Archive for University of Victoria

Wilfred Keith Hastings [1930-2016]

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2016 by xi'an

A few days ago I found on the page Jeff Rosenthal has dedicated to Hastings that he has passed away peacefully on May 13, 2016 in Victoria, British Columbia, where he lived for 45 years as a professor at the University of Victoria. After holding positions at University of Toronto, University of Canterbury (New Zealand), and Bell Labs (New Jersey). As pointed out by Jeff, Hastings’ main paper is his 1970 Biometrika description of Markov chain Monte Carlo methods, Monte Carlo sampling methods using Markov chains and their applications. Which would take close to twenty years to become known to the statistics world at large, although you can trace a path through Peskun (his only PhD student) , Besag and others. I am sorry it took so long to come to my knowledge and also sorry it apparently went unnoticed by most of the computational statistics community.

Dragontail

Posted in Mountains, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , on July 31, 2010 by xi'an

Before leaving for Vancouver, I just bough this pair of Garmont dragontail approach shoes. They will hopefully prove useful in the approach walk to the Smoke Bluffs in Squamish today, where I plan to go climbing with Julien (once again with a brand new 10mm Mammut rope), weather and shape (15 hours of travelling) permitting… And later on the trails in Yosemite (no climbing there, I am afraid!).

Actually, the flight to Vancouver was packed, which means I could not even open my macbook… So I looked instead at the translation of Introducing Monte Carlo Methods with R into French, read the Economist from start till end (with an interesting discussion on the impact of fast-speed trains on freight transportation!), slept, watched the incredible landscape of Greenland with its immense icefields and deep red striated rock formations, and started an Icelandic crime novel. Plus talked with my neighbour of arithmetic Monte Carlo as  I saw him proving a theorem about commutative algebra: he happened to be a professor in computer science at the University of Victoria. The Bose earphones did marvel to cancel the engine noise in the plane, if not the screams of the kids in the next row…