Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Anthony (who's doing good work in his PhD project) also doubles as a runner and has written a nice post for the Significance website.

Clearly (just look at the numbers!), for many people this is a serious issue $-$ the fact that you can't run officially a big Marathon such as London's unless you've been lucky enough to win your place through a ballot. 

I have to say my only experience with long-distance running was a few years back at Florence's Marathon, for which I was not officially registered $-$ for that matter, I wasn't even planning on finishing it, just do a bit of the whole thing and then go back home, so I guess it didn't really matter that I didn't get a medal or something...

I'm not sure that guaranteeing a place to somebody who's been turned down a sufficient number of times in a row would solve the problem, though $-$ people must get fed up with the wait?

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Two PLOS Two

Cosetta Minelli and I have just published an editorial on PLOS Medicine on the use of the value of information, with particular reference to risk prediction modelling. 

We had proposed the topic to the journal, thinking that they may not even like it, but as it turned out they came back asking us to write the paper in a very short amount of time, last August. That was also in the middle of moving home, so not great timing...

Still, they seem to have liked it and the paper is the headline for this month (this link will only work until the next issue is published in a month time). Before you ask: we did not select the picture $-$ I've thought about it for a couple of hours and only now I realise it's suppose to show lots of tools...

Thursday, 24 September 2015

UCL Partners Biostatistics Network Symposium 2016

Although I formally figure as one of the organisers, this time around Joe Standing did most of the work $-$ but I'm posting to advertise the next edition of the UCLP Biostatistics Network SymposiumWe've sort of skipped 2015, mainly for organisational reasons, but since the next edition will be very early in the new year I guess it's not that bad...

As usual, we'll have 3 sessions with one key-note speaker and two shorter presentations. Here's more information on registration (which is free for members of UCL or affiliated hospital/research unit staff and students and costs £30 for others).

Theme:  Methods for Designing and Analysing Clinical Trials
Date:  Thursday 18th Feb 2016, 09:30-17:00
Venue:  Kennedy Lecture Theatre, UCL Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1EH


Session 1: Clinical trials in small populations/rare diseases
10:00-11:00    KEYNOTE: Prof Nigel Stallard, University of Warwick
11:00-11:30    Dr Tim Morris, UCL/MRC CTU
11:30-12:00    Dr Ronit Pressler, UCL/GOSH

Lunch break 45 min

Session 2: Pharmacometrics: Statistical pharmacology
12:45-13:45    KEYNOTE: Prof France Mentre, Paris V/INSERM
13:45-14:15    Dr Joe Standing, UCL 
14:15-14:45    Dr Frank Kloprogge, UCL

Coffee break 15 min

Session 3: Designing studies in infectious diseases
15:00-16:00    KEYNOTE: Dr Patrick Phillips, UCL/MRC CTU
16:00-16:30    Prof David Dunn, UCL
16:30-17:00    Dr Sarah Edwards, UCL

Organisers:  Prof Rumana Omar, Dr Sarah Edwards, Dr Gianluca Baio, Dr Joe Standing

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

My compliments

I've been told of a nice review of BMHE in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Statistics, by Patrick Graham. I was very pleased by the review. Particularly about a couple of bits. One, for example, says
A general strength of the book is its anchoring in practical examples. This feature should appeal to its intended audience: students in an advanced course in health economics. Another attractive feature of the book is that the author has followed what might be called the “Gelman approach” of using very informative table headings and figure captions.
$-$ a "Gelman approach" is kind of what I was going for, so that's very nice!

Another bit of which I was very pleased says
While the book would probably not suffice as a stand-alone text for a general course on Bayesian inference some of the examples could help enliven such a course by illustrating the application of Bayesian methods to complex models designed to inform important and difficult decisions.
which again was something I was aiming for, while writing the book.

On a related note, we're preparing some interesting (I think) changes/additions to BCEA $-$ I'll blog about these soon!

Roller poster

Last week, Anna was at the "Autumn Meeting on Latent Gaussian Models" in Trondheim (Norway), where she presented our work on using INLA to estimate the Expected Value of Partial Perfect Information (EVPPI) in health economic evaluation (here's a working paper).  

Good news is she won a prize for best poster! I wonder whether this will make up for the fact the she forgot to acknowledge her EPSRC funding?...

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Today I spoke at the LSHTM Symposium on Stepped Wedge Trials about our work on sample size calculations based on simulations $-$ it was organised to officially "launch" our series of papers in Trials.

I think it was a very good event, with lots of good discussion. It was very well attended too $-$ I think nearly 150 people.

The whole thing was recorded and will be put online on the LSHTM's website (I don't know the exact address, yet $-$ but I think it will be easy to find using the search box on their webpage).

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

In my humble opinion...

The American Statistical Association have shared this picture on their Facebook page $-$ I think the quote is brilliant!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Home alone

As Marta is heading to a conference, XY and I will spend a couple of days at home alone. 

Hopefully that won't end up like in the picture here...