been free of fees so far!)
My point, overall, is that we should aim at more frugal meetings, in order to attract larger and more diverse crowds (even though fees are only part of the equation, lodging and travelling can be managed to some extent as long as the workshop is not in too an exotic location).
After ABC in Paris in 2009 and ABC in London in 2013, the ABC workshop on the current developments of ABC methodology continues its tour of European capitals! It will take place next year in Rome over two days to allow for travel from Paris and London (no EuRomaStar yet!). ABC in Rome is organised by Brunero Liseo and his colleagues at Roma 1 and Roma 3 Università, and sponsored by La Sapienza Università di Roma. Following the previous meetings, in Paris and London, the field still sees rapid methodology progress and an increased number of applications in a wider range of scientific areas, as no doubt readers of the ‘Og are aware! ABC in Rome (ABCiR) will hopefully bring together leading researchers in the field, with focus on
- applications of ABC to real world problems
- recent computational advances in ABC
- comparative efficiency of ABC methods with respect to alternative methodologies
- model selection and model checking in the ABC framework.
As in the previous meetings, attendance is free of charge (free as in “no registration fee at all”!) but you do need to register as space is strictly limited. (For ABC in London, the waiting list was more than 100 persons long…) If you wish to present a poster then please email the organisation committee with a brief abstract. We particularly encourage posters from young participants and posters detailing recent software implementations of ABC methods and computational advance.
After the very exciting and I think quite successful ABC in Paris meeting two years ago, Michael Stumpf from Imperial College London suggested a second edition in London along the same lines. Michael kindly associated me with the planning of this meeting. It is (logically) called ABC in London (or ABCiL) and will take place in Imperial on May 5, 2011. The website is now available for registration. Since this is a one-day intense workshop, registration is compulsory and comes on a first-come first-serve basis. You may take a look at the program to realise how much of an exciting and full day this is going to be! Poster sessions will also be an opportunity to discover new packages and softwares, like the incoming second version of DIYABC. (It would be interesting to see if this trend is going to be pursued with another ABC meeting in a European capital, like Berlin, Bern or even Reykjavik!)