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


ESR experience

Fashionable researcher

by Greg Kotkowski

Usually, fashion and science are like the opposite sides of a magnet – if one is important then the other is left behind. Let us add up the odds and take some thoughts about the aspects of a PhD student’s physical appearance. It is quite peculiar that I mention this subject, because I don’t care much about my look. Specifically, let me mention hairdressing. Not the last trends, as I know absolutely nothing about the subject, but rather the problem of getting a haircut abroad. Continue reading “Fashionable researcher”

Higgs Hacking

by Giles Strong

A few days before I returned from CERN at the beginning of the month, I attended a talk on the upcoming TrackML challenge. This is a competition beginning this month in which members of the public will be invited to try and find a solution to the quite tricky problem of accurate reconstruction of particle trajectories in the collisions at the LHC. The various detectors simply record the hits where particles pass by, however to make use of this data, the hits in surrounding detector layers must be combined into a single flight path, called a track. Continue reading “Higgs Hacking”

Staying at CERN

by Giles Strong

Bonjour! As I write, I’m three weeks into my month long secondment at CERN, near Geneva. CERN, home to the Large Hadron Collider, is the world’s largest particle-physics research centre. It is also the location of the CMS experiment, which I work on. Continue reading “Staying at CERN”

Having a taste of business

by Greg Kotkowski

I have spent the last three months in the SDG company in Milan for my private sector secondment, which is a part of my contract. During this time I was able to have a closer look at how it is to work in a consulting company and to put my hands on real business problems. Herein, I want to summarise some of my experiences and deliberate on the R language – an inseparable friend of statisticians. Continue reading “Having a taste of business”

Efficiency revisited

by Giles Strong

Cover photo unrelated – it’s just some rad fractal broccoli.

Just over one and a half years ago I wrote a post on some of the tips and tricks I’d found useful in trying to organise myself and improve my efficiency. Searching for a post topic, it was suggested that I revisit this to compare how my workload and approaches have changed, so here goes! Continue reading “Efficiency revisited”

Multidimensional Scaling of National Holidays

by Greg Kotkowski

Living abroad brings a lot of experience and surprises. One of them is to enjoy countries’ diversity and customs for particular holidays that are not celebrated in the homeland. The other thing is when you discover on your calendar a vacation day due to some national event about which you had no idea. Another time, national vacations could bring troubles when it comes to cooperation between nodes in different countries. Continue reading “Multidimensional Scaling of National Holidays”

One Year in Review

by Tommaso Dorigo

Christmas is coming, and with it a temporary stop of working activities for most of us- but not all, as the world does not stop spinning, nor do electrons in the computers that crunch LHC datasets in search for new physics. As for academics, they leave their offices with piles of articles to review and grant proposals to write, knowing that their mailboxes will not stop filling up during the winter break. But it’s a jolly time nonetheless 😉 Continue reading “One Year in Review”

Marie Skłodowska-Curie: The scientist, the legacy, the grants

by Anna Stakia

Maria Skłodowska was born on November 7th, 1867 in Warsaw, Poland (in the part then dominated by the Russian Empire). Being brought up in a family of teachers, Maria quickly grew interest in acquiring higher education; this was initially and partly achieved through attending Warsaw’s local schools, but also within her own family environment, receiving some scientific training from her father. Continue reading “Marie Skłodowska-Curie: The scientist, the legacy, the grants”

Grandma’s Higgs bosons

by Alexander Held

Last month, I had the pleasure to attend the 2017 edition of the European School of High-Energy Physics in Évora, Portugal. We were about 100 students, including my fellow ESR Pablo. The two week program included lectures on many high-energy physics-related topics, such as the Standard Model, cosmology, statistics, Higgs physics, and phenomena beyond the Standard Model. Continue reading “Grandma’s Higgs bosons”

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