Archive for Long Beach

Stein’s method in machine learning [workshop]

Posted in pictures, Running, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2019 by xi'an

There will be an ICML workshop on Stein’s method in machine learning & statistics, next July 14 or 15, located in Long Beach, CA. Organised by François-Xavier Briol (formerly Warwick), Lester Mckey, Chris Oates (formerly Warwick), Qiang Liu, and Larry Golstein. To quote from the webpage of the workshop

Stein’s method is a technique from probability theory for bounding the distance between probability measures using differential and difference operators. Although the method was initially designed as a technique for proving central limit theorems, it has recently caught the attention of the machine learning (ML) community and has been used for a variety of practical tasks. Recent applications include goodness-of-fit testing, generative modeling, global non-convex optimisation, variational inference, de novo sampling, constructing powerful control variates for Monte Carlo variance reduction, and measuring the quality of Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms.

Speakers include Anima Anandkumar, Lawrence Carin, Louis Chen, Andrew Duncan, Arthur Gretton, and Susan Holmes. I am quite sorry to miss two workshops dedicated to Stein’s work in a row, the other one being at NUS, Singapore, around the Stein paradox.

beach walk in the fog [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2018 by xi'an

Dexter on stage

Posted in Kids, Travel with tags , , , on August 29, 2010 by xi'an

Staying “near” Hollywood (in Long Beach) has some unpredictable rewards: we had the pleasant surprise on the last and final day of our vacations to see a filming crew invade the street where we were staying and setting up the stage for filming an accident scene of the [gory] TV-show Dexter, which is a favourite of my son’s. The crew arrived fairly early while I was out running and we had been warned the day before to move our car to a back street. My kids had a great morning watching the preparation of the street, 20m from our house, and then the various filming stages, culminating with the arrival of Michael C. Hall who is playing Dexter (and who waived at them when parking in from of our rental place, presumably making those last hours the most memorable ones of their vacations, while Yosemite was undoubtedly the lowest time!). Here are a few pictures they took during the whole occurence. (The trucks appearing in the show  all mention Miami as this is where the action is taking place.)

While I did not watch the process for very long, catching the opportunity to work peacefully on the translation, I was rather surprised by the static nature of the game. The two cars involved in the accident were brought on a truck, the crash most likely taking place in a studio, and the aftermath of the accident did not seem to fill that much time in the show, despite requiring a full day of work…