Archive for Italy

MCMC postdoc positions at Bocconi

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2023 by xi'an

[A call for postdoc candidates to work in Milano with Giacomo Zanella in the coming years under ERC funding. In case you are interested with a postdoctoral position with me at Paris Dauphine on multi-agent decision-making, data sharing, and fusion algorithms, do not hesitate to contact me, the official call for applications should come up soon!]

Three postdoc positions available at Bocconi University (Milan, Italy), under the supervision of Giacomo Zanella and funded by the ERC Starting Grant “Provable Scalability for high-dimensional Bayesian Learning”. Details and links to apply available online.

The deadline for application is 28/02/2023 and the planned starting date is 01/05/2023 (with some flexibility). Initial contracts are for 1 year and are extendable for further years under mutual agreement.

Candidates will conduct research on computational aspects of statistical and machine learning methods, with a particular focus on Bayesian methodologies. The research activity, both in terms of specific topic and research approach, can adapt to the profile and interests of the successful candidates. Beyond working with the supervisor and coauthors on topics related to the grant project (see here and there for more details on the research topics of the supervisor and grant project), candidates will get the chance to interact with various faculty members, postdocs and PhD students of the Stats&ML group at Bocconi (see e.g. researchers at Bocconi).

Interested candidates can write to giacomo zanella at unibocconi for more information about the positions.

All about that [Detective] Bayes [seminar]

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2023 by xi'an
On 10 January 2023, at 14:00, Campus Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Université), Room 15.16-309, an All about that Bayes seminar presentation by Daniele Durante, visiting Paris Dauphine this month:

Daniele Durante (Bocconi University) – Detective Bayes: Bayesian nonparametric stochastic block modeling of criminal networks

Europol recently defined criminal networks as a modern version of the Hydra mythological creature, with covert structure and multifaceted evolutions. Indeed, relationships data among criminals are subject to measurement errors, structured missingness patterns, and exhibit a complex combination of an unknown number of core-periphery, assortative and disassortative structures that may encode key architectures of the criminal organization. The coexistence of these noisy block patterns limits the reliability of community detection algorithms routinely-used in criminology, thereby leading to overly-simplified and possibly biased reconstructions of organized crime topologies. In this seminar, I will present a number of model-based solutions which aim at covering these gaps via a combination of stochastic block models and priors for random partitions arising from Bayesian nonparametrics. These include Gibbs-type priors, and random partition priors driven by the urn scheme of a hierarchical normalized completely random measure. Product-partition models to incorporate criminals’ attributes, and zero-inflated Poisson representations accounting for weighted edges and secrecy strategies, will be also discussed. Collapsed Gibbs samplers for posterior computation are presented, and refined strategies for estimation, prediction, uncertainty quantification and model selection will be outlined. Results are illustrated in an application to an Italian Mafia network, where the proposed models unveil a structure of the criminal organization mostly hidden to state-of-the-art alternatives routinely used in criminology. I will conclude the seminar with ideas on how to learn the evolutionary history of the criminal organization from the relationship data among its criminals via a novel combination of latent space models for network data and phylogenetic trees.

more threats on reproductive rights

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2022 by xi'an

Despite the slightly positive attitude of the US electorate during the midterms towards abortion and reproductive rights, especially concerning ballots specifically targeting those rights, these elections did not see a shift in the States already suppressing these rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Incl. ten States where abortion is completely prohibited. And, unsatisfied with the outcome, US Catholic bishops have reinforced their anti-abortion activism with the election of Archbishop Broglio, under the newspeak slogan of fighting “an uncompromising secularism” [sic] even though the Supreme Court is so much bent in implementing a Catholic agenda. Most revealingly, they “worried that many Catholics actually support abortion rights under certain circumstances“. (Next they will think for themselves!)

Meanwhile, the far-right  National Front proposed to enshrine the right to abortion into the French constitution, incl. the current limitation to 14 weeks into pregnancy. This sounds most paradoxical from a party that has long been opposed to abortion rights. A first reason is to block in the near future any extension of the limitation. A second one is to protect and enlarge the conscience clause that protects practicians who refuse to perform abortions, clause that can be used to prohibit in practice abortions in an entire city or district if all local doctors claim this exemption (as exemplified by Italy)… The attempt was however short-cut at the eleventh hour by the [almost] entire Parliament moving towards this inclusion of the right to abortion without the snares planned by the far-right party. (But it is no over yet!)

inferring the number of components [remotely]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2022 by xi'an

keep meetings hybrid

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2022 by xi'an

I was reading the latest ISBA Bulletin and the tribune by ISBA President Sudipto Banerjee celebrating the return to the physical ISBA World meeting, along with worries about participants who caught COVID there. (Unfortunately, one good friend of mine experienced symptoms that went beyond the mild cold-like ones I zoomed through a few days ago.) This particular issue of creating a COVID cluster [during coffee breaks?!] provides [me with] one further argument for my supporting hybrid and multimodal meetings on a general basis. Which should [imho] appear in the proposals for the 2026 and 2028 World Meetings (deadline on 31 October)…(The 2024 meeting in Venezia will certainly involve hybridicity! As will BayesComp in Levi.) Discussing the topic with others in some scientific committees recently made me realise this was not such a shared perspective, from reasons varying from worrying about balancing the budget, to zoom fatigue, to the added value of informal interactions. Still, there also are reasons for hybridising our meetings, from reduced travel impact, to more inclusiveness,  on geographical, diversity, affordability, seniority grounds. Holding hybrid conferences with multiple regional mirrors allows for a potentially higher degree of interaction and local input.  And a minimal organisational effort.

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