Professional scientist with an obsession for python and triathlon.
I currently work on the LHCb experiment at CERN. Have you noticed that the universe is full of matter and surprisingly little antimatter? Why this is so is one of the main questions the scientists of the LHCb experiment hope to answer.
I have been a CERN research fellow since October 2012. I am leading the team working on the reconstruction and simulation software for the Vertex Locator upgrade and am one of the editors of the recently completed Technical Design Report. I have significant expertise in the design and implementation of pattern recognition software. I have personally written parts of the track reconstruction software which will be used for the upgraded Vertex Locator and in the process improved its speed by 30% over the existing algorithm.
I am leading the effort of designing and implementing a fully software based trigger system for LHCb. A very fast reconstruction software means more information is available to the trigger system which runs in near real time and controls the data acquisition. It is therefore possible to employ smarter algorithms in order to select particles of interest over uninteresting ones.
Before coming to CERN I was a particle physics graduate student with The University of Manchester. My research focused on properties of top quarks using the vast data set from the D0 detector at Fermilab's Tevatron near Chicago. I defended my thesis in December 2012.
My favourite programming language is Python. I also write a lot of C++, mainly for LHCb. I like optimising existing code used by LHCb, in particular code used in the trigger system. Look at the source code (bitbucket, github) of some of the software I have written:
- David is a library which simulates the interaction of charged particles with matter.
- Fes is a no frills logbook geared towards triathlon training which runs inside IPython.
- The Toys repository contains a collection of short scripts, usually exploring one or two ideas each.
Unfortunately a lot of the software I write is private to the collaborations I work with :(
Currently I live near Geneva, Switzerland. I have lived in:
- Manchester, England
- Chicago, USA
- Frankfurt, Germany
These are my top publications in peer reviewed journals, followed by a link to my thesis.
- LHCb VELO Upgrade Technical Design Report, PDF
I am the team leader for the simulation and reconstruction software and edited the Module layout and Performance chapters of the report.
- Measurement of Leptonic Asymmetries and Top Quark Polarization in ttbar Production, Phys.Rev. D87 (2013) 011103
I performed the whole analysis: writing the code to select events, compare simulation to data and perform the statistical analysis. Wrote the final paper and shepherded the paper through internal collaboration review.
- Measurement of spin correlation in ttbar production using dilepton final states, Phys.Lett. B702 (2011) 16-23
I wrote the code to select events, compare simulation to data and perform the statistical analysis, edited the paper and shepherded the paper through internal collaboration and journal review.
- Measurement of spin correlation in ttbar production using a matrix element approach, Phys.Rev.Lett. 107 (2011) 032001
I prepared the data and Monte Carlo samples, planned analysis strategies and lead discussions with theorists. Created the final figures used in the paper.
- Evidence for spin correlation in ttbar production, Phys.Rev.Lett. 108 (2012) 032004
I took part in planning and discussions in our four person team on extending our previous analysis to this new final state, lead interactions with theorists. I created the final figures used in the paper.
- A measurement of the WZ and ZZ production cross sections using leptonic final states in 8.6 fb^-1 of ppbar collisions, arXiv:1201.5652
This analysis uses a multivariate classifier to identify electrons which I proposed and implemented, with efficiency gains of ~10% per electron over previous algorithms. These are the most precise WZ and ZZ cross section measurements at sqrt(s)=1.96TeV to date.
- Top Quark Spin Correlations and Leptonic Forward-Backward Asymmetries at D0, inspire entry
A summary of all my work as a PhD student, my thesis. Only print it off if you need a door stop, otherwise read it on your screen.
My favourite hobby is triathlon. It involves swimming, biking and running in immediate succession. The aim is to complete all three (including transitions) in the fastest time possible.
In May 2013 I took part in the Geneva half-marathon, a few weeks later I finished the Cyclotour du leman, my first "century ride" (a bike ride of more than 100miles). In August I did my best not to melt in the heat at La cyclosportive des vins du valais.
Previously I have taken part in the 2011 Chicago triathlon, the 2011 Big Shoulders lake swim, several sprint distance triathlons (Fermilab 2010 and 2011, Blenheim Palace 2012, Geneva 2013), several 10km and 5km distance running races.