Author: xi'an

locusts in a random forest

My friends from Montpellier, where I am visiting today, Arnaud Estoup, Jean-Michel Marin, and Louis Raynal, along with their co-authors, have recently posted on biorXiv a paper using ABC-RF (Random Forests) to analyse the divergence of two populations of desert locusts in Africa. (I actually first heard of their paper by an unsolicited email from […]

ateliers statistiques bayésiens

The French Statistical Association is running a training workshop on practical computational Bayesian methods on 10-12 September 2019 in Paris (IHP), animated by Sylvain LE CORFF (Telecom SudParis – Institut Polytechnique de Paris) for the initia…

a statistic with consequences

In the latest Significance, there was a flyer with some members updates, an important one being that Sylvia Richardson had been elected the next president of the Royal Statistical Society. Congratulations to my friend Sylvia! Another item was that the publication of the 2018 RSS Statistic of the Year has led an Australian water company […]

a chance (?) encounter

As I was cycling to Paris Dauphine, a few days ago, I spotted someone sitting on a bench and working on a laptop who suspiciously looked like… Andrew Gelman! As I knew Andrew was in Paris that week, and as we were reasonably close to Dauphine, this did not sound like a zero probability event. […]

Nature snapshots

In this 6 June issue of Nature, which I read on my way to O’Bayes, an editorial on the scary move by the WHO to incorporate traditional Chinese medicine remedies in its classification as this includes drugs made from protected and endangered species and as such remedies have not been evidence tested. A news brief […]

noise contrastive estimation

As I was attending Lionel Riou-Durand’s PhD thesis defence in ENSAE-CREST last week, I had a look at his papers (!). The 2018 noice contrastive paper is written with Nicolas Chopin (both authors share the CREST affiliation with me). Which compares Charlie Geyer’s 1994 bypassing the intractable normalising constant problem by virtue of an artificial […]

The Long, Cruel History of the Anti-Abortion Crusade [reposted]

[Excerpts from an editorial in the NYT of John Irving, American author of the Cider House Rules novel we enjoyed reading 30 years ago] “(…) I respect your personal reasons not to have an abortion — no one is forcing you to have one. I respect your choice. I’m pro-choice — often called pro-abortion by […]

natural LaTeX

Nature must have been out of inspiration in the past weeks for running a two-page article on LaTeX [as the toolbox column] and how it compares with… Word! Which is not so obvious since most articles in Nature are not involving equations (much) and are from fields where Word prevails. Besides the long-running whine that […]

a non-riddle

Unless I missed a point in the last riddle from the Riddler, there is very little to say about it: Given N ocre balls, N aquamarine balls, and two urns, what is the optimal way to allocate the balls to the urns towards drawing an ocre ball with no urn being empty? Both my reasoning […]

the most probable cluster

In the last issue of Bayesian Analysis, Lukasz Rajkowski studies the most likely (MAP) cluster associated with the Dirichlet process mixture model. Reminding me that most Bayesian estimates of the number of clusters are not consistent (when the sample size grows to infinity). I am always puzzled by this problem, as estimating the number of […]

CRAN does not validate R packages!

A friend called me the other day for advice on how to submit an R package to CRAN along with a proof his method was mathematically sound. I replied with some items of advice taken from my (limited) experience with submitting packages. And with the remark that CRAN would not validate the mathematical contents of […]

and it only gets worse [verbatim]

“Increasing export capacity from the Freeport LNG project is critical to spreading freedom gas throughout the world by giving America’s allies a diverse and affordable source of clean energy” M. Menezes, US Secretary of Energy “NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago. They should be […]

Le Monde puzzle [#1107]

A light birthday problem as Le Monde mathematical puzzle: Each member of a group of 35 persons writes down the number of those who share the same birth-month and the number of those who share the same birth-date [with them]. It happens that these 70 numbers include all integers from 0 to 10. Show that […]

Le Monde puzzle [#1105]

Another token game as Le Monde mathematical puzzle: Archibald and Beatrix play with a pile of n>100 tokens, sequentially picking m tokens from the pile with m being a prime number [including m=1] or a multiple of 6, the winner taking the last tokens. If Beatrix knows n and proposes to Archibald to start, what […]

good omens and bad jokes

Following the news that members of a religious sect had petitioned Netflix not to show Good Omens as they deemed the story blasphemous, mistaking Netflix for Amazon Prime!, I could not resist but engage into watching this show. While having skipped reading the original book. as I am fairly tone-deaf when it comes to Terry […]

Le Monde puzzle [#1106]

A linear equation as Le Monde mathematical puzzle:

Find the ten integers x¹,x²,…. such that Ax=3x-1 where

Which returns 38 44 31 38 44 49 16 16 31 27 as its solution and is definitely of limited appeal…

a generalized representation of Bayesian inference.

Jeremias Knoblauch, Jack Jewson and Theodoros Damoulas, all affiliated with Warwick (hence a potentially biased reading!), arXived a paper on loss-based Bayesian inference that Jack discussed with me on my last visit to Warwick. As I was somewhat scared by the 61 pages, of which the 8 first pages are in NeurIPS style. The authors […]