by Fabricio Jiménez

Hello there! My name is Fabricio Jiménez and this is my first post in this blog. I have just started my doctoral studies at Université Blaise Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand (France) and am thrilled to take part in the AMVA4NewPhysics Innovative Training Network as an Early Stage Researcher for the next three years. The subject of my thesis will be within a general search for new physics, using statistical learning tools to analyze data taken by the ATLAS experiment at the LHC.

Mugshot picture taken my first day at work.

A bit of my background

My story starts in Venezuela, a Caribbean country located in the north of South America; I was born in a big town (or a small city, if you will) called San Felipe. To study physics, I moved to the capital and did my undergraduate studies at Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB) – an excellent and gorgeous university near the mountains just outside Caracas.

During my first years at USB I realized that most of the work in physics is done in collaboration, often with colleagues abroad. I found it fascinating that science is a truly universal language. I was happy with the idea of traveling to study and work, and luckily that’s what has actually happened.

Last picture I took at the main garden of USB, my home university.

I could go on and explain in detail each of my work experiences before starting my PhD, but it’s perhaps a better idea to leave them for other posts. In short, I’ve spent my last year of undergrad as an exchange student at Lund University (Sweden), working with the production of heavy quarks in parton showers using the Pythia Monte Carlo (MC) event generator. (Please take a look at Giles’ neat articles about event generation and heavy flavour production in MC.)

Lund University’s main building at the end of the winter.

Then, I was a Summer Student at CERN and worked on the search for production of pairs of Higgs bosons (using the CMS detector). The topic has also been discussed in this blog several times, for example in posts from Juan Rojo and from Pablo de Castro. After finally getting my degree in Venezuela last year, I spent last summer at Fermilab. I worked in an R&D project for the upgrade of the tracking trigger system of the CMS detector, designed to cope with the future requirements imposed by High-Luminosity conditions at the LHC.

Last fall, I came to France to pursue my Master studies at Paris VII University. Living in Paris was a unique experience, and I was very lucky to have very good (and intense) lectures and to share with other physics students from Paris VI and Paris XI universities. For the last three months of that program, I decided to make my internship with the CMS group at IPN-Lyon, in the search for a second, low-mass Higgs boson in the diphoton channel; specifically in photon identification using boosted decision trees.

Finally, I heard about the announcement of the PhD position with AMVA4NewPhysics in Clermont-Ferrand. Being an Early Stage Researcher in this network will allow me to further explore many of my interests in particle physics, while using statistical learning tools and to connect with many academic institutes, universities and the industry. I found the offer so interesting that it was not a problem to move places for the eighth time in two years!

More than physics

When I am not doing physics, I spend most of my time hearing and playing music, particularly from Brazil and Venezuela. I initially studied classical guitar for a couple of years, but now I like to explore popular music, and even started learning how to play cuatro, a Venezuelan four-stringed guitar! Other than music, I also enjoy cooking, hiking and playing ping-pong.

See you next time!