Archive for Université Paris Dauphine

All about that [Detective] Bayes [seminar]

Posted in Books, Statistics, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2023 by xi'an
On 10 January 2023, at 14:00, Campus Pierre et Marie Curie (Sorbonne Université), Room 15.16-309, an All about that Bayes seminar presentation by Daniele Durante, visiting Paris Dauphine this month:

Daniele Durante (Bocconi University) – Detective Bayes: Bayesian nonparametric stochastic block modeling of criminal networks

Europol recently defined criminal networks as a modern version of the Hydra mythological creature, with covert structure and multifaceted evolutions. Indeed, relationships data among criminals are subject to measurement errors, structured missingness patterns, and exhibit a complex combination of an unknown number of core-periphery, assortative and disassortative structures that may encode key architectures of the criminal organization. The coexistence of these noisy block patterns limits the reliability of community detection algorithms routinely-used in criminology, thereby leading to overly-simplified and possibly biased reconstructions of organized crime topologies. In this seminar, I will present a number of model-based solutions which aim at covering these gaps via a combination of stochastic block models and priors for random partitions arising from Bayesian nonparametrics. These include Gibbs-type priors, and random partition priors driven by the urn scheme of a hierarchical normalized completely random measure. Product-partition models to incorporate criminals’ attributes, and zero-inflated Poisson representations accounting for weighted edges and secrecy strategies, will be also discussed. Collapsed Gibbs samplers for posterior computation are presented, and refined strategies for estimation, prediction, uncertainty quantification and model selection will be outlined. Results are illustrated in an application to an Italian Mafia network, where the proposed models unveil a structure of the criminal organization mostly hidden to state-of-the-art alternatives routinely used in criminology. I will conclude the seminar with ideas on how to learn the evolutionary history of the criminal organization from the relationship data among its criminals via a novel combination of latent space models for network data and phylogenetic trees.

a spam in its own class

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2022 by xi'an

Dear Dr. Robert,

We would like to congratulate you on the selection of your topic for the ERC Synergy Grant 2022. We also find your approach “ – ” fundamentally exciting and wonder if you plan to use ultrafast wide tunable lasers as well.

Our multiple award-winning laser system is precisely designed for science and has already enabled many papers. Our USP, besides the flexibility and the spectrum capabilities, is the high stability in terms of power, reproducibility and reliability. You can find a first overview here.

If this is interesting for you, we would like to hear about the possible application in a short video call to evaluate fairly and transparently whether our system can fit. Otherwise, if this is not of interest to you, we will not press you further on this.

We are looking forward to your feedback. Either way, we wish you and your Université Paris Dauphine – PSL much success.

Kind regards,


postdoc shortage

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2022 by xi'an

An interesting tribune in Nature (30 August) about the difficulty in hiring postdocs… I myself faced this difficulty in the recent years but though it was mostly due to unattractive French salaries and working conditions, or COVID issues (or myself!). Nature mentions politics, economics, ethics, and personal priorities as main reasons for the postdoctoral drought. In Britain, Brexit is definitely a central factor as candidates face enormous bills to secure entry to the United Kingdom (as Hai-Dang Dau, now in Oxford, was explaining to us after his successful PhD defense at ENSAE-CREST this morning). But more globally this may reflect a general exodus from academia towards company jobs, and their much more attractive salaries. Especially in STEM where Amazon and buddies created a new definition of “dream jobs”… Anyway,  I still have a prAirie postdoc position open in Paris Dauphine and the new PariSanté campus provides a great working environment, so feel free to contact me!

new campus

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2022 by xi'an

While I am keeping my office at Porte Dauphine, undergoing major renovations (of the 1955 NATO building!), I am now spending most of my time in a more modern campus, called PariSanté, located at Porte de Versailles, with medical research teams and startups. This is where our master MASH will be located. The place is very luminous and despite the close proximity with the Paris beltway (le périf’), quiet (and much quieter than Paris Dauphine). It is also an ecological absurdity, with a huge sunroof that could not be shaded during the heat waves, plastic trees, self-induced lights, and compulsory lifts. On the memory lane, it is a trip back 35 years ago, as it sits across the road from the Balard military compound where I spent most of my military service in 1987 (working on my PhD in a research department).  And it is conveniently located half-way between home and Paris Dauphine, although not skipping the tough hill of Porte de Versailles on the way back..!

new bike

Posted in Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on August 28, 2022 by xi'an

My university, Paris Dauphine, has recently introduced some support for its cycling staff as a substitute for the compulsory support for public transportation costs. Meaning reimbursing part of the cost of buying a new bike over two years. After one too many trip to the bike repair shop, I thus started looking for a sturdy enough gravel-like) bike with disk brakes (that did not need changing every three weeks!) to handle the Paris cobbles and saw this Trek Domane on sale at the (same) shop, which I bought when returning from Québec. After a few weeks of using it (solely) between home and campus, never to go shopping or swimming!, I am definitely appreciating the comfort and efficiency of this new bike! Hopefully, this will last over the Fall, despite worsening conditions in weather and traffic!

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