Bayesian nonparametric (BNP) methods combine the advantages of Bayesian modeling (e.g., ability to incorporate prior information, full and exact inference, ready extensions to hierarchical settings) with the appeal of nonparametric inference. In particular, they provide data-driven, albeit model-based, inference and, importantly, more reliable predictions than parametric models.

Theoretical research on NPB methods and their applications has grown dramatically in the last fifteen years. This has produced a massive body of scattered literature, which can be daunting for newcomers and hard to follow even for specialists. This CBMS conference, to be held between August 16th and August 20th, 2010, aims at providing a comprehensive introduction to the field for new researchers, and in particular graduate students postdocs and junior researchers.

The main lecturer for the conference will be Dr. Peter Muller, who is Robert R. Herring Distinguished Professor in Clinical Research in the Department of Biostatistics at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX. In addition to the ten lectures delivered by Dr. Muller, three invited speakers will deliver complementary two-hour lectures. These invited speakers include Michael Jordan (University of California, Berkeley), Peter Hoff (University of Washington) and Wesley Johnson (University of California, Irvine). The local organizers are Abel Rodriguez and Athanasios Kottas. The conference poster can be downloaded here.

Conference Venue

The conference will take place in the main campus of the University of California, Santa Cruz. All lectures will take place in room 180 of the Engineering 2 Building (see map here). Internet access and plugs are available in the room, participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops. Additional adjacent rooms have also been reserved for the use of participants who wish to interact on a more informal setting.


  August 16 August 17 August 18 August 19 August 20
08:30 am - 10:15 am Registration Peter Muller (L3) Peter Muller (L5) Peter Muller (L7) Peter Muller (L9)
10:15 am - 10:30 am Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break Coffee Break
10:30 am - 12:15 pm Registration Wes Johnson Peter Muller (L6) Peter Muller (L8) Peter Hoff
12:15 pm - 01:30 pm Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break
01:30 pm - 03:15 pm Peter Muller (L1) Peter Muller (L4) Mike Jordan Informal interaction Peter Muller (L10)
03:30 pm - 05:15 pm Peter Muller (L2) Informal interaction Informal interaction Informal interaction Informal interaction
06:30 pm - 10:00 pm - - - Conference Dinner -

Two of the lectures by Dr. Muller will be practical sessions that involve implementation BNP models. All participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops for these sessions.


Participants supported by the conference will receive accommodations in the UCSC campus. To that effect, a number of double-occupancy bedrooms have been reserved in the campus dormitories located a short five-minute walk from the main conference room (see map here).

Participants not supported by the conference have the choice of staying on campus along with the supported participants or finding accommodations off-campus. The cost for on-campus double-occupancy rooms is $106 per person per night, while the cost in single-occupancy rooms is $120. This prices include meals and parking/regular campus shuttle and also includes linens with beds made upon arrival. You can secure campus housing along with your registration.

Santa Cruz is a summer vacation destination for Bay-Area residents, and is served by a large number of hotels ands inns, both big and small. A good site to look for hotels in Santa Cruz is If you prefer to rent an apartment or house, off-campus rentals can be found at The UCSC campus is served by a regular bus service from the town of Santa Cruz, as well as on-campus bus shuttles. The local bus routes can be found from the Metro Santa Cruz web-page. The bus shuttles run every 15-20 minutes from the base of campus to Science Hill. Biking to the base of campus is quite easy and safe, although the last mile up to campus can be more challenging. Most buses (shuttle and Metro) have bike racks, so a nice compromise is to bike to the base of campus and ride the last hill by bus. However, finding accomodation in Santa Cruz during the summer months can be challenging and we encourage all participants to begin searching as soon as possible.

Local participant who will be commuting to the UCSC campus can buy parking permits at the Parking Sales Office located at the Main Campus entrance.

Transportation to Santa Cruz

The closest well-connected airport to Santa Cruz is San Jose (SJC, 45 min from SC). Other options include San Francisco (SFO, 1h 30 min from SC), Oakland (OAK, 1h 45 min from SC), and Monterrey (MRY, 40 min from SC).

The conference starts on the afternoon of Monday, August 16 to allow for participants to fly into the area on Monday morning. It is typically possible to find flights arriving into local airports in the (late) morning. Due to the time difference, this is usually true even for flights from the East coast.

There are a number of shuttles and taxis serving the local airports. A couple of the cheapest options are Ruben's airport shuttle and Santa Cruz Airport Flyer. Other options include Surf City Shuttles, ABC limos (Agreement #: UCSC/FET-062107, Identification # SC-TS3356), and West Coast Limos (Agreement #: UCSC/FET-050707, Identification #: SC-FS5109). Please note that all airport shuttle rides must be booked in advance of the trip; there are no scheduled rides from the airports to Santa Cruz.

From SJC, the cheapest public transportation option (albeit an inconvenient one) uses the local Highway17 Express bus, which connects San Jose with Santa Cruz. The easiest way to find full direction is to use Google Maps.

Social activities

We will have a conference dinner on Thrusday, 08/19/2010. The dinner will provide participants with a chance to interact in a more relaxed setting. If you are interested in participating, please fill the appropriate boxes in the online application form.


The registration form is available here. The registration fee is $85 for students and $285 for non-students, and covers the cost of lunches and printed materials and will be reimbursed to those who receive financial support. ISBA members receive a discount of $15 on the registration fee. The registration deadline has been extended until July 31st, 2010.

Financial support

Financial support (including travel, lodging and meals) is available for up to 30 participants. Priority will be given to graduate students, postdocs and junior researchers, as well as to member of underrepresented groups. To apply for financial support please fill the financial support application form. The deadline to request financial support is April 15, 2010 and responses are planed by May 15, 2010.

At this point, all financial support has been allocated.

About Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a quaint little seaside town buzzing with life throughout the year. In the summer, it is one of the favorite vacation destination of Bay-Area residents. It has many wonderful eating venues, pubs, cafes, and is the home of many renowned artists... There are many cinemas with decent programmatic choices for the culturally-minded. During the summer, wonderful outdoor plays are performed by the Shakespeare Santa Cruz company, and weekly free concerts are offered by the boardwalk. Santa Cruz is particularly famous for its outdoor activities: surfing, beach volleyball, sea-kayaking, bird-watching, sailing, whale-watching, biking, hiking, rock-climbing and many, many more.

The Santa Cruz campus of the University of California is located in an idyllic setting between the ocean and the Santa Cruz mountains, at the edge of the town of Santa Cruz. The campus is on a steep hill, with the central part of the campus (Science Hill) located about 1 mile from the campus main entrance. During the summer months, the campus hosts a reduced number of classes but will nonetheless be quite lively. The main bookstore and many of the campus cafes and cafeterias will be open, as well as the main sport centers and swimming pool. The Campus is a beautiful natural environment, with interesting wildlife and stunning forests, and provides many opportunities for outdoor activities.

Contact us

For questions and further information you can contact us at