The CMS collaboration announced the winner of its 2019 PhD Thesis Award in June. The award honours the best PhD of the year based on impact, originality and clarity. The jury faced the difficult task of choosing a single winner from among the 25 nominated PhD theses in a two-round process.
This year, Marcel Riegler from RWTH Aachen University in Germany made it to the top with a thesis exploring the so-called “ttH” production, the process in which a Higgs boson is created in high-energy particle collisions in combination with two top quarks.
Marcel contributed to the first observation of ttH production in 2018 by developing methods employing neural networks and deep-learning technology. This observation was a landmark event for CMS and ATLAS, since the interaction is extremely rare and its study could confirm or disprove predictions of the Standard Model. The first studies on the interaction were unveiled earlier this year.
“A PhD is a unique opportunity to contribute to fundamental research, which, in my experience, was a rewarding and memorable time I look back on with joy,” remarked Riegler. “CERN, CMS and the values they embody are a blueprint for peaceful and fruitful collaboration between people irrespective of ethnic origin, religion and nationality, and I enjoy working in this community.”