Archive for Université de Paris

Statistical Demography by Adrian Raftery [lectures]

Posted in Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , on September 27, 2021 by xi'an

ring of fire [jatp]

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2021 by xi'an

While leisurely biking in Paris the previous (grey) weekend, my wife and I stopped by the entrance to the Jardin des Plantes, in front of a (grey) renovated building of l’Institut de physique du globe, where we both attended (maths) lectures in the 1980’s. I had noticed the renovation years ago and in particular the red neon fractured line going over the faces of the building, but never considered it had a specific meaning.In fact, the apparent random walk has nothing random as it reproduces the Ring of Fire, a Fuller projection of the continuum of volcanoes that ring the Pacific Ocean. (This sculpture was created by Angela Detanico et Rafael Lain.)

Jean-Paul Benzécri (1932-2019)

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2019 by xi'an

I learned last weekend that Jean-Paul Benzécri had died earlier in the week. He was a leading and charismatic figure of the French renewal in data analysis (or analyse des données) that used mostly algebraic tools to analyse large datasets, while staying as far as possible from the strong abstraction of French statistics at that time. While I did not know him on a personal basis, I remember from my lecturer years there that he used to come to Institut de Statistique de l’Université de Paris (ISUP), Université Pierre et Marie Curie, once a week and meet with a large group of younger statisticians, students and junior faculty, and then talk to them for long hours while walking back and forth along the corridor in Jussieu. Showing extreme dedication from the group as this windowless corridor was particularly ghastly! (I also remember less fondly hours spent over piles and piles of SAS printout trying to make sense of multiple graphs of projections produced by these algebraic methods and feeling there were too many degrees of freedom for them to feel rigorous enough.)

poverty of medieval students

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , on March 11, 2017 by xi'an

enclosure of the "new" court, St John's College, Cambridge, Jan. 27, 2012While waiting for a new staff card in the Human Resources building at the University of Warwick, I browsed through a THE issue and came upon this rather bizarre article by Jack Grove, reporting on a scholarly paper on the tuition and living fees of medieval students, i.e. around the 14th and 15th centuries in Britain, France, or Italy [which did not exist at the time]. Bizarre in that it seemed obvious to me that education in the Middle Ages was severely restricted to a tiny margin of the society…

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