FRIB hosts online summer seminars for science discussion, exploration

FRIB is hosting a number of online summer seminars to allow scientists, theorists, and users the opportunity to discuss and explore a variety of science topics.

FRIB Theory Alliance

Training in Advanced Low Energy Theory (TALENT) initiative

The FRIB Theory Alliance offers training for the next generation of nuclear physicists through its Training in Advanced Low Energy Theory (TALENT) initiative. The Nuclear TALENT course on machine learning and data analysis is a part of the initiative.

For more information about TALENT, visit the FRIB Theory Alliance website.

FRIB Theory Alliance Summer School: Dense matter in astrophysics
30 June to 2 July 2020
Online format

The FRIB Theory Alliance (FRIB-TA) summer school titled “Dense matter in astrophysics” will take place 30 June to 2 July.

The school will focus on dense matter in astrophysics, such as the matter in the interior of neutron stars and the one created in supernova explosions and neutron star mergers, along with comparisons with the matter created in laboratories. There will be interactive activities and lectures from:

  • Veronica Dexheimer (Kent State University): introduction to modeling the core of neutron stars
  • Luke Roberts (Michigan State University): the physics of supernova explosions and neutron star mergers
  • Pawel Danielewicz (Michigan State University): laboratory constraints for the equation of state of neutron stars
  • Rodrigo Negreiros (Federal Fluminense University, Brazil): general relativity (including the formalism to describe stellar rotation and magnetic fields) and stellar cooling
  • Thomas Klähn (California State University Long Beach): deconfined quarks and phase transitions in the core of neutron stars

The target group for the summer school is graduate students. For more information, visit the website.

FRIB Theory Alliance “Dialogues on Nuclear Physics” colloquium series
23 June, 14 July, 28 July, and 25 August (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
Online format (Zoom)

The FRIB Theory Alliance (FRIB-TA) will host an online colloquium series titled “Dialogues on nuclear Physics” via Zoom. Information on how to participate is on the website.

  • The first in the series will be 23 June (11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.). The speaker is Antonio Moro from the University of Seville. The hosts are FRIB-TA’s Jutta Escher, Kristina Launey, and Filomena Nunes. The panelists are Cedric Simenel from Australian National University and Kaitlin Cook from Michigan State University.

For more information on the colloquium series, see the announcements on the website.

Machine learning

Machine learning weeks at MSU
18-29 May 2020
Online format

FRIB hosted a two-week online course on machine learning from 18-29 May. The program was attended by 25-30 participants. 

Machine learning is a subfield of computer science, and is closely related to computational statistics. It evolved from the study of pattern recognition in artificial intelligence (AI) research, and has made contributions to AI tasks like computer vision, natural language processing and speech recognition. Many of the methods we will study are also strongly rooted in basic mathematics and physics research.

Morten Hjorth-Jensen, professor of physics, taught the course, which included lessons on a variety of topics.

The course offered lectures, exercises, projects, and question-and-answer sessions for the online participants. The goal of the course was to target undergraduate students to help them get started with different summer projects with faculty at the laboratory, especially on machine learning applied to the analysis of nuclear experiments.

Learn more and view some of the course materials on the machine learning course website.

Machine Learning and Data Analysis for Nuclear Physics
22 June to 3 July 2020
Online format

This online course will provide an introduction to the core concepts and tools of machine learning. Exercises and projects will give participants an overview on how machine learning can be used to analyze and study nuclear physics problems (experiment and theory). The goal is to provide a deeper understanding on what machine learning and data analysis are and how they can be used to analyze data from nuclear physics experiments and perform theoretical calculations of nuclear many-body systems.

The teachers and organizers are:

  • Daniel Bazin (Michigan State University)
  • Morten Hjorth-Jensen (Michigan State University)
  • Michelle Kuchera (Davidson College)
  • Sean Liddick (Michigan State University)
  • Raghuram Ramanujan (Davidson College)

Learn more on the course website.

Nuclear science

NSCL/FRIB Summer Virtual Seminar
Every Wednesday from May to July 2020
Online format

NSCL’s Nuclear Science Seminar committee is hosting the NSCL/FRIB Summer Virtual Seminar every Wednesday during the summer. The first seminar took place on 13 May, and the last one is scheduled for 29 July.

The committee administers the Nuclear Science Seminar on Wednesdays during the academic year. Since many conferences were canceled this summer, the committee decided to start a summer series that also runs on Wednesdays. The online format allows for worldwide speakers and to draw an audience from the entire FRIB user community.

While the speakers are set through 29 July, topics/titles have not yet been finalized for all of the upcoming seminars.

Topics so far include:

  • Non-perturbative studies of Parton Distribution Functions
  • The first results from the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer
  • The BeEST: A search for kiloelectron-volt-scale neutrinos in the electron-capture decay of beryllium-7 with superconducting quantum sensors
  • Optimal-control-based quantum computation of nuclear reactions

The tentative NSCL/FRIB Summer Virtual Seminar schedule can be found online. Official announcements about the virtual seminars are emailed weekly from the laboratory. To receive the announcements, contact and request to be added to the list.


Reaction Seminar series
Every Tuesday and Thursday through June 2020
Online format

A group of early-career researchers interested in reaction dynamics put together an online series of reaction seminars due to travel and in-person seminars being canceled. The organizing committee is:

  • Jin Lei (INFN Sezione di Pisa)
  • Mario Gómez Ramos (TU Darmstadt)
  • Jesús Casal (Università degli Studi di Padova)
  • Kaitlin Cook (FRIB/MSU)

The seminars are conducted in an open format to benefit from discussions between speakers at different stages in their careers, from graduate students to senior members of the reactions community. Planning started back in March, with the committee focused on allowing online interactions between colleagues from around the world.

The online format benefits from the concentration of expertise in the audience. Combined with the format of seminar-length talks, it leads to robust question-and-answer sessions. Organizers hope to strengthen the feeling of community among those interested in reactions by having the seminars held over an extended period of months.

For more information, visit the website.