Previous lunches from 2009.

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Wednesday 9 December : OBS: THIS LUNCH IS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF MATHEMATICS, organised by Geir Storvik. Theme: The Oslo group of statistics: a central actor in Europe. A discussion looking to the status and to perspectives, on the occasion of the strategic plan for Statistics at Department of Mathematics

Wednesday 2 December : OBS: THIS LUNCH IS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF BIOSTATISTICS, room 2180, and is organised by Magne Thoresen. Theme: Ulf Indahl from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, UMB and CIGENE will present the activities of his group at Aas and focus on his own research which is on "Challenges in genomewide association studies". Welcome kl 12.15! As usual, but in an unusual place.

Wednesday 25 November : Halvor Mehlum, Department of Economics, UiO, and deputy director of the SFF Centre of Equality, Social Organization, and Performance (ESOP) will visit us for lunch. He will present ESOP. The Nordic countries seem to violate what the economics profession views as necessary requirements for an economy to prosper. They have too small wage differences, too high taxes, too large public sectors, too generous welfare states, and too strong unions. Despite of these violations, they have for decades been doing extremely well. What most economists see as a recipe for serious economic trouble seems, in the Nordic countries, to be consistent with high growth, low unemployment, low inequality, and a fairly efficient allocation of resources. How come? Has economics got it wrong? Or, is it rather a question about timing and luck? If the Nordic success stories are just luck, the renewed interest for the "Scandinavian model" in Europe and elsewhere is misguided. If economics has got it wrong, it is important to know how and why. Postdoc Tarjei Havnes will also join. He has recently defended his thesis where he has investigated the causale effects within education, from barnehage to later education, using a combination of econometrics and statistics. He has been an active student at UiO. This lunch might last a little longer than usual!

Wednesday 18 November : Lunch, with representatives of our board. Welcome!

Wednesday 11 November : No lunch today!

Wednesday 4 November : Anders Løland and Gunnhildur Högnadóttir Steinbakk have finalised a study on historic yield for so called compound products. It was the Finansnæringens Hovedorganisasjon (FNH) that asked NR to look to all these 469 products in the Norwegian market. The study attracted wide attention from the media and discussion. See also here. Anders will present the study for us. Welcome!

Wednesday 28 October : Line Eikvil (NR) will talk about her recent project on image analysis, with the title "Lokale invariante deskriptorer og effektiv matching: Eksempel for ukebladsortering". This will be in Norwegian. Welcome!

Wednesday 21 October : Welcome to our (sfi)2 Wedensday lunch on 21 October at 12.15. Reason Machete is visiting us from the Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS) at LSE as part of the CCII project. On Wednesday he will tell us about "Mathematics in Botswana, chaos, weather and physics". Until January 2009, he was a lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Botswana, and his educational background is from both Botswana and Oxford.

Wednesday 14 October : Lunch, welcome. Arnoldo will tell about the visit of the Scientific Advisory committee and their advices.

Wednesday 7 October : Øyvind Skare (Folkehelseinstituttet) snakker om "Statistical efficiency and choice of design in genetic association studies" (in English). Sven Ove Samuelsen presenterer. Welcome.

Wednesday 30 September : No lunch, due to høstferie.

Wednesday 23 September : No lunch, due to statistical causality workshop.

Wednesday 16 September : First lunch after Summer break. Yongdai Kim (Dept of Statistics, Seoul National University, South Korea) will be our guest. We will discuss with him on aspects of penalised regression and Lasso. Welcome!

Wednesday 3 June : Last lunch before Summer break

Wednesday 27 May: Gianpaolo Scalia Tomba, from Rome, will visit us. Together with him and other international friends, including Yiting Xue, Hiroko.Solvang and others from, for example, China, Japan, Sweden, England, we shall discuss and compare the culture of food and its connections to life, research and science. Seriously.

Wednesday 20 May: Books! Two interesting books will be presented and discussed today: Lady Tasting Tea: How Statistics Revolutionized Science in the Twentieth Century by David Salsburg and Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Anders Løland and Kjersti Aas have read the two books and will give theri personal views.

