Archive for ISBA conference

MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-8, 2014, Chamonix (news #15)

Posted in Mountains, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2013 by xi'an

The programs of the talks, posters and workshop are now printed and available on Speaker Deck (talks, posters, workshop). Please let me know if you spot anything wrong (even though it will not be reprinted!). This is presumably the last news item till Jan. 5 as I am almost off to Chamonix for a week of hard work preparing the conference happily skiing with my family, looking forward seeing some participants in the coming week in the streets of Chamonix and all of them/you on Monday, Jan. 6, 8:30! (Snow is falling right now, so there should be no issue with finding open runs…)

MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-8, 2014, Chamonix (news #14)

Posted in Mountains, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by xi'an

We are quite glad to announce that, thanks to the support of several publishers (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, Elsevier, and Springer-Verlag), there will be book prizes for both poster nights at MCMSki IV ! I was reminded of this possibility during O-Bayes 2013 and those publishers reacted both quickly and positively to my request (and so did the members of the juries). The list and abstracts of the 75 posters are available on the special blog. (It will not necessarily be provided on site so make sure to store it and bring it with you!)

Another thing of importance: if you have not booked your shuttle through the registration webpage, you have to find a private shuttle on your own. The doodles I set to monitor arrivals and departures did not fill up well enough to be of use. Once again, do not rely on taxis! Looking forward seeing the 200+ participants on January 06 in Chamonix, best Season Wishes!

And even though this is only of interest to locals, Nicolas and Robin have planned an “MCMSki decompression session” at the BiP seminar on 23rd January: MCMSki attendees will give a short presentation of a talk that they liked (or disliked?). Something to keep in mind during the conference. (Guest posts for the ‘Og are also invited from all participants.)

MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-9, 2014, Chamonix (news #13)

Posted in Mountains, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2013 by xi'an

Now, most poster abstracts have been received (or at least 63 of them),  even though newcomers can still send them to my wordpress address (if they realise the message gets posted immediately!, so the format Subject: firstname secondname (affiliation): title and text: abstract must be respected! No personal message or query please!). We have now above 200 registered participants, with all sessions remaining miraculously full (after a few permutations in the program).

S0 it is time to mention a wee bit of the “ski” side of MCMski. Chamonix has two types of ski passes, Chamonix Le Pass, and Mont Blanc Unlimited, the later allowing a wide access to the Mont Blanc area, up to 3800 meters and in France, Italy, and Switzerland, but presumably harder to exploit to the fullest on a 4 hour afternoon break. (You have to arrange renting skis and buying passes on your own! The conference centre may answer moderate queries but not make any booking.)  The temperature in the town of Chamonix is currently between -7 and 0 (centigrades), with ten centimetres of snow in town. All ski areas will be open by Dec. 21. If you plan to ski the Vallée Blanche from Aiguille du Midi, at 3800m, I strongly advise renting a guide for this ultimate skiing experience!

Big big big news: not only the ski race will take place on Wed., Jan. 08, afternoon, organised by ESF Chamonix, but Antonietta Mira managed to secure one or two pairs of skis for the winner(s) of the race! I doubt there will be other opportunities of that magnitude for winning a magnificent pair of skis made in Italy by Blossom skis. Thanks a lot to Anto!!! And to Blossom skis (whose collection includes a series called FreeTibet.)

MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-8, 2014, Chamonix (news #12)

Posted in Mountains, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 26, 2013 by xi'an

We are converging towards MCMSki IV getting closer and closer to the conference! I hope that by now all intended participants have registered (registration is still open!), found a place where to stay during and around the conference (still feasible!), and booked their flight to Geneva (or nearby).

First, please send me asap the  poster abstract to if you plan to present a poster. We are currently with 45 abstracts on my special wordpress blog and there is no deadline for sending your abstracts. Even though Jan. 07 may be a wee bit extreme….

Second, we are currently 195 registered participants. This is fantastic! I am looking forward this great company and do not expect to find free time to go skiing during the meeting! Note that there will be hardly any conference material, except for a single sheet with the program and rooms, so make sure to plan your session in advance. I also remind participants that the banquet is a paying option in the registration form. The cost is not included in the basic registration…

Third, make sure of your travel plans to and back from Chamonix. The airport in Geneva is 80 km away and you need to book a shuttle or a bus if your timing does not coincide with the two three shuttles (each way) available via the conference registration page. There are two doodles to monitor arrivals and departures, but hardly any entry so far. Not sure I can add any extra shuttle, but if there are enough of you… Check on the conference website for travel tips. And do not, I repeat do not!, consider booking a taxi at Geneva airport as an option, since they are extremely expensive. Horrendously so. (Both on the French and Swiss sides of the airport.)

MCMSki IV, Jan. 6-8, 2014, Chamonix (news #11)

Posted in Mountains, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2013 by xi'an

Now that the important deadline of October 15 for MCMSki IV is over,

First, thanks to the more that 160 participants who already registred! The audience is now larger than at any of the previous MCMSki meetings! (Obviously, from a statistical perspective, the comparison is somewhat unfair as running three parallel sessions instead of one single track session is bound to attract more participants, like the speakers themselves!) But it means a lot of people interacting with one another, sharing ideas and tricks at the coffee breaks. Fighting for restaurants and ski lifts. Exchanging stories and gossips at the poster session(s). Competing during the Richard Tweedie ski race. Sounds very exciting! And those who have not yet registered still have till mid December to do so (the only potential worry being a shortage of rooms available in town).

Second, 28 students and junior investigators have been awarded the young investigator travel support for some moderate amount of money toward travelling to Geneva and Chamonix. Thanks to ISBA and to SBSS (the Bayesian Statistical Science Section of the ASA) and to the BayesComp Section of ISBA for their financial support.

Third, let me repeat that poster presentations are not subject to a selection process and that anyone attending MCMSki IV should feel like presenting a poster at one of the two poster nights. There is still plenty of space and of opportunities for interactions and sound advices. Just send an abstract to ! See my special wordpress blog for the first deposits of abstracts.