Archive for Ganges

India snapshot (#19)

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , on January 11, 2013 by xi'an

monkey on the steps of Assi Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi, Jan. 6, 2013This monkey came right behind me when I was taking pictures of another group of monkeys, presumably looking for pilfering opportunities. When I turned, it took this pose, as if it was not in the least interested in me!

ISBA Regional Meeting in Varanasi (day 2)

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2013 by xi'an

boats on the Ganges from a Varanasi ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Jan. 6, 2013A second full day at the ISBA meeting in Varanasi: I attended a non-parametric session with Sonia Petrone talking about mixtures of regressions (more precisely, piecewise linear functions) and Ramses Mena defining stationary processes via a Gibbs-like construction (which I would have liked to have more time to fully understand). Then Jamie Robbins gave a talk related to the paradox raised by Robbins and Ritov and discussed recently by Chris Sims. (Jamie asked for my opinion at the end of the talk, but I had none, considering the problem to be more of an epiphenomenon than a genuine statistical difficulty… I may comment more on this question later, almost feel compelled to by Jamie’s interpelation, but I had not much to say at this stage! It sounds like another of those infinite dimensional problems where the Bayesian solution can get stranded.) I then attended Murray Aitkin’s talk, where he reanalysed the Berkof et al. (2003) dataset using his integrated likelihood. The afternoon was a succession of plenary talks by Susie Bayarri, Fabrizio Ruggeri and Peter Muller. (It could have been called the afternoon of the ISBA past-presidents, as I also talked in this series!) Susie introduced a new notion of effective sample size, call TESS, not in the importance sampling sense of independent-sample-equivalent used in simulation, but in the model comparison sense of information criterion penalising and prior scaling factor. This was the first time I heard about this notion and I found it definitely worth pursuing, in particular in search of a connection with the g-prior. (Nice name too!, connecting to a great book with a quote from Hardy about Tess being the victim of her beauty…) The day ended with a group excursion on boats up the Ganges for attending the sunset (Ganga Aarti, आरती) ceremony at Dasaswamedh Ghat, a ceremony that remained rather esoteric [for me] without the proper explanation.

Bayesian conference in वाराणसी

Posted in Mountains, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2011 by xi'an

Following a successful meeting in 2005, the DST Centre for Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences, at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, is organizing an ISBA Regional Meeting on January 06-10, 2013.  This is in almost two years from now, but it is worth advertising that early. (Besides, given the heavy traffic to and from India at this time of the year, plane tickets should be booked well in advance if not that in advance!) I have been kindly invited to this conference and I definitely plan to attend. Not only the previous program was quite exciting, but this is also the ‘city of temples’ and of ghats along the Ganges, and a place of pilgrimage for Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. Plus, this is certainly the place for a Bayesian conference that is the closest to the Himalayas!

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