Evidence of bias in the Eurovision song contest: modelling the votes using Bayesian hierarchical models

With [Marta Blangiardo](http://www.statistica.it/marta)

Design and sample size calculations for trials based on the stepped wedge design

With [Rumana Omar](https://www.ucl.ac.uk/statistics/people/rumanaomar), [Gareth Ambler](http://www.ucl.ac.uk/statistics/people/garethambler), [Andrew Copas](https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=AJCOP98) and [Emma Beard](http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hbrc/tobacco/bearde.html)

Another referendum

I was reading the (Italian) newspapers today and saw a few articles about the upcoming Referendum. It will be held in September and it will legislate about whether the constitution should be changed to modify the number of MPs (400 from the current 630 in the lower house, Camera dei Deputati; and 200 from 315 in the upper house, the Senate). This is a long-standing debate in Italian politics — I think that the original constitution only mandated a number of representative that was proportional to the population and the number was later fixed in the 1960s.

Like a bad husband

As I was coming back home on my delayed train from a day-long meeting at work, it occurred to me that I should feel very badly because it is fair to say that, of late, I have neglected my blog. I still like blogging very much — I find it a brilliant way of elaborating concepts and ideas without necessarily needing to reach a state of maturity (as a full, or even a working paper would require).

Better late than never

Even before the UK Government decided to call a snap election a month ago or so, I have been trying to do some work around the general topic of “elections” together with a number of colleagues, including Roberto Cerina (whom I’ve known since he was a student at UCL) and Raymond Duch at Oxford, as well as Christina Pagel at UCL and Christabel Cooper. The timing for the election was not the best — we were all busy doing our main job (which for some of us didn’t involve directly doing this…) so we didn’t manage to think carefully about all the bits and bobs we’ve started discussing.

Happy Birthday

My colleague (and lovely person!) Bianca forwarded me an advert for a very interesting event, she is organising at UCL. This is a celebration for the 80th birthday of Harvey Goldstein. The event will be a celebration of Statistics, honouring Harvey Goldstein’s work and with contributions from some of his closest collaborators. Speakers will give a retrospective of their work with Harvey, before he delivers the prestigious Otto Wolff Lecture.

Careless twitter

Yesterday I had my first weird experience with Twitter. I am relatively new to it (I couldn’t really be bothered to use it until earlier this year — although I did have an account set up years ago) and so far I have to say I have actually found it quite fun. And helpful in some cases — eg when advertising our summer school or workshops. I suppose it was just a matter of time until something not-quite-exciting happened.

Job in local council

At work, we often receive emails from people advertising relevant jobs so we can pass these onto our students. One that we received recently is this from Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth councils (who have a shared staffing agreement). This advert is for a Data Scientist position, which I think is quite cool for a local council to have — the advert says If you love data, analysing it to solve a complex problem, are naturally curious and want to make a real local impact, you should consider working for us.

RSS feed

In recent weeks I happened to talk to a couple of (very nice!) people, who said they were keen followers of my blog. Alas, since I’ve moved the blog from blogspot to blogdown and hugo, they seem to have lost their RSS feed and so have, in some occasions, missed out on some of the latest posts. I have to say that I am very happy about the move to blogdown and I really like the current version of the whole site, including the blog.

The associate

As part of our planned expansion (which hopefully will eventually turn into the UCL Institute for Mathematical and Statistical Sciences), our department has just advertised a post for an Associate Professor in Statistics. We’ve recently hired two new lecturers (or Assistant Professors, to speak American English). They’ll start soon — I had the pleasure of sitting in the interview panel, which felt almost like a rave party. But we did have a very good set of candidates and the two who eventually got the job were really impressive.