I study extensions of the Standard Model of particle physics, focusing on supersymmetry and theories with additional Higgs bosons. I'm particularly interested in how such theories can be tested experimentally at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, and the interplay between LHC results and theoretical requirements for explaining dark matter and the dominance of matter over antimatter in the universe.
Related topics that interest me are how different statistical methods — both Bayesian and frequentist — can be used to squeeze the maximum amount of information from the results of the wide range of particle and astroparticle physics experiments, and how machine learning techniques can be utilized in particle physics, in particular for fast simulations and data analysis.
The project I spend most of my time on is GAMBIT (the Global And Modular Beyond-the-Standard-Model Inference Tool), which I currently lead. We are a large community of particle and astroparticle theorists and experimentalists, as well as experts on statistics and scientific computing, from all around the globe. Together we have developed a highly modular and efficient software package for performing large-scale statistical analyses ("global fits") of new particle physics theories. The GAMBIT code is of course fully open source, available from both our webpage and GitHub. In addition to developing GAMBIT and making it available to the community, we are using GAMBIT ourselves for our own physics studies. A list of GAMBIT publications can be found here — and more results are in the pipeline.
Even though GAMBIT is developed mainly by particle physicists, we have structured the code such that it can just as well be used for computationally heavy statistical analyses (parameter estimation and model comparison) in other fields of science. If you think GAMBIT might be useful for your research don't hesitate to send me an email. GAMBIT provides a collection of parallelized optimization algorithms (differential evolution, nested sampling, MCMC, ...) and a framework for connecting these algorithms to model-specific tools implemented in C, C++, Pyhton, Fortran or Mathematica. It is also possible to use an additional layer of parallelization to speed up the model-specific computations.
Another software project I am part of is xsec, which is a nifty little machine learning-based tool for fast evaluation of LHC cross-sections.
An up-to-date overview of my scientific publications can be found on inspirehep.net.
Recent scientific talks
Below are links to some recent scientific talks:
- GUM and GAMBIT: Global fits beyond the standard Beyond-the-Standard-Model models, the TOOLS 2021 conference, 26.11.21.
- In high-dimensional parameter space no one can hear you scream... Searching for new physics with smart sampling and machine learning, dScience seminar, 18.11.21.
- GAMBIT and global fits — how to squeeze the most science out of our data, Norwegian Centre for CERN-related Research (NorCC) workshop, 03.09.21.
- Global fits beyond the standard Beyond-the-Standard-Model models, the biannual Norwegian Physical Society meeting, 23.06.21.
- Chasing new particles with GAMBIT and HPC, EuroHPC Summit Week 2021 / PRACEdays21, 25.03.21.
- Towards GAMBIT 2.0, LHC Reinterpretation Forum 2021, 19.02.21.
- Rev. Bayes to the rescue: fast BSM predictions from Gaussian process regression, N-PACT workshop 2020, 05.08.20.
- Uncovered signatures with GAMBIT, ATLAS workshop on uncovered collider signatures, 13.06.20.
- Dark matter interpretation with global fits, DM@LHC 2019, Seattle, 15.08.19.
- Looking for patterns in the LHC data: large-scale collider fits, N-PACT workshop 2019, 05.08.19.
- Exploring light SUSY with GAMBIT, Moriond 2019, 26.03.19.
- Light SUSY at the LHC?, seminar at Royal Holloway, University of London, 27.02.19.
- An introduction to GAMBIT, COST Workshop on Higgs and Flavour Physics, Lisbon, 17.01.19.
- Light SUSY at the LHC? Combined collider constraints on neutralinos and charginos with GAMBIT, 3-PAC seminar, Imperial College London, 12.10.18.
- MSSM global fits with GAMBIT, ICHEP 2018, Seoul, 06.07.18.
- Chasing SUSY through parameter space — global fits in the MSSM, seminar at RWTH Aachen University, 12.06.18.
- GAMBIT: What is it and where is it going?, Nordic Conference on Particle Physics, Skeikampen, 04.01.18.
- An introduction to GAMBIT, Dartmouth-TRIUMF-University of Washington HEP/Cosmo Tools Bootcamp, 26.10.17.
- First SUSY results with GAMBIT, DESY Theory Workshop, Hamburg, 27.09.17.
- A short and sweet GAMBIT tutorial, TOOLS 2017, Corfu, 13.09.17.
- First SUSY results with GAMBIT, EPS-HEP 2017, Venice, 07.07.17.
- Disfavouring EWBG and a hidden Higgs in a THDM, Norwegian Theory Meeting, Stavanger, 19.06.17.
