Archive for Canada

an extra day for registering for ISBA²²

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2022 by xi'an

don’t wear your helmet, you could have a bike accident!

Posted in Kids, Running, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2022 by xi'an

As once in a while reappears the argument that wearing a bike helmet increases one’s chances of a bike accident. In the current case, it is to argue against a French regulation proposal that helmets should be compulsory for all cyclists. Without getting now into the pros and cons of compulsory helmet laws (enforced in Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as some provinces of Canada), I see little worth in the study cited by Le Monde towards this argument. As the data is poor and poorly analysed. First, there is a significant fraction of cycling accidents when the presence of an helmet is unknown. Second, the fraction of cyclists wearing helmets is based on a yearly survey involving 500 persons in a few major French cities. The conclusion that there are three times more accidents among cyclists wearing helmets than among cyclists not wearing helmets is thus not particularly reliable. Rather than the highly debatable arguments that (a) seeing a cyclist with an helmet would reduce the caution of car or bus drivers, (b) wearing an helmet would reduce the risk aversion of a cyclist, (c) sport-cyclists are mostly wearing helmets but their bikes are not appropriate for cities (!), I would not eliminate [as the authors do] the basic argument that helmeted cyclists are on average traveling longer distances. With a probability of an accident that necessarily  increases with the distance traveled. While people renting on-the-go bikes are usually biking short distances and almost never wear helmets. (For the record, I mostly wear a [bright orange] helmet but sometimes do not when going to the nearby bakery or swimming pool… Each time I had a fall, crash or accident with a car, I was wearing an helmet and I once hit my head or rather the helmet on the ground, with no consequence I am aware of!)

position at UBC

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , on November 22, 2021 by xi'an

The Department of Statistics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver invites applications from outstanding new investigators for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the area of statistical machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), with an anticipated start date of July 1, 2022 or January 1, 2023.

This position is offered as part of a new, interdisciplinary research cluster, AI Methods for Scientific Impact (AIM-SI) within UBC’s Centre for AI Decision-making and Action (CAIDA). CAIDA consists of over 100 researchers whose research leverages AI; AIM-SI will hire 5 new faculty members across three departments: Computer Science, Mathematics, and Statistics. Those recruited will join over a dozen existing researchers who are highly active in the core AI Methods research community.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in Statistics, Biostatistics, or a related field and must demonstrate evidence of research success and a high potential to be leaders in their research field. The successful candidate should have a strong record of research productivity commensurate with their experience and will be expected to develop an independent research program in an area that complements existing Department expertise and aligns with opportunities at UBC. The successful candidate will be expected to effectively supervise Statistics graduate students, collaborate with other faculty members, obtain external funding, teach undergraduate and graduate Statistics courses, and actively participate in departmental activities.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Métis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

Applicants will be asked to complete an equity survey. The survey information will not be used to determine eligibility for employment, but will be collated to provide data that can assist us in understanding the diversity of our applicant pool and identifying potential barriers to the employment of designated equity group members. Applicants’ participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential and takes only a minute to complete. Applicants may self-identify in one or more of the designated equity groups, or may also decline to identify in any or all of the questions by choosing “not disclosed.”

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Deadline for application is December 15. More information is available at

intimate touch [wildlife photograph of the year]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2021 by xi'an

journal of the [second] plague year [away]

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2021 by xi'an

Read Fred Vargas’s Seeking Whom He May Devour (L’Homme à l’envers), which I found on a bookshelf of our vacation rental in Annecy. And got more quickly bored by the story as it is plagued with the same defects as the ones I read before, from a definitive issue with Canadians (!), to an attempt to bring supernatural causes in the story and reveal them as fake by the end of the book, to a collection of implausible and caricaturesque characters surrounded by the usual backcountry morons that would rather fit a Paasilinna novel, and to the incomprehensible intuitions of Inspector Adamsberg. I also went through the sequel to Infomocracy, Null states, albeit this was a real chore as it lacked substance and novelty (the title by itself should have been a warning!).

Watched Night in Paradise (낙원의 밤), another Korean gangster movie, which seems to repeat the trope of bad-guy-on-the-run-meets-lost-girl found in my previously watched Korean Jo-Phil: The Dawning Rage, where the main character, a crooked police officer is radically impacted after failing to save a lost teenager.  (And also in the fascinating The Wild Goose Lake.) The current film is stronger however in creating the bond between the few-words gangster on the run and the reluctant guest Jae-yeon who is on a run of a different magnitude. While the battle scenes are still grand-guignolesque (if very violent) in a Kill Bill spirit, and the gang leaders always caricaturesque, the interplay between the main characters makes Night in Paradise a pretty good film (and explains why it got selected for the Venice Film Festival of 2020). Also went through the appalling Yamakasi by Luc Besson, a macho, demagogical, sexist, simplist, non-story…

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