Machine Learning for particle physics

Student Brendan Martin

Brendan Martin is currently in year 4 of the MPhys Mathematical Physics degree.  He completed a Career Development Summer Project in machine learning.

I worked in the area of machine learning for particle physics. Machine Learning can be an extremely useful tool for analysing data from experiments – in classifying particles or identifying interesting event topologies, for example. Designing accurate, computationally cheap algorithms is therefore hugely important. Under the supervision of Prof Luigi Del Debbio, I investigated the relationship between the bias, variance and noise of a given data set using a deep neural network as an estimator. I gained insight into the fascinating, quickly developing field of machine learning whilst simultaneously improving my programming skills.

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Discovering what makes you tick


Chris Acheson reflects on the Career Development Summer Project he completed, as well as the employment he has undertaken since graduating with an MPhys in Physics in June 2018.

By the end of Senior Honours year on my MPhys degree I was feeling pretty lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduating, and was generally feeling pretty demotivated on the course. On a whim, I applied for a summer placement in industry with an interesting sounding CubeSat software company, Bright Ascension. After a friendly telephone interview, I was informed that my application had been successful. What followed was a fascinating summer.

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Symmetries of patterns and lights

Close up photo of a kaleidoscope

by Luke Mitchell

Many of us in physics will recognise the name Brewster; especially if you have learned about optics. Sir David Brewster was born in Scotland on 11th December 1781. He was a champion for physics and optics in the 18th century, all self-taught. He was involved in the development of understanding of the laws of light polarisation, polarisation induced by heat and pressure, metallic reflection, biaxial crystals and many more natural light phenomena.  He studied Divinity at the University of Edinburgh.  He later became Principal of the University in 1859 at the age of 78 until his death in 1868. There is statue of him outside the School of Chemistry.

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