Author: xi'an

el lector de cadaveres [book review]

El lector de cadaveres (the corpse reader) by Antonio Garrido (from Valencià) is an historical novel I picked before departing to Japan as the cover reminded me of van Gulik’s Judge Dee which I very enjoyed (until a terrible movie came out!). Although van Gulik apparently took the idea from a 18th-century Chinese detective crime […]

hiking the Kumano Kodo Nakahechi imperial route

The Kumano Kodo is a network of paths of pilgrimage towards places seen as sacred by either buddhists or shintoists (or syncretists!) from the 700’s. Meaning for non-believers a well-established system of ancient hiking paths in the mountainous forests of the Kii peninsula, south of Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. Apart from the potential dangers of […]

deadlines for BayesComp’2020

While I have forgotten to send a reminder that August 15 was the first deadline of BayesComp 2020 for the early registrations, here are further deadlines and dates BayesComp 2020 occurs on January 7-10 2020 in Gainesville, Florida, USA Registration is open with regular rates till October 14, 2019 Deadline for submission of poster proposals […]

and it only gets worse [verbatim]

““We do so much for Sweden but it doesn’t seem to work the other way around. Sweden should focus on its real crime problem.” DT, 25 July “The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.” William […]

conditional noise contrastive estimation

At ICML last year, Ciwan Ceylan and Michael Gutmann presented a new version of noise constrative estimation to deal with intractable constants. While noise contrastive estimation relies upon a second independent sample to contrast with the observed sample, this approach uses instead a perturbed or noisy version of the original sample, for instance a Normal […]

delayed-acceptance. ADA boosted

Samuel Wiqvist and co-authors from Scandinavia have recently arXived a paper on a new version of delayed acceptance MCMC. The ADA in the novel algorithm stands for approximate and accelerated, where the approximation in the first stage is to use a Gaussian process to replace the likelihood. In our approach, we used subsets for partial […]

blackwing [book review]

Another fantasy series of the gritty type, maybe not up to the level of the first ground-breaking Abercrombie’s but definitely great!  With some reminiscence of Lawrence’s first series but with a better defined and more complex universe and a not so repulsive central character. Maybe even not repulsive at all when considered past and current […]

a problem that did not need ABC in the end

While in Denver, at JSM, I came across [across validated!] this primarily challenging problem of finding the posterior of the 10³ long probability vector of a Multinomial M(10⁶,p) when only observing the range of a realisation of M(10⁶,p). This sounded challenging because the distribution of the pair (min,max) is not available in closed form. (Although […]

in a house of lies [book review]

While I found the latest Rankin’s Rebus novels a wee bit disappointing, this latest installment in the stories of the Edinburghian ex-detective is a true pleasure! Maybe because it takes the pretext of a “cold case” suddenly resurfacing to bring back to life characters met in earlier novels of the series. And the borderline practice […]

prime suspects [book review]

I was contacted by Princeton University Press to comment on the comic book/graphic novel Prime Suspects (The Anatomy of Integers and Permutations), by Andrew Granville (mathematician) & Jennifer Granville (writer), and Robert Lewis (illustrator), and they sent me the book. I am not a big fan of graphic book entries to mathematical even less than […]

unbiased product of expectations

While I was not involved in any way, or even aware of this research, Anthony Lee, Simone Tiberi, and Giacomo Zanella have an incoming paper in Biometrika, and which was partly written while all three authors were at the University of Warwick. The purpose is to design an efficient manner to approximate the product of […]

R wins COPSS Award!

Hadley Wickham from RStudio has won the 2019 COPSS Award, which expresses a rather radical switch from the traditional recipient of this award in that this recognises his many contributions to the R language and in particular to RStudio. The full quote for the nomination is his  “influential work in statistical computing, visualisation, graphics, and […]