jointprob: a probabilistic modelling and Bayesian statistics study group


random tree

Jointprob is a new study community for probabilistic modelling and Bayesian statistics, starting in August 2022.

Even though the community is initiated by Scicloj – a community for data science in Clojure – this study community will not be focused on any single technology or programming language. Rather, it will be open to people of diverse technical backgrounds, and will continually seek dialogue and mutual inspiration across languages and technologies.

Meetings

  • 2022-07-22, initial brainstorming - event
  • 2022-08-13 - beginning of regular meetings (see the Groups below).

Joining

It is never too late to join. We will help you to catch up.

To join the community and receive updates, please email us: scicloj@gmail.com. It’d be nice to mention your name, and as much as you wish, tell a bit about your background and interests.

There is no need to do that if you have already received emails about this community, if you have responded to our survey, or if you have registered to the initial brainstorming meeting.

Chat

The community uses Zulip, an open-source chat platform. In some other groups we’ve been running, we’ve found it useful for chat, in-depth discussion threads, and knowledge management.

Our Zulip organization is jointprob.zulipchat.com.

You may wish to learn a little bit about the concepts of Zulip streams and topics. Note that all streams and topics (and even single messages) have URLs, that you can open at separate tabs in your browser.

It would be wonderful to present yourself at the personal intros stream, preferably as a new topic thread.

Agenda

We will begin by learning one introductory book: Statistical Rethinking by Richard McElreath.

Then, we will proceed with more advanced books and articles.

Bayesian statistics is tightly related to programming, and during our learning we will look into different programming languages and libraries.

In parallel to the main path of learning, we will encourage individual and small-group projects, and will share our progress with each other.

Sessions

We meet once in two weeks to learn together for 90 minutes. The beginning of a session is typically be dedicated to following our main path of study (e.g., the current book chapter being read), with some hands-on exploration. Afterwards, we share our progress with the projects, and explore further.

In between those regular biweekly sessions, we encourage ad-hoc sessions to explore specialized topics or practice further.

Groups

Our regular sessions take place in groups:

groupstart datetime in UTC time zone
AAug. 15thMon 15:00 UTC
BAug. 17thWed 14:00 UTC
CAug. 19thFri 18:00 UTC
DAug. 20thSat 17:00 UTC
  • All groups meet every 2 weeks and follow roughly the same reading agenda.
  • Hopefully, each one of us can usually attend at least one group’s session (but is encouraged to join more sessions if comfortable).
  • A typical session (~90 minutes) will have a brief overview of the relevant chapter(s) presented by a group member, and then a mostly a hands-on dive into examples, and a discussion.
  • Each group has its own rotation of moderators and presenters.

Recordings

Some parts of the sessions are recorded and shared internally in the Zulip chat. Possibly, some recorded parts will also be shared publicly.

Projects

Participants will take on projects as individuals or in small groups.

Example projects:

  • read an article and share it with the group
  • reimplement an example we’ve learned using a different technology
  • explore a dataset with the methods learned

To appreciate the content we are studying, it is recommended to have:

  • some basic knowledge of probability and statistics (say, college level intro courses)
  • some programming experience of any language (a few months)
  • some experience exploring data
  • an open mind

Principles

The following core principles are typical to Scicloj study groups.

No experts. We do not assume that anybody is an expert in the field. We come to learn together with a student mindset.

A clear path. We will be very thoughtful about the agenda and about where we wish to go. We will continuously rethink and adapt our path going there.

Confused together. It is just fine to be confused. We will be there together and seek clarity together.

Being active. We encourage members to learn independently and take on projects. In a sense, its purpose is (also) to support those individual journeys.

Mutual curiosity. We make serious efforts to be inclusive to participants of various backgrounds. The different perspectives of our friends are part of what we wish to learn.

Contact

If you are interested, please reach out to us: scicloj@gmail.com