More Cooperation with Researchers from Other Departments

The HSE LooK welcomes aboard Quentin Paris, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics!

How did you learn about the vacancy at HSE?

During my year as a postdoc in Paris I was fortunate enough to meet an eminent Russian colleague there, Professor Alexander Tsybakov (CREST, France), who told me about this position during an informal chat. I had never really considered Moscow before, but I decided to apply. I didn’t think I would be successful because for an assistant professor position you usually need more experience. Luckily, however it all worked out and here I am.

Do you think Moscow is a good place for an academic?

Before coming here people told me that I might end up being a little bit isolated scientifically. Now I see that this isn’t true. Since I arrived I have many nice and interesting coleagues and I am already involved into a project with Professor Mark Kelbert, an eminent mathematician and a very kind man, who happens to be my neighbor at the faculty Many very interesting specialists are invited regularly to give mini courses on their subject of research and they are nice seminars given at HSE. I am also a member of the Laboratory of Stochastic Analysis and its Applications which is very active. Plus I am only three hours away from Paris. Here I really have a sense that people want HSE to be a great place for research and they seem to be open to new ideas that will let this happen. I have a feeling that I will have more freedom here than I would have in France, for instance, to create my projects, contribute in constructing new courses, masters programmes, and research groups.

There might be a little bit more problems at HSE compared to other well established universities around the world, but I think you have to see a positive side: HSE is a young institution, I feel there is a lot of energy here and many interesting things to do.  I guess it’s part of the reason why I wanted to come here, to participate in the development of this institution.

— So what is you strategy of getting integrated and not feeling isolated here?

Going to the right conferences, staying in touch with people you know and starting new collaborations. Anyway, you cannot work with 50 people at the same time. Now I have enough material to work on and great people to collaborate with. I should also mention that, on the administrative level, there is somebody who really helps me a lot, it’s our international faculty coordinator, Daria Nikolyuk, who is doing a great job and always manages to solve any problems I encounter in less than two days.

What are your plans so far?

I had some teaching in the first semester so I’ve been focusing on trying to deliver good lectures. I am still involved in a project that I started last year with my colleague from Paris. I will go to a conference in Marseille in December, which is one of the key French conferences in mathematical statistics. I will have less teaching in the second semester so I will be able to focus more on research and projects with students. I will try to finish my project with Prof. Mark Kelbert, my Russian colleague. Also I have been writing lecture notes for my data mining course and I would like to publish them together with my colleague from the Faculty of Computer Science, Geoffrey Decrouez, who started working at HSE this year as well. It would be nice to cooperate more with researchers from different departments. I’ve already had a few discussions with people from ICEF and a colleague from the Faculty of Law.

Quentin Paris was born in England and traveled extensively in Europe with his family as a child. He graduated from Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan, France, where he defended his PhD thesis in statistics in 2013. After that he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique (CREST), France and lectured at Paris Graduate School of Economics, Statistics and Finance (ENSAE). Since September 2014 Paris has worked as Assistant Professor at HSE’s Faculty of Economics. Statistical Learning Theory and Nonparametric Statistic are among his research interests. Apart from his work, Quentin enjoys yoga as well as Russian painting and ballet.

The full text of the interview can be found in Issue 9 (16), November 2014. If you are not on our regular mailing list yet, please subscribe and get fresh issues of The HSE LooK every month!