Saturday, 10 May 2014

Pheno 2014 Overview

With the conference over, and having caught up on my sleep, I'll just say a few words in summary of the whole thing.

Pheno was, to me personally, fun as always.  Though the number of people I met at Tasi continues to go down, a clue that this is a conference best for graduate students, a position I move further and further from.  We saw that a few times in this conference, where I commented that certain plenary talks were a bit basic for me.  For someone who has been to none or only a few conferences, that general background was likely much more essential.

It's not as if I learned nothing from the plenary talks, either.  Martin Schmaltz's talk on the Higgs theory did a good job of covering the different attitudes towards the naturalness problem, and really helped me understand the issues with conformal symmetry ideas.  The talks from the second session on Tuesday, on dark matter and the Icecube neutrinos, were also interesting.

As for the parallel talks, we had a good selection as always.  Oddly enough, I probably enjoyed the talks on tools the most; Jamie Tattersall talking about the interesting new CheckMATE, Jamie Gainer offering a very well-written and structured talk on model-independent searches, and Joel Walker's discussion of the AEACuS software and meta-language.  Clearly, first names beginning with J are the way to go.

The banquet was in a different location to the last two years, which turned out to somehow manage to be an improvement.  I was very impressed.  Lastly, we also had a showing of Particle Fever.  While not exactly related to Pheno (except in as much as we had Nima attending), I hadn't seen the film before and did enjoy it.

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