Richard is a 3rd year undergraduate student at Magdalene College of the University of Cambridge reading Natural Sciences, specialising in Physics.
He has a strong computing background and a love of particle physics, which matched him perfectly to the placement. Richard is looking at a PhD in particle physics but had shied away from experimental particle physics; he simply does not enjoy the physical setting up or running of experiments. However, he was reassured to find that in many cases a modern day experimental physicist may hardly need to operate any large machinery or do elaborate experimental setup directly, but only need to control them via computer programs.
Richard was working on a team developing a new trigger (the system that decides what data to keep or delete) as part of the CMS upgrade, another detector that’s part of LHC. For him, the main learning point of the summer was writing large programs in C++ and working with a complex existing code base. Richard says he is now much more confident using C++ in a complex environment.