Archive for cross de Bercy 2011

cross de Bercy 2012 [5k, 19:01, 9th &1st v2]

Posted in Running, University life with tags , , , , , , on June 7, 2012 by xi'an

(Warning: not much of interest to anyone there, as I am posting about a local race I ran!)

Today, I ran my annual Ministry of Finances race. This year, I had the choice between 5km and 10km, so I picked 5km if only because I dislike running two identical loops (and also because I am running a 10km on Sunday in Caen). I was in reasonable shape so managed to get to the head of the race at the start, avoiding the crowd in the narrow paths of Bois de Vincennes and stuck to my 8th position for most of the race, until I got passed by the female winner close to the 4th k, and I ended up first in my category in a rather slow 19:01. So I brought back to the office a rather large (and necessarily ugly) cup… This year I did not even bother to take split times at each km tag as I knew they were most unreliable: for instance, I did 3:09-6:49-10:20 for the three first ones. Anyway, this was a rather pleasant race in a cool weather and prior to a strong rain shower that would have left us drenched. My INSEE Paris Club running team managed to get 5 first positions (out of 16) and 10 cups out of the 48 cups delivered for the event! (As in the past years I then had to rush from the stadium to attend a seminar at CREST, where I must acknowledge my attention span varied at times…)

The cup!

Posted in Running with tags , , , on June 17, 2011 by xi'an

Here is the cup I won at the Cross de Bercy last week, as third V2, despite a poor race…

Cross de Bercy 2011 [v2&3]

Posted in R, Running with tags , , , on June 10, 2011 by xi'an

[Warning: this post about a race I ran yesterday is unlikely to be of interest for most readers!]

Following my (un)reasonable time last year, I registered again for the annual “Cross de Bercy”  run by the Sport Club of the Finance Ministry (with whom/which CREST is affiliated). This is a two loop 10km race taking place in the Bois de Vincennes around the old velodrome on a painful [and far-from-the-country] path, which usually goes under a severely burning noon sun. This year, rain arrived at last after a two month drought and the race temperature was thus much more pleasant. As I had been suffering from repeated tendon and knee injuries since January, I was feeling rather insecure when getting on the starting line… Anyway, I managed to stick to the lead group on the first km and then gradually slowed down to a four minute/km pace. The fourth to sixth kilometers were the hardest ones, with several runners passing me, and then I found a second wind, something that had never occurred before, and I took up speed again, passing some of those earlier runners. Here are the times recovered from my watch:

As for last year,  some of the times or rather the distances are clearly untrustworthy! (a) I did not save the second k, so the two red dots at 2km and 3km are halves of the cumulated time at 3km; (b) there was no marker for 5km and I pressed the button after leaving the stadium (blue line), so it is more likely to consider the red dots than the brown dots for 5km and 6km, which clearly show that the fifth km was not right!; (c) the 10k time of 4:55 is definitely wrong: I did a 300m lap on the stadium sprinting against another runner at full speed (and ending up winning because the other runner stopped too early!). One good surprise with this race is that I did not feel any of the usual pain from my knee. Another one is that despite this dismal time of 38:30, I ended up third in my category (V2)! This was the case last year,  except that I was not yet in this category, but I had little hope to repeat this feat this year… After the race, Julyan and I took two Velibs to get to Hebibert’s seminar and managed to get there in time!!

Hedibert’s seminar

Posted in Running, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on June 7, 2011 by xi'an

For ‘Og’s readers in the Paris area, note there will be a seminar given by Hedibert Lopes from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business on June 9th at the Big MC seminar:

Parsimonious Bayesian Factor Analysis when the Number of Factors is Unknown
We introduce a new and general set of identifiability conditions for factor models which handles the ordering problem associated with current common practice. In addition, the new class of parsimonious Bayesian factor analysis leads to a factor loading matrix representation which is an intuitive and easy to implement factor selection scheme. We argue that the structuring the factor loadings matrix is in concordance with recent trends in applied factor analysis. Our MCMC scheme for posterior inference makes several improvements over the existing alternatives while outlining various strategies for conditional posterior inference in a factor selection scenario. Four applications, two based on synthetic data and two based on well known real data, are introduced to illustrate the applicability and generality of the new class of parsimonious factor models, as well as to highlight features of the proposed sampling schemes. (Joint work with Sylvia Fruhwirth-Schnatter, Univ. of Linz – Austria).

The seminar is at 3pm (maybe a wee later if I am running late, as I am registered for the annual 10k Bercy race two hours before in the Bois de Vincennes!), at Institut Henri Poincaré. It will be followed by a second seminar by Andreas Eberle on the Metropolis-adjusted Langevin algorithm, MALA (a topic my coauthor Natesh Pillai recently worked on. A pity he only arrives in Paris the next Monday and thus misses the talk!)

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