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News from the Bayesian Section

29 Jul 2020 10:01 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

There are some conferences coming up soon that will be run wholly online: the 14th International Conference in Monte Carlo & Quasi-Monte Carlo Methods in Scientific Computing (MCQMC) will be held from August 9-14. StanCon will be a 24-hour event, held on August 13, for those interested in the Stan software for Bayesian computation. Also, the Bayesian Young Statisticians Meeting: Online (BAYSM:O) to be held online from November 17-18, 2020.

Our update includes some brief reviews of the book “Bayesian Probability for Babies” and the software packages JASP and Jamovi.

Ferrie, Chris (2019) "Bayesian Probability for Babies", Baby University

This book has been out for a year! I first found out about it when a graduating PhD student gave it to me as a gift. It is a children's board book, and uses cookies to explain how Bayes Theorem works, in an entertaining and intuitive way. I did a book reading at a conference, and whilst the academics didn't sit on the floor, they really enjoyed it, and more importantly, quickly got the hang of things. We can attest that this "cookie book" is well liked by at least one small child and one teenager. The author also has a YouTube video where he reads his book.

Bayesians may find a couple of beginner friendly and free statistical packages useful for teaching. Just Another Stats Package (JASP) is freely downloadable from It provides a simple menu-based interface to simpler statistical analyses (like t-tests and ANOVA) but provides "curated" Frequentist and Bayesian outputs (for posteriors and Bayes Factors too) using a similar frontend. Then Jamovi is a relatively new R package that makes it easier to write user friendly interfaces for R functions. There are already some useful interfaces available:

JASP and jamovi were introduced by the same group of people, as written up here:

Matt Moores & Sama Low-Choy,

On behalf of the executive committee, Bayesian Section of SSA

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