- An update on GAMBIT, LHC recast workshop, CERN, 13.12.16.
- Spring 2022: CompSci PhD program: Lecture series on Bayesian statistics and Gaussian process regression
- Fall 2021: FYS3150/FYS4150 — Computational Physics
- Fall 2020: FYS3150/FYS4150 — Computational Physics
Outreach and media
- How to find your way in the universe: on quantum physics and reality (Norwegian). A talk about the interpretation problem in quantum mechanics. Date: 23.03.21.
- The "meaning" of life (Norwegian). A very short (and not terribly serious) talk about entropy and life, as part of an outreach event by The Young Academy of Norway. Date: 09.11.20
- Emmy and the symmetries (Norwegian). A talk about Emmy Noether and the role of Noether's theorem in physics. Date: 06.11.18.
- Waiter, there's a particle in my quantum field! (Norwegian). A talk about quantum field theory. (The video is unfortunately missing a couple of minutes due to a technical problem.) Date: 28.02.17.
- The dark matter mystery. I co-wrote the script for this short animated movie about dark matter. Date: 07.12.15.
- Chasing the invisible (Norwegian). A short talk on dark matter, presented on board "the Thinking Train" going from Oslo to Trondheim. Date: 24.09.15.
- Superb symmetries and dark mysteries (Norwegian). A talk about the role of symmetry in physics and how this relates to the hunt for dark matter. Date: 18.03.15.
Texts, radio, podcasts, social media, ...
- I'm on Twitter as @AKvellestad. (I mostly tweet in Norwegian.)
- I sometimes participate in the science panel of the Norwegian radio/TV show "Abel's Tower" on NRK (Norwegian), most recently on 12.03.21, 26.06.20 and 15.12.19.
- I occasionally write for the "Question of the week" column in Morgenbladet (Norwegian): 20.10.21 (on logarithmic scales), 02.06.21 (on time and entropy), 24.02.21 (on symmetries and what physics does (not) depend on), 16.12.20 (on "cell yell" and video meetings), 17.11.20 (on social distancing and optimization in physics).
- Two episodes (episode one and two) of the podcast "Good Physics" by Ida Storehaug, where we discussed the question of what particles really are (Norwegian). Date: 26.01.22
- A podcast by The Young Academy of Norway about working as a young researcher, work-life balance, etc. (Norwegian). Date: 12.12.21
- A podcast based on a panel discussion on faith and science at The Norwegian Theater, recorded on stage after the play The God Particle (Norwegian). Date: 27.11.21
- An interview in Framtida Junior (an online newspaper for children) about life as a researcher (Norwegian). Date: 21.10.21
- A pop-sci talk at NFK 2021 about the interpretation of quantum mechanics (slides) (Norwegian). Date: 11.09.21
- A short interview by UNINETT Sigma2 about GAMBIT and how we use high-performance computing for dark matter research. (English). Date: 20.05.21
- An interview in Khrono about the postdoc system in Norway (Norwegian). Date: 21.01.21
- I was on Gaute Einevoll's podcast "Sense and Science" talking about interpretations of quantum mechanics (Norwegian). Date: 17.01.21
- I gave a pub lecture for physics students in Bergen about the interpretation of quantum mechanics (slides) (Norwegian). Date: 27.11.20
- An interview in forskning.no about the connection between theoretical and experimental research in particle physics (Norwegian). Date: 10.10.20.
- An interview with Khrono about the about the status and future of collider experiments in particle physics (Norwegian). Date: 26.10.19.
- A talk at the Norwegian CERN media visit 2019 on current hot topics in particle physics (slides) (Norwegian). Date: 15.10.19.
- I gave a popular science introduction to dark matter at the Norwegian Physical Society meeting 2019 (slides). Date: 07.08.19
- Contributed to an article about quantum fields and particles (Norwegian). Date: 06.03.19
- An interview on open access publishing and the use of preprints (Norwegian). Date: 27.10.17
- "Tumbling down a quantum rabbit hole". An essay published in Mentsch Magazine on a very strange but deeply fascinating interpretation of quantum mechanics. Date: 29.09.17.
Education and employment history
- 2019 - current: Postdoc, University of Oslo
- 2018 - 2019: Research Associate, Imperial College London
- 2017 - 2018: Researcher, University of Oslo
- 2015 - 2017: Fellow, Nordic Institute for Theoretical Physics (Nordita), Stockholm
- 2011 - 2015: Ph.D., University of Oslo
- 2009 - 2011: M.Sc., University of Bergen
- 2006 - 2009: B.Sc., University of Bergen and University of Copenhagen
An up-to-date overview of my scientific publications can be found on inspirehep.net.