A Marie Sklodowska-Curie ITN funded by the Horizon2020 program of the European Commission

From Stars To Particles

by Ioanna Papavergou

Hi there! As this is my first post at the blog let me introduce myself. My name is Ioanna Papavergou and I am the new ESR of the AMVA4NewPhysics selected for the position at IASA in Athens. I was born and raised in Kavala, a small city by the sea located in the northern part of Greece.

Physics was my passion since high school and so there was no other option to me than studying Physics during my undergrad studies, getting my Bachelor degree from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. During the Continue reading “From Stars To Particles”

Convolutional Neural Networks and neutrinos

by Cecilia Tosciri

Have you ever wondered how Facebook suggests the tags for the picture you post on your wall, or how the photo library on your computer manages to automatically create albums containing pictures of particular people? Well, they use facial recognition software based on Convolutional Neural Network (CNN).

CNN is the most popular and effective method for object recognition, and it is a specialized kind of neural network for processing data that has a known grid-like topology. The network employs a mathematical operation Continue reading “Convolutional Neural Networks and neutrinos”

Art And Science: Students At Work

By Tommaso Dorigo

The project “Art and Science: the colours of the Higgs boson” is in full swing in Venice, where 15 to 17-year-old students from three schools (the Liceo Stefanini, the Liceo Foscarini and the Liceo Benedetti) are producing artwork inspired by the CMS experiment and the Higgs boson. In this blog we already reported of conferences held at the schools by the Ph.D. students of the AMVA4NewPhysics network in January.  Now it is time for the students to build on the inspiration provided by those lectures and by the images of particle collisions, detector pieces, and Feynman diagrams.

Today I visited the students who participate to the project at Liceo Foscarini, and gave some hints and suggestions to the students on how to Continue reading “Art And Science: Students At Work”

A Night With The Giant

by Tommaso Dorigo

This evening (April 14) I am blogging from a residence in Sesto val Pusteria, a beautiful mountain village in the Italian Alps. I came here for a few days of rest after a crazy work schedule in the past few days -the reason why my blogging has been intermittent. Sesto is surrounded by glorious mountains, and hiking around here is marvelous. But right now, as I sip a non-alcoholic beer (pretty good), chilling off after a day out, my thoughts are focused 500,000,000 kilometers away.

As an amateur astronomer since the age of seven, I have always loved to watch the night sky and its treasures. Nowadays I do that very infrequently, however, as work is a tyrant. But really the real reason why my observing sessions are rare is that Continue reading “A Night With The Giant”

Understanding Neural-Networks: Part IV – Improvements & Advantages

by Giles Strong

Welcome to the final instalment of my series on neural networks. If you’re just joining us, previous parts are here, here, and here.

Last time we looked at how we can could fix some of the problems that were responsible for limiting the size of networks we could train. Here we will be covering some additions we can make to the models in order to further increase their power. Having learnt how to build powerful networks, we will also look into why exactly neural-networks can be so much more powerful than other methods.
Continue reading “Understanding Neural-Networks: Part IV – Improvements & Advantages”

My First Time at CMS

by Alessia Saggio

Every year, my university organizes a trip to CERN for Bachelor’s students only, to give them the chance to get acquainted with the world of Particle Physics before starting the Master. This year I was one of the three PhD students who accompanied them, and I thought it would be nice to share my feelings here with you since it was a really nice experience.

In fact, it was my fourth time at CERN, but despite that I had never had the chance to visit the CMS detector, the experiment Continue reading “My First Time at CMS”

Analysis of Italian Roads

by Greg Kotkowski

It is said that “all roads lead to Rome”. Is it true anymore? Certainly, during the Roman Empire main roads were constructed in such the way that everybody could easily reach the capital, the political and economical center of the country. Therefore if roads are built in order to facilitate the transportation toward the most important hubs, they could be used as an indicator of a region’s importance.

I downloaded the data of all contemporary roads in Italy from the OSM. As a starter, it is worth to plot them all (see Figure 1). It is Continue reading “Analysis of Italian Roads”

Understanding Neural-Networks: Part III – Diagnosis and treatment

by Giles Strong

Welcome to the third part of my introduction to understanding neural networks; previous parts here and here in case you missed them.

So it’s 1986, we’ve got a mathematically sensible way of optimising our networks, but they’re still not as performant as other methods… Well, we know that adding more layers will increase their power, let’s just keep making them larger. Oh no! Now the network no longer trains! It just sits there refusing to optimise. Continue reading “Understanding Neural-Networks: Part III – Diagnosis and treatment”

Another Lecture To Attentive Students at Liceo Foscarini

by Tommaso Dorigo

This afternoon I gave another lesson on particle physics and the discovery of the Higgs boson to a score of selected students of Liceo Foscarini who decided to participate to the project “Arte e Scienza” (which I described in a former post). While exactly two months ago we have an attendance of almost 200 students to the lecture I gave with Cecilia Tosciri and the other ESRs, today the audience consisted only in those 20 students who decided to take on the challenge of producing artwork inspired by particle physics. And they proved very interested in the matter!

Indeed, lecturing high schoolers on particle physics is a bit of a gamble every Continue reading “Another Lecture To Attentive Students at Liceo Foscarini”

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