Archive for ISBA 2020

[o-l] ISBA 2021 [百花齊放,百家爭鳴]

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2021 by xi'an

As usual, when looking for our ISBA World conference, ISBA [now] 2021, many alternative realities emerge, ISBA being such a popular acronym! The actual dates for the (true and only) ISBA 2021 conference are 28 June – 02 July and the location is no longer Kunming, China, since there is a pandemic going on!!! The conference is now on-line, which forces a complete rethinking of its organisation, away from a sheer replica on Zoom of the traditional conference. And with no registration fees!! I have agreed to join other ISBA members to contribute (with limited abilities) to this switch and obviously welcome comments towards it! Having greatly learned from the earlier experience with the One World Bernoulli+IMS conference last summer, thanks to the dedication and imagination of Leif Döring!, here are some line of thought:

  • Keep in mind days are 24 hours long and attention span much smaller, towards keeping the offer manageable for a fully engaged participant
  • Account and take advantage of the multiple time zones available to virtual participants to stretch the schedule to cover as many participants as possible, with a potential multiplication of (plenary) talks and posters
  • Avoid filling the on-line schedule with live talks but have them pre-registered, possibly with several levels of length and depth, including a one-slide two-minute version
  • Exploit on-line abilities to focus solely (?) on interactions, which is the main point of conferences, meaning participants joining for a thematic session over a reasonable duration to discuss talks or posters they had attended on their own before, with a catalyst leading the show with prepared questions
  • Preregister poster presentations as well, so that live poster sessions involve only questions and discussions, and group poster by theme (an attempt of mine at the earlier ISBA conferences) so that presenters and visitors can interact at the theme level rather than being stuck in an empty room with one’s poster
  • Create local mirrors when people could physically (safely!) gather to attend the conference, from watching videos and poster together to engage into a local plus virtual discussion during interaction sessions. I certainly plan to hold one such session in Paris [if there and not in Eindhoven on 28 June – 02 July]
  • Find ways to engage participants to fully commit to the conference (see above), for instance by preparing a “I am away at ISBA 2021” card one could post on whatever social or asocial networks one favours (but maybe not as one’s vacation email automated reply, unless the card is a few bytes…)

a journal of the plague year [mo’vember reviews]

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2020 by xi'an

Read a short manifest [in French], Décarcérer [Uncarcerate] written by Sylvain Lhuissier about the uselessness of the carceral system and the potential alternatives. Much easier to read than Foucault’s Surveiller et Punir, obviously, but the author is also an actor in the construction of such alternatives in France. Most interestingly, he points out that the arrival of the COVID pandemic, with overpopulated prisons being obvious hotspots, led to an almost instantaneous reduction of the carceral population thus brought below its nominal capacity, without a ensuing explosion in criminal activities.

Made a few jars of green tomato marmalade, as there were a few left when I cleaned my vegetable patch. With little sugar and some peppers to stand between marmalade and chutney. And found a bakery cooking kouignou amman almost on my bike path, although the calories input they provide would require a much longer détour..! And also had a long discussion (at a safe distance) with a tea dealer, who made me taste a unique white Pu Ehr from Laos. She also had many tips on Kunming (even though it sounds less and less likely ISBA 2020 will take place there.)

Read a touching novel [in French] by Akira Mizubayashi, Âme brisée [Broken soul], a moving story around music, deracination, lutherie, childhood memories, travelling between France, Japan and China. (Judging from the summaries of his other books, the themes sound central to the author’s work.) 

Watched a few episodes of The Magicians (although Season 1 came out in… 2015!), although I had not much enjoyed the book (volume 1). And found them an improvement, considerably so, with most characters having enough of a depth and flaws aplenty to compensate for the still terrible plot with its Narnia-esque hidden universe. The central characters Quentin and Alice are pleasantly making themselves quite antipathetic. But the inherent dependence on the weak book plot, a growing boredom (and the terrifying perspective of an enormous number of episodes!) made me stop from pursuing the experiment!

sustainable workshops and conferences

Posted in Kids, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2020 by xi'an

The current uncertainty about whether or not ISBA 2020 will take place (and where it will take place), along with a recent Nature article and a discussion in the common room of the Department of Statistics at Warwick, lead me to renew the call for a more sustainable form of conferencing. By creating a network of local havens or a garland of local magnets (competition open for a catchy “x of local y” denomination) attracting people in the area to gather together, attend some of the video-ed talks in the other knots, and add their own local activities, from talks to collaborative brainstorming. Obviously, this requires additional planning and some technical details, but it should become a habit rather than the exception. ABC in Grenoble is thinking about it, let me know if you are interesting in creating a local image of the workshop.

new news about ISBA2020

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , on January 29, 2020 by xi'an

Dear ISBA Members,

As you probably are all aware now that there is a coronavirus epidemic going around in China, impacting most severely Hubei province but all provinces in China have been affected to various extents. Expectedly there are concerns among the community regarding attending the ISBA World Meeting in China in late June.

We are keeping a close eye on the development. While at this point we are cautiously optimistic that the epidemic will not last till June, both as a result of the extraordinary measure that China is taking to contain the spread, and as cold-like coronaviruses generally don’t spread effectively as temperature rises in spring. However, we want to stay cautious and keep options open, and will take the necessary actions to ensure the health and safety of our community.

As of now, after discussing with the ISBA executives and the local organizers, we have decided to

1. Extend the Early Registration Deadline from April 15 to May 15, allowing the prospective participants to have more time to observe the development.

2. Keep the submission for Contributed Posters open till the new Early Registration Deadline May 15.

3. Keep you all updated should there be any changes in the plan of the meeting. In particular, if in the next couple of months the epidemic is not contained, and thus there will be health risk to the community in participating in the meeting, we will consider alternatives such as postponing the World Meeting.

If you were considering submitting a Contributed Talk and/or Travel award application by the deadline Jan 31, please still do so as the Scientific Committee will need sufficient time to evaluate those submissions.

Thank you all again for your support to the meeting and ISBA.

We hope that the epidemic will be contained quickly and we will still be able to see you all in Kunming!

Best Regards,
Li Ma, on behalf of the ISBA2020 Scientific Committee

ISBA2020 program

Posted in Kids, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2020 by xi'an

The scheduled program for ISBA 2020 is now on-line. And full of exciting sessions, many with computational focus. With dear hopes that the nCo-2019 epidemics will have abated by then (and not solely for the sake of the conference, most obviously!). While early registration ends by 15 April, the deadline for junior travel support ends up this month. And so does the deadline for contributions.