Archive for Cassis

CIRM in dire need of help

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2020 by xi'an

The International Mathematics Conference Centre, CIRM, located in Luminy, Marseille, France, has been deeply disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 60 % of the events planned there have been cancelled so far and all remaining conferences have gone virtual or at best hybrid, open to a remote audience, including in an interactive way. This has required important and unexpected investments. Furthermore, this crisis happened at the worst possible moment as CIRM had just finished doubling its infrastructure capacities. This is why I strongly support the call from the French Mathematical Society (SMF) to make a donation to CIRM before the end of the year, especially from researchers who benefited from its hospitality and unique environment.

Crêt Saint Michel

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2018 by xi'an

A great afternoon climbing near CIRM with Nicolas, a mountain guide from the local guide company in Cassis, on this cliff of Crêt Saint Michel I passed everyday [while there!] to go swimming in the Sormiou harbour below, a mere 15 mn run from CIRM. As shown by the above map of bolted routes on the first half of the cliff, there are plenty of choices and more, although there were already four other groups climbing on that afternoon.

All these routes are bolted and have been around for quite a while, meaning two significant things: the quotation of the difficulty of the routes is quite lax and the rock is weathered by use at places, which made going up a 5c route somewhat of a challenge for me when climbing second and an impossibility when climbing first. On the rightmost green route, the 6a+ part had bits where I had to rely on slings left by Nicolas.The weather was brilliant, with blue sky and hot sun all the way, and the view of the Sormiou calanque (creek) below as a terrific background… I hope I can repeat this experience when visiting CIRM again in November, for the “Big Bayes” conference. And even more that this unique coastline will not be reached by the growing oil spil in the area.

glorious dawn [jatp]

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2018 by xi'an

at CIRM [jatp]

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2018 by xi'an

back from CIRM

Posted in Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2016 by xi'an

near Col de Sugiton, Parc National des Calanques, Marseille, March 01, 2016As should be clear from earlier posts, I tremendously enjoyed this past week at CIRM, Marseille, and not only for providing a handy retreat from where I could go running and climbing at least twice a day!  The programme (with slides and films soon to be available on the CIRM website) was very well-designed with mini-courses and talks of appropriate length and frequency. Thanks to Nicolas Chopin (ENSAE ParisTech) and Gilles Celeux  (Inria Paris) for constructing so efficiently this program and to the local organisers Thibaut Le Gouic (Ecole Centrale de Marseille), Denys Pommeret (Aix-Marseille Université), and Thomas Willer (Aix-Marseille Université) for handling the practical side of inviting and accommodating close to a hundred participants on this rather secluded campus. I hope we can reproduce the experiment a few years from now. Maybe in 2018 if we manage to squeeze it between BayesComp 2018 [ex-MCMski] and ISBA 2018 in Edinburgh.

One of the bonuses of staying at CIRM is indeed that it is fairly isolated and far from the fury of down-town Marseille, which may sound like a drag, but actually helps with concentration and interactions. Actually, the whole Aix-Marseille University campus of Luminy on which CIRM is located is surprisingly quiet: we were there in the very middle of the teaching semester and saw very few students around (although even fewer boars!). It is a bit of a mystery that a campus built in such a beautiful location with the Mont Puget as its background and the song of cicadas as the only source of “noise” is not better exploited towards attracting more researchers and students. However remoteness and lack of efficient public transportation may explain a lot about this low occupation of the campus. As may the poor quality of most buildings on the campus, which must be unbearable during the summer months…

In a potential planning for the future Bayesian week at CIRM, I think we could have some sort of poster sessions after-dinner (with maybe a cash bar operated by some of the invited students since there is no bar at CIRM or around). Or trail-running under moonlight, trying to avoid tripping over rummaging boars… A sort of Kaggle challenge would be nice but presumably too hard to organise. As a simpler joint activity, we could collectively contribute to some wikipedia pages related to Bayesian and computational statistics.