University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Academic Calendar

Thursday, March 24th 2016
2:00 pm:
Thesis Defense in PAN 210
Speaker: Dominick Rocco, University of Minnesota
Subject: Muon Neutrino Disappearance in NOvA with a Deep Convolutional Neural Network Classifier
This is the public portion of Mr. Rocco's thesis defense.

The NuMI Off-axis Neutrino Experiment (NOvA) is designed to study neutrino oscillation in the NuMI beam. Neutrinos at the Main Injector (NuMI) is currently being upgraded to provide 700 kW. NOvA observes neutrino oscillation using two detectors separated by a baseline of 810 km; a 14 kt Far Detector in Ash River, MN and a func- tionally identical 0.3 kt Near Detector at Fermilab. The experiment aims to provide new measurements of ∆m232 and θ23 and has potential to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy as well as observe CP violation in the neutrino sector. Essential to these analyses is the classification of neutrino interaction events in NOvA detectors. Raw detector output from NOvA is interpretable as a pair of images which provide orthogonal views of particle interactions. A recent advance in the field of computer vision is the advent of convolutional neural networks, which have delivered top results in the latest image recognition contests. This work presents a novel approach particle physics analysis in which a convolutional neural network is used for classification of particle interactions. The approach has been demonstrated to improve the signal efficiency and purity of the event selection, and thus physics sensitivity. Early NOvA data has been analyzed (2.74×1020 POT, 14 kt equivalent) to provide new best-fit measurements of sin2(θ23) and |∆m232|.

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