Canada et al
(1) Today was the first day of our course on Bayesian methods in health economics. After my lecture on intro to health economics, Chris has given 2 lectures on Bayesian methods and their implementation in BUGS and then Richard has talked about Bayesian analysis of individual-level data (on costs and then both costs & benefits). In between the lectures, we did BUGS-based practicals $-$ so all in all it was quite heavy on the participants. But nobody gave clear signs of imminent crisis (in fact, we’ve had quite a few interesting questions!)…
(2) We’re being extremely lucky, weather-wise. We’re told that last week it was around -25C (and it still shows: the river Saskatchewan is completely frozen $-$ I mean: solid!), but now it’s quite nice and pleasant $-$ sunny and around 10/15C. Of course, Canadians are in mid-August mood and we’ve seen quite a few kids in shorts. I wouldn’t quite go as far as that, but we can’t really complain!
_The book seems to be suitable for researchers and practitioners who want to learn and apply statistical methods to health economics. Also it can be a good text for graduate courses in statistical analysis of health economic data. The author tries to keep mathematics at a low level and provides many interesting figures and tables for the readers with weak mathematical / statistical background. It provides step-by-step guidance to practical application of the Bayesian methods by using popular statistical software R and BUGS/JAGS. This would be very attractive to practitioners for they can easily implement Monte Carlo simulation methods necessary for Bayesian inference without fear._
(4) Quick update on me getting all emotional for no reason while on an intercontinental flight: nothing to report. I struggled a bit at the end of this episode of How I met your mother, but nothing major $-$ not even a real tear. In any case, to avoid embarrassment, I stopped watching TV.