Ninth Annual JAGS and WinBUGS Workshop
Bayesian Modeling for Cognitive Science

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In this workshop, plenary lectures provide the theoretical background of Bayesian statistics, and practical computer exercises teach you how to apply the popular JAGS and WinBUGS software to a wide range of different statistical models. After completing this workshop, you will have gained not only a new understanding of statistics, but also the technical skills to implement models that are appropriate for the substantive hypotheses that you seek to test.


Our first objective is for you to experience first-hand how a Bayesian approach to data analysis can improve inference and increase understanding. Our second objective is for you to obtain practical experience with JAGS or WinBUGS, easy-to-use computer programs that allow the user to implement all kinds of Bayesian models.

Target audience

This workshop is meant for researchers who want to learn how to apply Bayesian inference in practice. Most applications we discuss are taken from the field of cognitive science. The workshop is based on the book Bayesian Cognitive Modeling: A practical course written by Michael Lee and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers. As the workshop covers a variety of topics within cognitive science and exercises of varying difficulty, the course material is appropriate for researchers with a wide range of prior knowledge and interests.

Although some basic knowledge of Bayesian inference is an advantage, this is not a prerequisite. In the course we use JAGS or WinBUGS (the choice is yours) in combination with R or Matlab (the choice is yours), and therefore some basic knowledge of either R or Matlab is also an advantage.

Although we can provide you with a PC with R, JAGS, and WinBUGS, we advise you to bring your own laptop. Note that Matlab is not available on the workshop PCs. Please make sure to have JAGS/WinBUGS and R/Matlab installed and running on your laptop before the first day. Mac and Linux users are advised to use JAGS instead of WinBUGS. Mac users who prefer to use WinBUGS are advised to have WinBUGS and WINE installed and tested in combination with R or Matlab (this can be quite difficult sometimes!). For some tips on installing WinBUGS on a Mac, see .

Call for posters

Participants are invited to present a poster introducing their research topic. The poster session will be held on Tuesday (August 21) between 17.00-18.00 at the workshop venue.

Course materials

The workshop is based on the book Bayesian Cognitive Modeling: A practical course written by Michael Lee and Eric-Jan Wagenmakers. The book has been recently published by Cambridge University Press and is used to teach graphical modeling courses at UCI, OSU, UW, and UvA. Course materials, inluding the book, will be distributed during the workshop.

Click here to access the website dedicated to the course book.
Click here to download WinBUGS.
Click here to download JAGS.
Click here to download R.
Click here to download RStudio.


The costs are:
(PhD) Student (Early Bird) € 450
Regular (Early Bird) € 550
(PhD) Student € 550
Regular € 650

Registration closes on August 15th, 2018 so if you would like to participate make sure that you register before that date (Early Bird registration closes on April 15th, 2018).
Note that your registration is completed only after your registration form and payment are received. The registration costs include all course materials, including the course book.

Getting there

Schiphol - Amsterdam CS

To get to Amsterdam Central Station from Schiphol airport, the easiest (and cheapest!) way is to take a train. Trains depart from Schiphol to Central Station every 10-15 minutes from platforms 1/2. The train-trip takes 19 minutes.

Amsterdam CS - The workshop

From Amsterdam Central Station, take tram 9 or 14 Flevopark-bound. Get off at "Alexanderplein", the second stop after Artis (the zoo). Then, walk to the right into the "Sarpahtistraat" and take the first right into the "Valckenierstraat". The workshop building is called "REC-JK" and is located at the beginning of this street on your right-hand side. Alternatively, you can take metro line 51, 53, or 54 or tram 7 or 10. Get off at "Weesperplein" and walk east along the "Sarphatistraat" (about 400 meters) until you see an "Albert Heijn" supermarket on your left-hand side. After you pass the supermarket, take the first left into the "Korte ís Gravensandestraat" and follow the path to the right. The building will then be in front of you. The address is Valckenierstraat 65-67, 1018 XE, Amsterdam. The workshop will take place in room JK B.11 (registration and plenary lectures) and computer rooms JK.302 and JK.303B.

© 2014 Google Streetview
The workshop will take place in the big red building.

Places to stay

The conference venue is not associated with a particular hotel, therefore no specific hotel arrangement is made. Please check below for some hotel and student hostel recommendations. We advise you to book early, since August is one of the busiest month of the year in Amsterdam and hotels are fully booked months in advance!


Hotel Le Coin (a 15 minute walk)
Nieuwe Doelenstraat 5
Phone: 0031 20 524 6800
Fax: 0031 20 524 6801

Eden Hotel Amsterdam (a 10 minute walk)
Amstel 144
1017 AE Amsterdam
Phone: 0031 20 530 78 78
Fax: 0031 20 623 32 67

Hotel Plantage (a 5 minute walk)
Plantage Kerklaan 25-A
1018 CV Amsterdam
Phone: 0031 20 620 55 44
Fax: 0031 20 620 24 04

Hotel Arena (a 5 minute walk)
's-Gravesandestraat 51
1092 AA Amsterdam
Phone: 0031 20 850 24 10
Fax: 0031 20 850 24 15
Note: Hotel Arena is a hip place that organises loud parties until about 4 am. So unless you want to party along, this might not be the best choice.

Hotel Alfa Plantage (a 5 minute walk)
Plantage Middenlaan 26
1018 DE Amsterdam
Phone: 0031 20 623 57 83
Fax: 0031 20 638 32 76

Student hostels

Shelter Christian Hostel
At various locations in Amsterdam
Phone: 0031 20-62 53 230 or 0031 20-62 44 717
Fax: 0031 20-62 32 282 or 0031 20-62 76 137

Stayokay Hostel
At various locations in Amsterdam
Phone: 0031 20 624 68 32 (Amsterdam Statsdoelen), 0031 20 589 89 96 (Amsterdam Vondelpark), or 0031 20 551 31 90 (Amsterdam Zeeburg)
Fax: 0031 20 639 10 35 (Amsterdam Statsdoelen), 0031 20 589 89 55 (Amsterdam Vondelpark), or 0031 20 623 49 86 (Amsterdam Zeeburg)
E-mail:,, or

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