Archive for Philadelphia

Smooth plane ride

Posted in Travel with tags , , on December 15, 2010 by xi'an

The Delta flight from Paris to Philadelphia was a mix of new and old, of highs and downs, with an exit seat (doubly exit in that I was first out of the plane and through custom!), a plug for my computer and free wireless connection (a first!), and, on the down side, an old-fashioned plane and crew, terrible food, worst-ever tea that tasted like dish-washing water and a flight attendant wishing us “enjoy!” each time she was pouring water… Since we arrived one hour earlier and I reached my hotel next to Wharton before the scheduled landing time, I should not complain, however..

Back to Philly

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by xi'an

Today and tomorrow, I am attending a conference in Wharton in honour of Larry Brown for his 70th birthday. I met Larry in 1988 when visiting Cornell for the year—even using his office in the Math department while he was away on a sabbatical leave—and it really does not feel like that long ago, nor does it feel like Larry is any close to 70 as he looks essentially the same as 22 years ago! The conference is reflecting Larry’s broad range of research from decision-theory and nonparametrics to data analysis. I am thus very glad to celebrate Larry’s birthday with a whole crowd of old and more recent friends. (My talk on Rao-Blackwellisation will be quite similar to the seminar I gave in Stanford last summer [except that I have to talk twice as fast!])

Weird jetlag

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , on November 14, 2010 by xi'an

While in Philadelphia, I tried to keep on French time (to avoid jetlag on my way back) by waking up between 2am and 3am every morning. This worked out quite well (and gave me an additional window for efficient study!). However, since I am back, I have been faced with the weird phenomenon that I wake up at 2:40am every morning and cannot go back to sleep! This is quite annoying and had never occurred previously. Maybe my brain got somehow so wired to this “emergency wake-up call” before 3 that it needs time to erase it!

Looking back

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , on November 5, 2010 by xi'an

This extended week in the department of Statistics at Wharton has been quite fruitful for me! Partly due to the extra four hours of work I was getting every night by remaining (almost) on French time, partly due to the warm welcome I received from the department, partly due to having to prepare this course on likelihood-free methods and rethinking about the fundamentals (the abc?!) of ABC (and partly due to resisting buying Towers of Midnight on Tuesday morning at dawn!). The feedback I got during the course, mostly from Wharton faculty, was invaluable and I also appreciated the invitation to chat with the students at the lunch student seminar about my research experience (although it must have been mostly boring for them!) It was also a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends of more than 20 years… In short, a great “working vacation”!

Philadelphia skyline [9 & last]

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , on November 4, 2010 by xi'an

Philadelphia skyline [8]

Posted in pictures with tags on November 3, 2010 by xi'an

Philadelphia skyline [7]

Posted in pictures with tags on November 2, 2010 by xi'an