Archive for Paris

AstroDeep in Paris [postdoc position]

Posted in Kids, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on November 13, 2021 by xi'an

Here is a call for candidates to a postdoc on Bayesian machine learning methods for measuring weak gravitational lensing.  In downtown Paris. There is no application deadline, which means the earlier the application the better!

The candidate should hold a PhD in mathematics, computer science, physics/astrophysics or engineering. Candidates with either a scientific or technical background are welcome to apply. Prior experience in machine learning and Bayesian statistics would be an asset. Our group is committed to diversity and equality, and encourage applications from women and underrepresented minorities. We support a flexible and family-friendly work environment. The position includes an internationally competitive salary and generous travel budget. French language skills are not required. Applicants should send a CV and research statement, and arrange for three reference letters to be sent to the contact email address

Shoot the piano player

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on November 6, 2021 by xi'an

A few weeks ago, maybe after Belmondo’s death, I started watching Truffaut’s Shoot the piano player. With Aznavour as the piano player. While the setting of a 1960 Paris was fascinating, as it reminded me of scenes of my very early childhood, from clothing to cars, to people’s attitude, incl. when driving, and the beautiful black and white film, I soon gave up as I found the story absurd and the acting atrocious. I had not read David Goodis’ book, but hope it is better constructed than this excuse of scenario, where gangsters on the run start discussing marital bliss with perfect strangers, and kidnapped exchange with kidnappers about the eternal woman… While Aznavour seems to be made of wood. Given Truffaut’s talent as a film-maker, all this deconstructionism is presumably intentional (as he later told, “”the idea behind Le Pianiste was to make a film without a subject”). But not fun. Except for the scene when (singer and mathematician) Bobby Lapointe sings some of his most famous songs. Which are subtitled by Truffaut, despite being sung in (fast) French.

17 octobre 1961 [memory of a massacre]

Posted in pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2021 by xi'an

`Paris is in anarchy’ [cycle woes]

Posted in Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2021 by xi'an

An overblown view of the cycling war in Paris, from New York! I read with amusement the report on how Xing a Parisian street is a matter of life or death, when anarclists go through red lights while shouting at pedestrians… Actually, the figures show that the number of accidents involving cyclists (as victims or culprits) has only gone up by 30% when the traffic has increased by 70%. And I could not find an online trace of a pedestrian killed by a cyclist over the past years. Based on my weekly 130 kilometer biking average, mostly to and from Paris Dauphine, I do not perceive a major tension between pedestrians and cyclists, maybe because I am not entering the centre of town (and give priority to pedestrians at both green and red lights). The danger in my experience comes rather from other cyclists’ unpredictable paths, (psychopath) mopeds that run on cycle paths, and cars turning right without checking for bicycles. But I concur with the point made in this article of a poor network of cycle paths, with too many discontinuities, bad surface, inexistent maintenance (esp. in winter months when wet leaves accumulate there and all year long for broken glass and metal parts), and the deadly pavés! Which are unpleasant for road bikes (ask the Paris-Roubaix runners!), slippery, esp. when frosted (speaking from experience), and damaging to tubes and ties. As it happens, I have had thee tube punctures over the three past weeks, two of which were due to running over a particularly uneven pavé or entering a cycle path with a very high step. (And a total of six since April. Making me reconsider using an heavier mountain bike instead. After switching unsuccessfully to anti-puncture road tyres…)

rope tricks

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on October 2, 2021 by xi'an

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