Participant Testimonials

Jul 27 - Aug 01, 2014

I am really grateful for the excellent organization of BIRS. The facilities and friendly local staff really make everybody comfortable and get the most from the workshop. I found the videos recorded for each talk were very useful.

Jiguo Cao Associate Professor
Statistics, Simon Fraser University

BIRS' organizational help made running the workshop very easy. I don't think there was anything administrative that I needed to handle that was not directly related to the research program. And BIRS location and facilities, are, of course, beyond compare. I know from many comments that that sentiment is shared universally among the workshop participants. This workshop was particularly valuable in bringing together statisticians, applied mathematicians and biologists to discuss statistical problems in dynamical systems that have received little attention in any of these fields individually. It proved enormously useful to me, personally, as a way of making contact and understanding approaches from different fields and I have had that sentiment expressed to me by many of the other participants. I will outline this in a workshop report, but feel that, scientifically, the workshop served exactly BIRS' purpose. BIRS is one of the most outstanding and valuable mathematical institutions in North America and does its job extraordinarily well. I am immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to organize a meeting with you.

Giles Hooker Psychology, McGill University

BIRS was fantastic!… As for the workshop, it was exceptional. Hooker and I are writing a book on dynamic systems for statisticians, and the organizers did an exceptional job of bring top people together from a wide selection of fields, including biologists and others using dynamical systems in their work but not themselves in math or stat. There are, as you of course know several debates going on about the role of these types of models, including whether stochastic systems are to be preferred to deterministic systems, the role of initial value systems and methodology in contexts were data are available across the whole interval, and etc. The workshop was an invaluable opportunity to listen carefully to all perspectives without taking sides. I learned a good deal, and gained a lot of perspective on these and other issues that will be invaluable in our book, and also will allow us to point in directions where dynamical systems can play an even more constructive role. Moreover, the weather couldn’t have been better, and the mood in the workshop was as upbeat and convivial as one could possible wish for. Many research connections were forged. We’ll be talking about this workshop years from now.

Jim Ramsay Psychology, McGill University

This was one of the best workshops/conferences I ever participated in, and there have been a lot. Forty colleagues from different fields centered around a common topic, perfect! I knew only three before personally, but I talked to everyone. Joint projects are on the way. Of course, the location is gorgeous!

Jens Timmer Institute of Physics, University of Frieburg