Archive for England

never let me go [book review]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2017 by xi'an

Another chance occurrence led me to read that not so recent book by Kazuo Ishiguro, taking advantage of my short nights while in Warwick. [I wrote this post before the unexpected Nobelisation of the author.] As in earlier novels of his, the strongest feeling is one of melancholia, of things that had been or had supposed to have been and are no longer. Especially the incomparable The Remains of the Day… In the great tradition of the English [teen] novel, this ideal universe is a boarding school, where a group of students bond and grow up, until they face the real world. The story is told with a lot of flashbacks and personal impressions of the single narrator, which made me uncertain of the reality behind her perception and recasting. And of her role and actions within that group, since they always appear more mature and sensible than the others’. The sinister features of this boarding school and the reasons why these children are treated differently emerge very very slowly through the book and the description of their treatment remains unclear till the end of the book. Purposely so. However, once one understands the very reason for their existence, the novels looses its tension, as the perpetual rotation of their interactions gets inconsequential when faced with their short destinies. While one can get attached to the main characters, the doom awaiting them blurs the relevance of their affairs and disputes. Maybe what got me so quickly distanced from the story is the complacency of these characters and the lack of rebellion against their treatment, unless of course it was the ultimate goal of Ishiguro to show that readers, as the “normal” characters in the story, would come to treat the other ones as not completely human… While the final scene about souvenirs and memories sounding like plastic trash trapped on barbed wires seems an easy line, I appreciated the slow construct of the art pieces of Tommy and the maybe too obvious link with their own destiny.

When searching for reviews about this book, I discovered a movie had been made out this book, in 2011, with the same title. And of which I had never heard either..! [Which made me realise the characters were all very young when they died.]

more positions in the UK [postdoc & professor]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2017 by xi'an

I have received additional emails from England advertising for positions in Bristol, Durham, and London, so here they are, with links to the complete advertising!

  1. The University of Bristol is seeking to appoint a number of Chairs in any areas of Mathematics or Statistical Science, in support of a major strategic expansion of the School of Mathematics. Deadline is December 4.
  2. Durham University is opening a newly created position of Professor of Statistics, with research and teaching duties. Deadline is November 6.
  3. Oliver Ratman, in the Department of Mathematics at Imperial College London, is seeking a Research Associate in Statistics and Pathogen Phylodynamics. Deadline is October 30.

position in Bristol

Posted in pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , on October 4, 2017 by xi'an

There is [also] an opening for a Lecturer or Senior Lecture or Reader at the University of Bristol, with deadline 27th of November, 2017. The School of Mathematics and in particular the Institute for Statistical Science are quite active in research, with top rankings and a rich area of expertise domains, while [based on personal experience] the City of Bristol is a great place to live! (Details through the links.)

two positions at opposite ends of the map [openings]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2017 by xi'an

In the past days, I received emails about two openings in statistics, in the beautiful and attractive [if geographically opposed!] cities of Bath, Britain, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and in two great departments:

  • The Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Bath, UK is inviting applications for the posts of Professor of Statistics and Lecturer/Senior Lecture/Reader in Statistics. Deadline for application is Monday 16 October 2017.
  • The Department of Statistics at the University of British Columbia (UBC) invites applications from outstanding new investigators for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor. Computational Statistics is targeted as a priority area for the search. Deadline for application is November 1, 2017.

Midsummer dinner at Emmanuel College

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2017 by xi'an

It just so happened that I was in Cambridge for the Midsummer dinner last Saturday at Emmanuel College and that a good friend, who happens to be a Fellow of that College, invited me to the dinner. Making the second dinner in a Cambridge college in a week, after the workshop dinner at Trinity. Except the one at Emmanuel was a much more formal affair, with dress requirement (!) and elaborate dishes. The wines were also exceptional, with a remarkable 2002 Chassagne-Montrachet.While the dinning room (or whatever it is called) is beautiful, it is also rather noisy and I could not engage in conversation with anyone but my immediate neighbours, but still managed to have a fairly interesting exchange with a biologist studying skuas on the Faroe Islands. The end of the meal was announced by a loud clap and Graces in Latin, followed by cheese and port (and a fabulous Sauternes!, not in the wine list) in an equally beautiful room, where it was easier to talk with my neighbours. All in all, a unique evening and opportunity for a glimpse into College traditions! [And a first wine post for the 20th of the month!!]

after-dinner at Trinity [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by xi'an

at the Isaac Newton Institute

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2017 by xi'an