Archive for LDS Church

Provo, Utah

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , on December 9, 2011 by xi'an

Prior to my attending WSC 2011 in Phoenix next Sunday, I was invited to give a seminar at Brigham Young University in Provo, by the department of Statistics. (This is a private religious university run by the LDS Church, named after of the founders. Students and faculty have to adhere to an “Honor Code” that prohibits, among other things, tea. As an illicit substance. Fortunately, this does not apply to visitors and I can keep drinking tea all night.) The surroundings of Provo are superb,  especially in the current crisp dry weather, the forefront of the Wasatch mountains being the actual Eastern boundary of the town. I hope to get some ice-climbing done today, as Provo is a great spot for doing this!

The visit to the department was very pleasant with a very warm welcome by all and a lot of interesting discussions. I gave my seminar on ABC model choice, using the slides already presented in Madrid last month:

which is quite appropriate given that one of the papers (about the limitations of ABC model choice) was conceived in Utah, early this year (at the MCMC’Ski conference). There were an amazing lot of graduate students in the audience and I hope I managed to get the message out to them, despite the heavy math part at the end. (I personally got a better understand of [A4] and of a way to rewrite it slightly more clearly. I also spotted a typo on mad(y) that should have been corrected weeks ago once Natesh had mentioned it!) Natalie Blades gave a very kind (if rather embarrassing!) intro to my talk and concluded with a “two truths and a lie” game with the audience, asking which one of three facts

  • I worked in a Camembert cheese factory
  • I played the trumpet in a French Navy band
  • I climbed Mont Blanc

was a lie. Producing a very interesting outcome!