My research first began with learning how to code in Python, as well as some of the basics of particle physics. Following this, I was tasked with learning a software package called ROOT that is used by researchers to analyze data from the LHC at CERN.
Following this instructional period, I was assigned a project dealing with a model known as supersymmetry, which is a topic that many members of my lab were involved in. As a part of this, I had to learn how to manipulate code in C++.
My task was to specifically implement code to select for certain events to pass in the existing analysis algorithm on the truth level, which is a data set that is generated by a computer simulation. Once I implemented the cuts for the regions we were looking for, I then implemented an algorithm for filtering bosons in the events that were being passed through the algorithm. I generated histograms of the number of events that passed in each region.
An important part of my experience was also attending the lab’s weekly group meetings to see presentations on what everyone else in the lab was working on. It helped put my project into perspective, and provided opportunities for me to continue looking at new things to learn in the field.