Bayesian Theory

This second edition of the highly acclaimed text provides a thorough account of the key basic concepts and theoretical results, with particular emphasis on viewing statistical inference as a special case of decision theory. Information–theoretic concepts play a central role in the development, which provides, in particular, a detailed treatment of the problem of specification of so–called "prior ignorance".

The work is written from the authors′ committed Bayesian perspective, but an overview of non–Bayesian theories is provided, and each chapter contains a wide–ranging critical re–examination of controversial issues. The level of mathematics used is such that material is accessible to readers with knowledge of advanced calculus. In particular, no knowledge of abstract measure theory is assumed, and the emphasis throughout is on statistical concepts rather than rigorous mathematics.

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Tietoja kirjoittajasta (2007)

Jose Raul Bernardo

I was born in Luyano, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Havana, Cuba, in 1938, on the Street of the Bulls, to parents of very limited means but unlimited dreams. My father had to work long hours at a bookstore to make ends meet, which meant I didn't get to see him a lot, and when I did, he was surrounded by books. My mother worked even longer hours at home, something she did while singing all day long in that beautiful voice of hers that still rings in my ears.

Ever since I can remember, I yearned for my father to embrace me instead of one of those books he loved so much. I dreamed of being a writer to earn his approval. I also dreamed of being a composer so I could create beautiful songs like the ones my mamma loved to sing. But a boy like me, born in Luyano, who loved to read and sing, was always cruelly taunted by the rest of the neighborhood boys, and, lacking the courage to challenge them, I set aside those dreams and did what Luyano boys could do: I studied building construction, something I truly enjoyed, and ended up registering in the school of architecture at the university.

While still a student, in my final year, I was taken prisoner by members of the Castro regime because I dared to publicly disagree with their doctrine. I escaped to the United States and found work in Florida on a tomato plantation. After years of hard labor I eventually landed in New York City. I became the assistant to architect Wallace Harrison as he designed the new Metropolitan Opera House. While completing my education, I became an American citizen.

Working on the Opera House rekindled my dreams of being a composer. That's when I decided to write my first opera: an opera about a Cuban poet in exile. And since I didn't know of anybody who would write the libretto, I had no choice but to write it myself.

It took me ten years before I had the courage to show the score to professional musicians, and then, before I realized it, the opera had been performed. It won several awards, and both the American and European presses had raved about both the music "and" the libretto. However, out of the generous grant I received from the National Opera Institute to produce it, not a single penny of it had ended up in my pockets! So, it was back to the drawing board to make a living.

Twenty years went by, and I had just designed a house for Bob Gottlieb, the former editor-in-chief of "The New Yorker", and his wife, the actress Maria Tucci, when my mother died. I was so consumed with grief that I just sat down at an old typewriter and, working like a maniac, eighteen, twenty hours a day, I began jotting down things she had told me about her life and about her family's life so I would not forget them, now that she was gone. Less than a month later I had completed the first draft of "The Secret of the Bulls." I let it sit untouched for a long while. Then, with great apprehension, I dared to send it to Bob, who, by then, was living in his newly finished house. I figured it would take him weeks to get to "The Secret of the Bulls", but he woke me up the next morning with a rave review.

A few months later I surprised my then eighty-year-old father, who didn't know a thing about the novel, with an advance copy of the book. My father didn't know what to do. His knees bent. He sat on a chair. He whispered, "A writer!" And then he stood up, and -- unbelievably -- he came to me and hugged me tight, Cuban style, giving me the embrace I had been yearning for all my life.

This is why I know that dreams can come true, because I know they do. It's happened to me. It will happen to you.

Never give your dreams up. Never.

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Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK.

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