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”
While spending a few vacation days on a trip around central Italy, I made a stop in a place in the Appennini mountains, to visit some incredible caves. The caves of Frasassi were discovered in September 1971 by a few young speleologists, who had been tipped off by locals about the existence, atop a mountain near their village, of a hole in the ground, which emitted a strong draft.
The hole was barely wide enough for a person to squeeze in, and it led down vertically into the mountain. The group descended it with difficulty for Continue reading “The Caves of Frasassi”
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”
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”
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”
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”
No, I’m not talking about A Game of Thrones, although I personally consider it a shame that the last season will arrive — or so it seems — only in 2019.
What I am talking about is some possible shameful self-promotion in the content of this post. Continue reading “Shame, shame, shame”
Peer review is the backbone of high quality scientific publications. Although the idea that only articles that are approved by a set of anonymous nitpickers can ever see the light of publication on “serious” journals is old and perfectible, there is currently no valid alternative to identify verified, rigorous scientific work, and to filter out unsubstantiated claims, and methodologically unsound results – the scientific analogue of “fake news”.
In practice, the method works as follows. A scientific journal receives an offer to publish an article by a scientist or team of scientists, or identifies a suitable author(s) for a review paper. A preliminary version of the article is then produced, at which point the editors of the journal then look for Continue reading “On the Qualification of Reviewers for Scientific Articles”
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”