I got the opportunity to work on this project as a cross disciplinary intern through one of my university Machine Learning classes. I was already interested in Astrophysics research, as I had worked in astrophysics for year and published a paper on the study of pulsating red giants. Additionally, I was doing Machine Learning research applied to Cognitive Science on the side with other university students. So, when the opportunity to work on a Machine Learning project applied to particle astrophysics arose, I thought it made sense to apply considering what I had worked on already.
Project: Applying Machine Learning to Event Reconstruction for the SuperCDMS SNOLAB Experiment
We wanted to be able to classify whether particle recoil events were hitting a detector once or multiple times. We ran experiments and trained multiple Machine Learning models on simulated and real data.
“Being able to share and learn from people working on the cutting edge of research in their field was truly amazing. It was astounding how their experience and knowledge helped us improve our work and develop new ideas.”
Lucas’ CDI Experience
"I learned a lot about particle physics, the state of dark matter research and what it's like to work in a collaboration with many other scientists."
I am interested in using and applying Machine Learning to various subjects and projects as well as learning more about Machine Learning itself through those experiences. Additionally, I am eager to learn more about Physics and Astrophysics so that I can help push the boundaries on our understanding of the universe.
My collaboration with SuperCDMS allowed me to get actual detector data as well as simulated data produced by the SuperCDMS Analysis group. We got help and feedback from other members of the collaboration regarding our work tasks and what had already been accomplished in our sub-field.
Before taking part in the cross disciplinary internship, I had a very simplistic approach to physics. I never imagined all the work that was required for tasks such as dark matter discovery and all the diverse research that it requires. I knew astroparticle physics was a complex subject but I only now realize how complex it actually is.