Archive for Springer-Verlag

solution manual for Bayesian Essentials with R

Posted in Books, Kids, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2015 by xi'an

The solution manual to our Bayesian Essentials with R has just been arXived. If I link this completion with the publication date of the book itself, it sure took an unreasonable time to come out and sadly with no obvious reason or even less justification for the delay… Given the large overlap with the solution manual of the previous edition, Bayesian Core, this version should have been completed much much earlier but, paradoxically if in-line with the lengthy completion of the book istelf, this previous manual is one of the causes for the delay, as we thought the overlap allowed for self-study readers to check some of the exercises. Prodded by Hannah Bracken from Springer-Verlag, and unable to hire an assistant towards this task, I eventually decided to spend the few days required to clean up this solution manual, with the unintentional help from my sorry excuse for an Internet provider who accidentally cutting my home connection for a whole week so far…!

solmanIn the course of writing solutions, I stumbled upon one inexplicably worded exercise about the Lemer-Schur algorithm for testing stationarity, exercise that I had to rewrite from scratch. Apologies to any reader of Bayesian Essentials with R getting stuck on that exercise!!!

STEM forums

Posted in Books, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2014 by xi'an

“I can calculate the movement of stars, but not the madness of men.” Isaac Newton

When visiting the exhibition hall at JSM 2014, I spoke with people from STEM forums on the Springer booth. The concept of STEM (why STEM? Nothing to do with STAN! Nor directly with Biology. It stands as the accronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.) is to create a sort of peer-reviewed Cross Validated where questions would be filtered (in order to avoid the most basic questions like “How can I learn about Bayesian statistics without opening a book?” or “What is the Binomial distribution?” that often clutter the Stack Exchange boards). That’s an interesting approach which I will monitor in the future, as on the one hand, it would be nice to have a Statistics forum without “lazy undergraduate” questions as one of my interlocutors put, and on the other hand, to see how STEM forums can compete with the well-established Cross Validated and its core of dedicated moderators and editors. I left the booth with a neat tee-shirt exhibiting the above quote as well as alpha-tester on the back: STEM forums is indeed calling for entries into the Statistics section, with rewards of ebooks for the first 250 entries and a sweepstakes offering a free trip to Seattle next year!

Bayesian essentials with R available on amazon

Posted in Books, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , on November 14, 2013 by xi'an

coverBayesian Essentials with R is now available both as an e-book and as a hardcover book on!

essential cover!

Posted in Books, R, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2013 by xi'an

coverOur book is nearly out..! The Springer webpage is ready, we have sent the proofs back, amazon is missing has now included the above picture, things are moving towards the publication date, supposed to be November 30. Just in time for Christmas! And not too early given that we packed off in early February…

Journal of Statistical Distributions and Applications

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , on April 18, 2013 by xi'an

I just got an email about a

*Springer* on a new *peer-reviewed, open access journal*

whose sole aim seems to generate more revenue for Springer. Indeed, papers published in this journal are charged $1025 each. Which is about the cost for a single subscription to the overpriced if scientifically excellent Statistics and Computing. (It takes a serious effort to discover the subscription rate of a Springer journal on their website!)

Indeed, I am quite surprised at a journal focussing on statistical distributions. What is a statistical distribution, exactly? The era when one would discover a new probability distribution in connection with a statistical estimation or testing problem and call it t, F, or Beta, seems long long gone! Just as gone as the production of statistical tables.  (This is also why I wrote such a negative review of The Handbook of Fitting Distributions.) The webpage of the journal indicates that

The scopes include, but are not limited to, development and study of statistical distributions, frequentist and Bayesian statistical inference including goodness-of-fit tests, statistical modeling, computational/simulation methods, and data analysis related to statistical distributions. Significant and well-written articles on theory and methods in areas of statistical distributions and their applications will be considered for publication.

but this sounds so broad as to cover almost any statistical paper. So I am wondering at the purpose of this journal, except as an experimentation in “open access” commercial journals that are fully supported by the authors, in essence making grants pay twice for research.

packed off!!!

Posted in Books, pictures, R, Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2013 by xi'an

La Défense, Paris, Feb. 04, 2013Deliverance!!! We have at last completed our book! Bayesian Essentials with R is off my desk! In a final nitty-gritty day of compiling and recompiling the R package bayess and the LaTeX file, we have reached versions that were in par with our expectations. The package has been submitted to CRAN (it has gone back and forth a few times, with requests to lower the computing time in the examples: each example should take less than 10s, then 5s…), then accepted by CRAN, incl. a Windows version, and the book has be sent to Springer-Verlag. This truly is a deliverance for me as this book project has been on my work horizon almost constantly for more than the past two years, led to exciting times in Luminy, Carnon and Berlin, has taken an heavy toll on my collaborations and research activities, and was slowly turning into a unsavoury chore! I am thus delighted Jean-Michel and I managed to close the door before any disastrous consequence on either the book or our friendship could develop. Bayesian Essentials with R is certainly an improvement compared with Bayesian Core, primarily by providing a direct access to the R code. We dearly hope it will attract a wider readership by reducing the mathematical requirements (even though some parts are still too involved for most undergraduates) and we will keep testing it with our own students in Montpellier and Paris over the coming months. In the meanwhile, I just enjoy this feeling of renewed freedom!!!

E&I review in Theory and Decision

Posted in Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , on March 16, 2012 by xi'an

A few days ago, while in Roma, I got the good news that my review of Error and Inference had been accepted by Theory and Decision. Great! Then today I got a second email asking me to connect to a Springer site entitled “Services for Authors” with the following message:

Dear Christian Robert!
Thank you for publishing your paper in one of Springer’s journals.

Article Title: Error and Inference: an outsider stand on a frequentist philosophy
Journal: Theory and Decision
DOI: 10.1007/s11238-012-9298-3

Make your Choice

In order to facilitate the production and publication of your article we need further information from you relating to:

  • Please indicate if you would like to publish your article as open access with Springer’s Open Choice option (by paying a publication fee or as a result of an agreement between your funder/institution and Springer). I acknowledge that publishing my article with open access costs € 2000 / US $3000 and that this choice is final and cannot be cancelled later.
  • Please transfer the copyright, if you do not publish your articles as open access.
  • Please indicate if you would like to have your figures printed in color.
  • Please indicate if you would like to order offprints. You have the opportunity to order a poster of your article against a fee of €50 per poster. The poster features the cover page of the issue your article is published in together with the article title and the names of all contributing authors.

Now I feel rather uncomfortable with the above options since I do not see why I should pay a huge amount 2000 € for having my work/review made again available. Since it is already freely accessible on arXiv. And it is only a book-review, for Gutenberg’s sake! Last year, we made our PNAS paper available as Open Access, but this was (a) cheaper and (b) an important result, or so we thought! The nice part of the message was that for once I did not have to sign and send back a paper copy of the copyright agreement as with so many journals and as if we still were in the 19th Century… (I do not see the point in the poster, though!)


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