## Hugo Awards 2021

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2021 by xi'an

Martha Wells received another Hugo Award this year for the fifth installment, Network Effect,  which I enjoyed as much as the earlier ones. And yet another one for the entire series! A radically new translation [or rather a retelling] of the epic and Old English poem Beowulf translated by Maria Headley also won the best related work Award. (Tolkien wrote a modern version of the poem in 1926.) With the Old Guard being (disappointingly!, imho) the recipient of the best film.

## Le Monde puzzle [#1078]

Posted in Books, Kids, R with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2018 by xi'an

Recalling Le Monde mathematical puzzle  first competition problem

Given yay/nay answers to the three following questions about the integer 13≤n≤1300 (i) is the integer n less than 500? (ii) is n a perfect square? (iii) is n a perfect cube?  n cannot be determined, but it is certain that any answer to the fourth question (iv) are all digits of n distinct? allows to identify n. What is n if the answer provided for (ii) was false.

When looking at perfect squares less than 1300 (33) and perfect cubes less than 1300 (8), there exists one single common integer less than 500 (64) and one single above (729). Hence, it is not possible that answers to (ii) and (iii) are both positive, since the final (iv) would then be unnecessary. If the answer to (ii) is negative and the answer to (iii) is positive, it would mean that the value of n is either 512 or 10³ depending on the answer to (i), excluding numbers below 500 since there is no unicity even after (iv). When switching to a positive answer to (ii), this produces 729 as the puzzle solution.

Incidentally, while Amic, Robin, and I finished among the 25 ex-aequos of the competition, none of us reached the subsidiary maximal number of points to become the overall winner. It may be that I will attend the reward ceremony at Musée des Arts et Métiers next Sunday.

## Abel Prize goes to Yves Meyer

Posted in Books, pictures, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2017 by xi'an

Just heard the great news that the Abel Prize for 2017 goes to Yves Meyer! Yves Meyer is an emeritus professor at École Normale de Cachan and has produced fundamental contributions to number theory, operator theory and harmonic analysis. He is one of the originators of the theory of wavelets and multiresolution analysis. Among other recognitions and prizes, he was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians in 1970 (Nice), in 1983 (Warsaw), and in 1990 (Kyoto), and was awarded the Gauß Prize in 2010. Congratulations and total respect to Yves Meyer!!!

## Pitman medal for Kerrie Mengersen

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2016 by xi'an

My friend and co-author of many years, Kerrie Mengersen, just received the 2016 Pitman Medal, which is the prize of the Statistical Society of Australia. Congratulations to Kerrie for a well-deserved reward of her massive contributions to Australian, Bayesian, computational, modelling statistics, and to data science as a whole. (In case you wonder about the picture above, she has not yet lost the medal, but is instead looking for jaguars in the Amazon.)

This medal is named after EJG Pitman, Australian probabilist and statistician, whose name is attached to an estimator, a lemma, a measure of efficiency, a test, and a measure of comparison between estimators. His estimator is the best equivariant (or invariant) estimator, which can be expressed as a Bayes estimator under the relevant right Haar measure, despite having no Bayesian motivation to start with. His lemma is the Pitman-Koopman-Darmois lemma, which states that outside exponential families, sufficient is essentially useless (except for exotic distributions like the Uniform distributions). Darmois published the result first in 1935, but in French in the Comptes Rendus de l’Académie des Sciences. And the measure of comparison is Pitman nearness or closeness, on which I wrote a paper with my friends Gene Hwang and Bill Strawderman, paper that we thought was the final paper on the measure as it was pointing out several majors deficiencies with this concept. But the literature continued to grow after that..!

## ISBA prizes

Posted in Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on May 4, 2011 by xi'an

Starting this year, the Savage, DeGroot, and Mitchell Prizes awarded by ISBA have a submission deadline of May 31. Given the rather short notice, this means that less people will apply for the 2011 version of those prizes. Hence higher probabilities of winning! Note that, for the Savage award, all Ph.D. theses that have not yet been submitted, no matter how old they are, are eligible. (Note: I have just re-typed this entry as it seems the earlier version had another coding error!)