Archive for EMS 2013

Séminaire Probabilités, Décision, Incertitude

Posted in Books, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2014 by xi'an

RER B composition, Saint-Michel, Feb. 10, 2012Last Friday, I gave a seminar at the Séminaire Probabilités, Décision, Incertitude, which is run by IHφST, the institute for history and philosophy of sciences and techniques of the Université of Paris 1. I decided to present my Budapest EMS 2013 talk at a slower pace and by cutting the technical parts. And adding a few historical titbits. It took me two hours and I enjoyed the experience. I cannot tell for the audience, who seemed a bit wary of mathematical disgressions, but I got comments on the Lindley paradox and on the contents of Ari Spanos’ Who’s afraid… Here are the slides again, in case Slideshare freezes your browser as it does mine…

As a side anecdote, the seminar took place in an old building in the core of the Saint-Germain des Prés district. The view from the seminar room on the busy streets of this district was quite eye-catching! (Not as distracting as the one from a room in Ca’ Foscari where I gave a seminar a few years ago facing the Venezia Laguna and windsurfers practising…)

snapshot from Budapest (EMS 2013 #4)

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by xi'an

sunset on the Danube, Budapest, July 23, 2013Last day at EMS 2013! I started the day with an attempt to run inside the big necropolis on the east of town (Nemzeti sirkert), attempt that failed as I was too early. I then delivered my ISBA Thomas Bayes memorial lecture, with an amazing number of people (amazing conditional on the fact that it was delivered at 9am the morning after the banquet, on the last day of the conference, that it was a memorial historical talk which could be (mis-)perceived as Bayesian propaganda, and that I had put my slides on line already!). I managed (in I hope a comprehensible and not-too-boring way!) to cover most of the slides, skipping some ABC details, in the allotted hour, and not forgetting the historical note (Teller was born here) and the local ABC picture… Many aspects of past and current Bayesian statistics were missing: Fabrizio Ruggeri pointed out prior elicitation and Xiao-Li Meng [who wore a special tie with Thomas Bayes’ picture!] George Box. As an aside, has anyone versed in image analysis ever tried to link Thomas Bayes somehow doubtful portrait with his father’s? They do not look the least related to my unexpert eyes…

The rest of the day went very quickly, with a Bayesian computation session on SMC and exact approximations, and an afternoon consisting of Larry Brown’s talk on linear models as approximations (bringing a new light on the topic!) and of Xiao-Li Meng’s talk on measuring the impact of priors through a new information device. While I attended the “Future of Statistics” panel like most of the remaining participants, the future remained rather foggy, as I could not make my mind between the optimist side pointed out the growing need of statisticians at every level and the pessimist view that those jobs were mostly taken by poorly trained non-statisticians… In conclusion, I enjoyed the meeting for its diversity and range of talks, as well as its fantastic location of course!

snapshot from Budapest (EMS 2013 #2)

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , on July 24, 2013 by xi'an

IMG_0492After a morning run that took me to the top of Gellért Hill, I went to the conference to listen to an interesting plenary talk by Emmanuel Candés on singular value decomposition by randomisation, then went back to ponder with Randal about the missing link in our proof, before exploring a little bit of Budapest and indulging in a superb cake at Gresham

snapshot from Budapest (EMS 20130 #1)

Posted in pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , on July 23, 2013 by xi'an

Rákóczi Téri VásárcsarnokI had a nice “working” day in Budapest today, spending most of the time looking at Markov chain diagrams and Peskun orderings with Randal Douc, while drinking litres of  iced coffee, meaning I skipped a large part of the talks at EMS 2013 I am afraid… Thanks to the very early sunrise in Budapest (which is on the same time zone as Brest or even Porto!), I managed to have a long run along the Danube and a breakfast with my friends Gautami and Peter before the conference had even started. I still attended David Balding’s invited talk on DNA based evidence, containing an illustration in the Amanda knox case,  the Bayesian non-parametric session, which provided me with additional illustrations for The Talk, from Bernstein-von Mises to species estimation, then the computational biology session where Michael Stumpf showed us a masterly mix of stick breaking processes, Bayesian networks, hidden Markov models and genetics.  And… we managed to make considerable progress in this proof of ours!

Bayes 250th versus Bayes 2.5.0.

Posted in Books, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2013 by xi'an

More than a year ago Michael Sørensen (2013 EMS Chair) and Fabrizzio Ruggeri (then ISBA President) kindly offered me to deliver the memorial lecture on Thomas Bayes at the 2013 European Meeting of Statisticians, which takes place in Budapest today and the following week. I gladly accepted, although with some worries at having to cover a much wider range of the field rather than my own research topic. And then set to work on the slides in the past week, borrowing from my most “historical” lectures on Jeffreys and Keynes, my reply to Spanos, as well as getting a little help from my nonparametric friends (yes, I do have nonparametric friends!). Here is the result, providing a partial (meaning both incomplete and biased) vision of the field.

Since my talk is on Thursday, and because the talk is sponsored by ISBA, hence representing its members, please feel free to comment and suggest changes or additions as I can still incorporate them into the slides… (Warning, I purposefully kept some slides out to preserve the most surprising entry for the talk on Thursday!)