Archive for China

oops…!

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2020 by xi'an

Hong Kong under CPC iron fist

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on July 14, 2020 by xi'an

“Students in Hong Kong are now banned from any political activity in schools including singing, posting slogans and boycotting classes, the territory’s education minister has said.” BBC, 8 July

“Books by prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy figures have become unavailable in the Chinese-ruled city’s public libraries as they are being reviewed to see whether they violate a new national security law, a government department said.” ABC, 6 July

“Lawyers and legal experts have said China’s national security law for Hong Kong will fundamentally change the territory’s legal system. It introduces new crimes with severe penalties – up to life in prison – and allows mainland security personnel to legally operate in Hong Kong with impunity. The legislation gives Beijing extensive powers it has never had before to shape life in the territory far beyond the legal system.” BBC, 1 July

“Based on the [new] law, the Hong Kong authorities can dictate the way people around the world talk about the city’s contested politics. A Facebook employee could potentially be arrested in Hong Kong if the company failed to hand over user data on someone based in the United States whom Chinese authorities deemed a threat to national security.” NYT, 7 July

Bernoulli-IMS One World Symposium 2020 [accessible to everyone from everywhere!]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on June 25, 2020 by xi'an

[Since the Bernoulli-IMS meeting in Seoul had to be postponed till August 2021, the IMS, the Bernoulli society and the founding organisers of the One World webinars got together to hastily patch up a virtual substitute, resulting in this exciting event, a first on many different reality planes, with a surprisingly positive return from contacted speakers and co-organisers. The first Bernoulli-IMS meeting where the sun never sets! Free of fees and travel costs. Hopefully accessible for “everyone from everywhere”, that is, even from countries with restrictions on Internet access like China and Cuba. Or with poor broadband access.]

Join the Bernoulli Society and IMS for the first-ever, Bernoulli-IMS One World Symposium 2020 August 24-28, 2020! The meeting will be virtual with many new experimental features. Participation at the symposium is free, but registration is mandatory to get the passwords for the Zoom sessions.

Live talks by plenary speakers include Emmanuel Candes, Martin Hairer, Kerrie Mengersen, and Wendelin Werner. The symposium will also include live talks by early career speakers, prerecorded 10-minute talks with discussion sessions, posters, experimental interactive events, and problem solving sessions. Topics from probability and  mathematical statistics are arranged in 23 sessions (with 23 Zoom rooms) to which all researchers are warmly invited to contribute and discuss their original research results. Live talks will be set at two different times in order to reach the most time zones.

Accessible to Everyone from Everywhere!

ABC on COVID-19

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2020 by xi'an

The paper “The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak”, published in Science on 06 March by Matteo Chinazzi and co-authors, considers the impact of travel restriction in Wuhan on the propagation of the virus. (Terrible graph by the way since the overall volume of traffic dropped considerably after the ban.)

“The travel quarantine of Wuhan delayed the overall epidemic progression by only 3 to 5 days in Mainland China, but has a more marked effect at the international scale, where case importations were reduced by nearly 80% until mid February.”

They use a SLIR (susceptible-latent-infectious-removed) pattern of transmission, along with a travel flow network based on 2019 air and ground travel statistics, resorting to ABC for approximating the posterior distribution of the basic reproductive number. It is however unclear to me that the model is particularly accurate at the levels of the transmission pattern (which now seems to occur much earlier than when the symptoms appear) and of the detection rates (which vary greatly from one place to another).

ISBA in Kunming postponed till 2021

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2020 by xi'an

The ISBA Program committee has just announced that the ISBA World Meeting 2020 in Kunming, China, is postponed until 2021, 28 June till 03 July (and the resolution of the nCoV epidemics). Which is quite unfortunate given the closeness of the meeting and the degree of preparation of the local and scientific committees, but also unavoidable given the difficulties and reluctance of traveling to China at the moment. Hopefully, the health threat will get under control (other than keeping every citizen under lock) sooner than that. Satellite meetings like BAYSM will be moved as well, in a place and on a date soon to be announced.

As an aside, I still call for the additional organisation of mirror conferences of this World meeting  to multiply the opportunities for gathering Bayesians, share results, listen to talks and decrease the amount of travelling (and potential issues with visa, funds, human right concerns, &tc.) To quote Chairman Mao, let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend!