About me, boosted trees and heavy late decaying particles

Well today I don’t think I’ll write much since I spent about an hour (!) writing my about me section. I spent sometime on it, mostly outlining my values and views on various things, hope some folks agree.

Elements of statistical learning

I spent sometime reading up on ESL today. It’s definitely one of my favorite texts. Found some pretty interesting explanations and examples for the boosted trees algorithm I’m currently working with. As far as I understand, boosted trees currently relies on building an averaged estimator from multiple weak estimators. I’ll hate to write more about this later as I continue to learn about this algorithm.

ESL I must say is one of my favorite texts. As a mathematical physicist researching machine learning, I’ve found it difficult to find explanations for alglorithms that satisfy a decent level of rigor. I find there’s a lot of oversimplified explanations online that omit mathematical detail in hopes of explaining it to a less mathematically inclined person. If you’re a theoretical physicist or anyone with a background in math, just go right for Elements of Statistical Learning; I can’t state enough how awesome this book is.

Decay of heavy scalars before BBN

Well, I’ve researched this before, but not in the current context my colleague and friend Bob Scherrer and I are currently considering it. In the past I considered this idea to explain the genesis of dark matter with a heavy scalar decaying to various decay products including a weakly interacting massive particle or WIMP – see Supersymmetry, Nonthermal Dark Matter and Precision Cosmology. This time we’re looking at phenomenological consequences of a different type.. I’ll have to leave the reader in suspense on this one though :).

TedX slides are done..

Except for the fact that the American Museum of Natural History did not give me permission to use one of their awesome videos. It’s such a shame too– it’s quite a great video. Check out digital universe, it’s quite good.

– That is all, sleep time!

Written on October 24, 2016