Blog Archives

postdoctoral positions in Paris

October 20, 2011
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postdoctoral positions in Paris

There is a call for postdoctoral positions supported by the Paris Mathematical Sciences Foundation. The deadline is December 13 and the on-line application is available. If you are interested in working with me on Bayesian statistics  (model choice, time series model) or computational methods (SMC, MCMC, ABC, &c.) thru this call, please contact me at

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the Wang-Landau algorithm reaches the flat histogram in finite time

October 19, 2011
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the Wang-Landau algorithm reaches the flat histogram in finite time

Pierre Jacob and Robin Ryder (from Paris-Dauphine, CREST, and Statisfaction) have just arXived (and submitted to the Annals of Applied Probability) a neat result on the Wang-Landau algorithm. (This algorithm, which modifies the target in a sort of reweighted partioned sampling to achieve faster convergence, has always been perplexing to me.)  They show that some

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National Gallery of Ireland

October 15, 2011
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National Gallery of Ireland

During a short if profitable visit to Dublin for a SFI meeting on Tuesday/Friday, I had the opportunity to visit the National Gallery of Ireland in my sole hour of free time (as my classy hotel was very close). The building itself is quite nice, being well-inserted between brick houses from the outside, while providing

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principles of uncertainty

October 13, 2011
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principles of uncertainty

“Bayes Theorem is a simple consequence of the axioms of probability, and is therefore accepted by all as valid. However, some who challenge the use of personal probability reject certain applications of Bayes Theorem.“  J. Kadane, p.44 Principles of uncertainty by Joseph (“Jay”) Kadane (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh) is a profound and mesmerising book on

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Typos in Introduction to Monte Carlo Methods with R

October 12, 2011
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Typos in Introduction to Monte Carlo Methods with R

The two translators of our book in Japanese, Kazue & Motohiro Ishida, contacted me about some R code mistakes in the book. The translation is nearly done and they checked every piece of code in the book, an endeavour for which I am very grateful! Here are the two issues they have noticed (after incorporating

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Le Monde puzzle [#743]

October 11, 2011
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Le Monde puzzle [#743]

As Le Monde weekend has yet again changed its format (with so much more advertisements for luxurious items that I sometimes wonder whether or not this is the weekend edition of Le Monde!], it took me a while to locate the mathematical puzzle. The good news is there now is a science&techno leaflet with, at

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understanding computational Bayesian statistics

October 9, 2011
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understanding computational Bayesian statistics

I have just finished reading this book by Bill Bolstad (University of Waikato, New Zealand) which a previous ‘Og post pointed out when it appeared, shortly after our Introducing Monte Carlo Methods with R. My family commented that the cover was nicer than those of my own books, which is true. Before I launch into

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FFT / Power Spectrum Box-and-Whisker Plot with Gggplot2

October 6, 2011
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I have a bunch of time series whose power spectra (FFT via R's spectrum() function) I've been trying to visualize in an intuitive, aesthetically appealing way. At first, I just used lattice's bwplot, but the spacing of the X-axis here really matters. ...

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Bat Country

October 6, 2011
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Bat Country

I've spent a lot of time thinking about and using R's spectrum() function and the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) in the last 5+ years. Lately, they've begun to remind me a little of a Theremin: simple to use, difficult to master. While prepping a figur...

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Bessel integral

September 28, 2011
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Bessel integral

Pierre Pudlo and I worked this morning on a distribution related to philogenic trees and got stuck on the following Bessel integral where In is the modified Bessel function of the first kind. We could not find better than formula 6.611(4) in Gradshteyn and Ryzhik. which is for a=0… Anyone in for a closed form

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