Wednesday 13 May: No Lunch today

Wednesday 6 May: FILM! "N is a number", a documentary on Paul Erdos. He was an immensely prolific and famously eccentric Hungarian mathematician. With hundreds of collaborators, he worked on problems in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, classical analysis, approximation theory, set theory, and probability theory. Possessions meant little to Erdős; most of his belongings would fit in a suitcase, as dictated by his itinerant lifestyle. He spent most of his life as a vagabond, traveling between scientific conferences and the homes of colleagues all over the world. He would typically show up at a colleague's doorstep and announce "my brain is open", staying long enough to collaborate on a few papers before moving on. Steffen Grønneberg is briefly presenting Erdős

Wednesday 29 April: Fulvio Castellacci visits us at (sfi)2. Fulvio is Head of the Department of International Economics of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI). He has a PhD in Economics from Rome and a Phd in Innovation Studies from UiO. Among his many research interests, he has been developing theories, methods and quantitative empirical applications in the fields of the Economics of Innovation, seen in an international perspective. Fulvio will tell us about NUPI, which has a very important role in Norwegian International politics, and about his views on what innovation is and how it works in the global international economy. Welcome!

Wednesday 22 April: No lunch today! The visit of Halvor Mehlum, Department of Economics, UiO, is postponed, to avoid crash with the 50 years celebration for Lars Holden.

Wednesday 15 April: No Lunch today (Påskeferie)

Wednesday 8 April: No Lunch today (Påskeferie)

Wednesday 1 April: Christian Anton Smedshaug kommer på (sfi)2. Han er cand.scient. fra Universitetet i Oslo og dr.scient. i økologi. Han har arbeidet med internasjonal handelspolitikk, WTO og OECD i Landbruks- og matdepartementet, og med internasjonale spørsmål og næringspolitikk i Norges Bondelag. CAS er medlem av tenketanken Res Publica og han har vært tidligere nestleder i Oslo Senterparti og nestleder i Oslo Nei til EU. Smedshaug har skrevet boken "Kan Jordbruket fø verden? Jordbruk og samfunn i det 21. århundre", som kom i november i fjor på Universitetsforlaget. Tittelen på foredraget er "Kumulative effekter av samvarierende trender - mot nedgangstider? " og gir en analyse av hva vi har i vente i årene som kommer. Foredrag er på norsk! Velkommen!

Wednesday 25 March: Kjersti Aas will give a presentation with the title Modellbruk i finans: Nye metoder – nye svar?, where she will also touch the issue of how good are our statistical models in the current financial crises. Welcome!

Wednesday 18 March: Thore Egeland will visit us at our lunch. He is research scientist at the Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Oslo. Thore will present some of his recent and current research activities, and more broadly, discuss the role of statistics within law.

Wednesday 11 March: Aila Särkkä (Chalmers University of Technology) is visiting us at the lunch.

Wednesday 4 March: Looking back to our experience as PhD students in statistics: Ida Scheel, Ingunn Tvete, and Daniel Berg join us in a round table discussion on their story as PhD students, looking for things that can be improved, and others that should be maintained.

Wednesday 25 February: Ole Jakob Løland is 28 years old and priest in Skøyen kirke. He is an active teologist in many areas of our society. Ole Jakob has worked very much in South America, and is now very interested in climate change. He has written several books, and recently a chapter in the book Nytt Klima. "I Nytt Klima etterlyser jeg en holdning til naturen som overskrider den moderne kapitalismens hensynsløse utbytting og instrumentalisering av den." We are very happy that Ole Jakob has agreed to visit us at (sfi)2, and give a lecture where he will give a new perspective to climate change. Welcome! Obs! Lecture will be in Norwegian.

Wednesday 18 February: No Lunch today (Vinterferie)

Wednesday 11 February: It is time to plan the travel to conferences and workshops for 2009. Please come with your ideas and suggestions. Good starting points are here: ims , Amstat, Extremes, eurandom, ISCB, Causality, Inter. Biometric Society. Here is a list of interesting conferences.

Wednesday 4 February: Egil Ferkingstad presented some work in progress, with Anders Løland and colleagues at Hydro, on estimation of direct and indirect effects of various factors on electricity prices. They have extended methods originating in genomics to the study of electricity prices.

Wednesday 28 January: We shall see the seminar of Terence Tao, Department of Mathematics, University of California at Los Angeles. Han holdt to foredrag på NTNU i forbindelse med at han mottok Lars Onsager-medaljen for sitt arbeid innenfor matematikk. Tao er karakterisert som "verdens smarteste mann". We shall see and listen to his lecture titled "Compressed sensing". The lecture takes 55 minutes. We might be able to skip some of it, but becuase of the length we shall start to see the video at 12.15 sharp.

Wednesday 21 January: First lunch in 2009! Arnoldo Frigessi gives some thoughts to the year to come.

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