Mathematical Instruments: Xi’an’s ‘Og

October 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Mathematical Instruments.

Mathematical Instruments

via Wikimedia Commons

This post is part of the series Mathematical Instruments in which we introduce you to some of the math bloggers listed on our site. Today:

Christian P. Robert — Xi’an’s ‘Og

What’s your blog’s name? Any other places (Twitter, Google+, Facebook etc) we can find you on?

I called my blog Xi’an’s ‘Og as Xi’an is my abbreviation for Christian (as in X’mas or X’ing), even though this endlessly confuses people and ‘Og was the abbreviation for blog I found most endearing. I would not call it thus now but it is too late to change!

Would you tell us a little bit more about yourself? E.g., Where are you coming from (both geographically and philosophically)? What is your background? Any scientific education?

I am a (full) professor of statistics at the Université Paris-Dauphine (in Paris, France), and a researcher in Bayesian Statistics and (Monte Carlo) computational methods. My philosophy about statistics is driven by Bayesian decision theory, in connection with Bayes’ theorem, even though I try not to sound too preaching about it. I am involved in statistical societies like ASA (American Statistical Association), ISBA (International Society for Bayesian Analysis), IMS (Institute of Mathematical Statistics), and I am a former editor of the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B.

When and how did you first discover mathematical blogs?

I think the first blog that caught my attention was Andrew Gelman’s blog.

When did you start blogging?

I was writing a few pieces on my webpage since the early 2000’s, mostly about statistics and mountain climbing, but I truly started my blog on October 2, 2008, a few days before my yearly half-marathon…

Why did you start?

To comment about statistical papers. And thus induce unofficial discussions on interesting (or wrong) papers. For a while I had hoped for the on-line free journal Bayesian Analysis to start an on-line discussion option but as it was not coming in a near future (and still is not on the radar!), I decided to start on my own. Pretty soon I was also blogging about other things, but the core of my readership is interested in statistics not in my reading, as far as I can judge from the blog statistics!

What do you write about?

Mostly about my statistical interests (new papers, my own papers and questions, my visits and conferences, book reviews), with some side interests like books, running, mountaineering, photography, and the occasional wine. I try to keep away from politics and personal items (although some readers may disagree)!

What wouldn’t have happened to you without the internet?

I do not really know how to answer this question. Internet brings me a lot in terms of references and items of information, as well as planning my travels, but it is also addictive and I spend too much time reading news items and blogs…

What does the internet need more of?

More…broadband?!

Mathematicians on the web have…

more formulas?! better fonts?!

Your daily web reading (mathematical or otherwise):

arXiv (stat)Andrew GelmanStackExchange (Cross Validated)The GuardianThe New York TimesLe MondeR-bloggersMathbloggingParticle Physics PlanetPatrick Rothfuss BlogFreakonometricsError Statistics PhilosophyTorSignificanceThe Cleanest Line – &tc…

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