The T-Index: More Meaningful Metrics For Scientists

Academics direly need objective, meaningful metrics to judge the impact their publications have...

Interpreting The Predictions Of Deep Neural Networks

CERN has equipped itself with an inter-experimental working group on Machine Learning since a couple...

Machine Learning For Phenomenology

These days the use of machine learning is exploding, as problems which can be solved more effectively...

The Magical Caves Of Frasassi

While spending a few vacation days on a trip around central Italy I made a stop in a place in the...

 Tommaso Dorigo Tommaso Dorigo is an experimental particle physicist, who works for the INFN at the University of Padova, and collaborates with the CMS experiment at the CERN LHC. He coordinates the European network... Read More » Blogroll

# Does The Arxiv Blacklist Authors ? Help Finding Out!

Jul 08 2009 | comment(s)

The Arxiv is an online repository of scientific papers in physics, astronomy, maths, cosmology, computer science, and a few other topics, where papers due to be published on scientific journals are submitted by the authors, and become quickly accessible for free to anybody before the peer-review process ran by the journals is over and they get printed there.

# Guest Post: Patrick Draper, "Is The Supersymmetric Higgs Behind The Corner ?"

Jul 07 2009 | comment(s)

Patrick Draper is a graduate student in physics at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Lab. He is a native of Illinois and lives in Hyde Park, Chicago with his wife Karen and parrot Felix, to whom he is grateful for their love, patience, and correcting his sign errors. He is a supporter of the international effort to put a muon collider on Mars, and is waiting for NASA to return his phone calls.
I asked Patrick to write here about his studies on the discovery reach for a MSSM Higgs boson after I saw his paper on the arxiv a month ago, and am now glad I did. Enjoy!

# INFN Exam Does Not Go Deserted

Jul 06 2009 | comment(s)

Unfortunately I was right: at least in predicting that the INFN exam dubbed "R5" would not go deserted. The R5 exam, which in exchange for a stressful pair of written tests (which I am trying to get a hold of, to report on it here) guaranteed nothing that the participants did not have beforehand  -a certification of readiness for a temporary position within INFN, which the institute cannot however offer, being short of cash-, saw the participation of 178 candidates among the about 350 who had submitted their application a couple of months ago. Barely more than half: this is a victory, since the participation is sufficient to grant value to the results.

# The Say of the Week

Jul 06 2009 | comment(s)

"The INFN directorate may have invented the Identity operator in the space of qualifying exams"

Guido Volpi (commenting on FB on the very offensive R5 exam held today by INFN post-docs).

# Blogs, Big Physics, And Breaking News

Jul 05 2009 | comment(s)

The 2009 World Conference on Science Journalism took place last week in heat-wave-struck London, at the convenient location of Westminster Central Hall (see below). More than 900 delegates got together from 90 countries to discuss the future of science journalism, understand the challenges the field is facing, and finding strategies to face them. An impressive event, excellently organized.

$\lambda=479nm$

Jul 04 2009 | comment(s)

As I promised a week ago, I am posting answers to a few of the 42 questions which constituted the first part of an the exam selecting experimental particle physicists for the INFN (the italian institute of nuclear physics) four years ago. Next week, a similar exam will take place to "qualify" post-doctoral scientists which aspire at a temporary position with INFN.