Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos

Yesterday I spent the day visiting the statistics and operations research department at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, in Mostoles, just south of the city, where I had been invited to give a presentation. Actually, I more or less invited myself to visit, and when they heard I was coming, they asked me to give a talk. So I dusted off the old "Choosing a Dose Regimen when the Average Patient is a Myth" (last given in Killarney, under a slightly different name: OK, it's here , for the obsessively curious; it's an oldie, but goodie) and headed out there.

This is what the campus looks like (it's very new, the university is only 12 years old):

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The talk went well - there were maybe seven or eight statisticians and about half a dozen pharmacologists from the medical school. The latter asked many smart questions at the end (the statisticians mainly smiled and looked encouraging), so I think they definitely "got it".

Afterwards, they took me to a fine lunch, and I met with various people on the statistics faculty. They seemed quite grateful that I had given a talk that managed to engage the pharmacologists, as I gather that Spanish universities still don't do well at inter-disciplinary projects, and their efforts at outreach to the medical school hadn't met with much success to date.

That's me, an international ambassador of statistical goodwill. It was a very pleasant visit, and I gather that they are even going to give me an honorarium (if I can ever figure out the Wells Fargo IBAN transfer number, but that's a whole 'nother story). Still, 200 Euros is better than a poke in the eye, as they say.

The cordial reception I received at URJC was in stark contrast to the response I got from Universidad Carlos III ("Carlos Tercero"), who I regret to say, essentially blew off my polite enquiries about a possible visit.

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