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Guest Post: A. Kowacs, "Is There A Simpler Perspective On Some Fundamental Laws Of Physics?"

Andras Kovacs studied Physics at Columbia University. He currently works as CTO of BroadBit Batteries...

Artificial Intelligence In Hamburg

Are you going to be in the Hamburg (Germany) area on July 7th? Then mark the date! The AMVA4NewPhysics...

The Plot Of The Week - Higgs Bosons Hiding Inside Jets

Particle physicists call "jet" the combined effect of many particles produced together when an...

The Plot Of The Week - Detecting Dark Matter With Brownian Motion

I am reading a fun paper today, while traveling back home. I spent the past three days at CERN...

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Tommaso DorigoRSS Feed of this column.

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 »

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Experimental particle physics, the field of research I have been involved in since my infancy as a scientist, consists of folks like you and me, who are enthusiastic about constructing new experiments and testing our understanding of Nature. Some spend their life materially designing and building the apparata, others are more attracted by torturing the data until they speak. 

To be precise, data analysts can be divided further into two classes, as I was once taught by my friend Paolo Giromini (a colleague in the late CDF experiment, about whose chase for new physics I have written in my book "Anomaly!"). These are aptly called "gatherers" and "hunters".

The European Commission pays close attention to document the work of the projects that benefited of its funding. With that intent, the AMVA4NewPhysics network has been described, along with its goals, in a 2016 article on the Horizon magazine.

It is a bit embarrassing to post here a graph of boring elementary particle signals, when the rest of the blogosphere is buzzing after the release of the first real black hole image from the Event Horizon collaboration. So okay, before going into pentaquarks, below is the image of the black hole at the center of M87, a big elliptical galaxy 54 million light years away.


Yes, this is supposedly a particle physics blog, not a machine learning one - and yet, I have been finding myself blogging a lot more about machine learning than particle physics as of late. Why is that? 
Well, of course the topic of algorithms that may dramatically improve our statistical inference from collider data is of course dear to my heart, and has been so since at least two decades (my first invention, the "inverse bagging" algorithm, is dated 1992, when nobody even knew what bagging was). But the more incidental reason is that now _everybody_ is interested in the topic, and that means all of my particle physics and astroparticle physics colleagues. 
For the tenth anniversary of this blog being hosted by Science 2.0, which is coming in a few days, I decided to reinstall the habit I once had of weekly picking and commenting on a result from high-energy physics research, a series I called "The Plot Of The Week". These days I am busier than I used to be when this blog started being published here, so I am not sure I will be able to keep a weekly pace for this series; on the other hand I want to make an attempt, and the first step in that direction is this article.
Last Monday and Tuesday I gave a few lectures on Machine Learning at a Data Science school (IDPASC) in Braga, Portugal. I think that this topic has received so much attention in the last few years, with heaps of excellent resources now freely available online, that it is very difficult to be original and provide useful information to any student who is proactive enough to google "auto-encoders" by herself.