A year after graduation: reflections from a MPhys Physics alumni

Cameron Berry, MPhys alumni who graduated in summer 2019, talks about his student journey at the University of Edinburgh.


Why did you choose Edinburgh?

Applying to Edinburgh for me was a very natural fit considering half my family is Scottish. I had visited Edinburgh multiple times and it was only a short train journey from home. As I visited the city and University in the lead up to applying, I felt sure it was where I wanted to end up. However, I really couldn’t have known what a ride it would be studying here for five years!

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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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‘Sanduleak 69’ shine bright during the Modern Physics quiz

Winning team during pub quiz

There was fierce competition during the third annual mid-semester pub quiz held for students studying the year 2 Modern Physics course. The 12 teams battled it out with questions on physics, astronomy, general knowledge and movies, as well as a fun picture round.

Well done to all the competing teams, and congratulations to the winning team ‘Sanduleak 69’, who were presented with chocolates, wine and a winner’s certificate.

So, let’s see how you get on:

Physics: Particles moving in a medium faster than the local speed of light emit what?

Astronomy: What did Didier Queloz and Michel Mayer discover in 1995 that led to their Nobel Prize this week?

Movies: Draw the rebel alliance logo.

General knowledge: What is the national animal of Scotland?

Did someone say haggis…..?