University of Edinburgh

Welcome to the home of the Higgs boson inventor and Nobel prize winner Peter Higgs.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a very nice place to live, especially if you prefer rugby over football and you will find the Scots to be friendly and welcoming, although sometimes you may struggle to understand them. The city has all services you may need including theatres, cinemas, independent restaurants, and much more. The public transport will take you anywhere including to the airport that connects the city to many major cities in Europe and beyond. We even have a direct flight to Geneva!

The University is a major player in the city recent development making a strong effort in creating new connections between academia and industries. The recently open Bayes Centre is a new building in the town campus that will enhance the capabilities of the University to develop multidisciplinary projects centred on the use of advanced statistical tools in a variety of fields. Why does this sound familiar? Ah, yes, that’s what we do!

The University has several campuses as it could no longer be hosted in the city centre.  Actually, the School of Physics and Astronomy is based in the King’s Building campus which is located 20 minutes by bus from the city centre. The campus hosts many schools and departments; we are in the James Clark Maxwell Building (JCMB). The school is formed of 3 institutes and 5 research centres including the Higgs centre of Theoretical Physics. We are part of the Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics, which is itself divided into 3 research group (Nuclear physics, Particle Physics experiments and Particle Physics theory). The ATLAS experiment is part of the Particle Physics experiments group and is formed by 3 academic staff (soon to be 5), 6 researchers and 7 PhD students.

The group, unsurprisingly, focuses its effort on the measurements of the Higgs boson but we now have also activities in the Exotic group and in the Top group of the ATLAS experiment. Our technical contribution is mainly based on the development of the Simulation, with a focus on fast simulation, and on Trigger activities.

Serena Palazzo, our ESR, will mainly work on differential cross-section measurements of top pair production. In line with the group activities, she will also work on fast simulation, but she will give a Machine Learning spin to it. We will use the ever more popular GANs to speed up the ATLAS simulation by several orders of magnitude. Serena will also have a significant period of secondments in companies working with financial data that she will use to improve fraud detection techniques.

Stay tuned for more updates from us!