In a “Feature” article of 21 January 2021, Nature goes over a poll on “software tools that have had a big impact on the world of science”. Among those, the Fortran compiler (1957), which is one of the first symbolic languages, developed by IBM. This is the first computer language I learned (in 1982) ...

[Read more...] A question that came out on X validated a few days ago is how to efficiently simulate from a distribution with density x²φ(x). (Obviously properly normalised since the second moment of the standard Normal distribution is one.) The first solution that came out (by Jarle Tufto) exploits the fact ...

[Read more...] The following and very kind email was sent to me the day after the workshop thanks once again to make the conference possible. It was full of interesting studies within a friendly environment, I really enjoyed it. I think it is not easy to make a comfortable and inspiring conference ...

[Read more...] My friends and co-authors from Montpellier have released last month the third version of the DIYABC software, DIYABC-RF, which includes and promotes the use of random forests for parameter inference and model selection, in connection with Louis Raynal’s thesis. Intended as the earlier versions of DIYABC for population genetic ...

[Read more...] The second day of the ABC wwworkshop got a better start than yesterday [for me] as I managed to bike to Dauphine early enough to watch the end of Gael’s talk and Matias Quiroz’ in full on the Australian side (of zoom). With an interesting take on using frequency-domain (...

[Read more...] It started a bit awkwardly for me as I ran late, having accidentally switched to UK time the previous evening (despite a record-breaking biking-time to the University!), then the welcome desk could not find the key to the webinar room and I ended up following the first session from my ...

[Read more...]A perfect riddle: For some perfect squares, when you remove the last digit, you get another perfect square. The first five perfect squares are 16, 49, 169, 256 and 361. What are the next three ones? Is there a more than perfect square other than 169 such that removing the last two digits returns a […] [Read more...]

While trying to convey to an OP on X validated why the inversion method was not always the panacea in pseudo-random generation, I took the example of a mixture of K exponential distributions when K is very large, in order to impress (?) upon said OP that solving F(x)=u ...

[Read more...]“In my opinion, the editors have done an excellent job when selecting the contents of the handbook and putting the different chapters together. For instance, this can be appreciated by the fact that, despite the large number of authors and contributions, all chapters have kept the same notation. Furthermore, in ... [Read more...]

A bit of a misunderstanding from Randall Munroe and then some: the function F returns a triplet, hence G should return a triplet as well. Even if the limit does return three identical values. And he should have also included the (infamous) harmonic mean! And the subtext (behind the picture) ...

[Read more...] The Riddle this week is rather straightforward to explain: stacking identical objects (bars of length and mass two, say) on top of one another so that the center of each new bar is uniformly distributed along the previous bar, what is the distribution of the number of bars when the ...

[Read more...] As The Riddler proposed for several weeks a CrossProduct™ puzzle when 3 x n one-digit integers have to be deduced from their rowwise and columnwise products, I attempted at writing an R solver by applying a few basic rules repeatedly, which worked for the first two puzzles, if not for the ...

[Read more...] While having breakfast (after an early morn swim at the vintage La Butte aux Cailles pool, which let me in free!), I noticed a letter to the Editor in the Annals of Applied Statistics, which I was unaware existed. (The concept, not this specific letter!) The point of the letter ...

[Read more...] “Prebuilt into macOS and Unix systems (…) the command line (also called the shell) is a powerful text-based interface in which users issue terse instructions to create, find, sort and manipulate files, all without using the mouse. There are actually several distinct (…) shell systems, among the most popular of which [sic?] ...

[Read more...] The latest riddle from The Riddler was both straightforward: given four iid Normal variates, X¹,X²,X³,X⁴, what is the probability that X¹+X²

[Read more...] Click to access birthday.pdf From an X validated question, found that WordPress now allows for direct link to pdf documents, like the above paper by my old friend Anirban Das Gupta! The question is about estimating a number M of individuals with N distinct birth dates over a year ...

[Read more...]On 15 January, The Riddler had both a straightforward and a challenging riddles. The first one was to optimise the choice of a real number d with the utility function U(d,θ)=d ℑ(θ__d), when θ is Uniform(0,100). Leading unsurprisingly to d=50… The tough(er) one was to solve a form of ... [Read more...]

Once more, and thrice alas!, I became aware of a typo in our “Use R!” book through a question on X validated from a reader unable to reproduce the slice of a basic 2D slice sampler for a logistic regression with coefficients (a,b). Indeed, our slice reads as the ...

[Read more...] A short code-golf challenge led me to learn about the Kempner series, which is the series made of the inverted integers, excluding all those containing the digit 9. Most surprisingly this exclusion is enough to see the series converging (close to 23). The explanation for this convergence is that, citing Wikipedia, “The ...

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