Statistical Techniques for Particle Physics

author: Kyle Cranmer, CERN - European Organization for Nuclear Research
published: Sept. 10, 2010,   recorded: February 2009,   views: 5166
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike (CC-BY-NC-SA)

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This series will consist of four 1-hour lectures on statistics for particle physics. The goal will be to build up to techniques meant for dealing with problems of realistic complexity while maintaining a formal approach. I will also try to incorporate usage of common tools like ROOT, RooFit, and the newly developed RooStats framework into the lectures. The first lecture will begin with a review the basic principles of probability, some terminology, and the three main approaches towards statistical inference (Frequentist, Bayesian, and Likelihood-based). I will then outline the statistical basis for multivariate analysis techniques (the Neyman-Pearson lemma) and the motivation for machine learning algorithms. Later, I will extend simple hypothesis testing to the case in which the statistical model has one or many parameters (the Neyman Construction and the Feldman-Cousins technique). From there I will outline techniques to incorporate background uncertainties. If time allows, I will touch on the statistical challenges of searches for physics beyond the standard model and the look-elsewhere effect.

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