Physics Without Frontiers

Worldwide physics outreach



Guatemala is looking to increase the number of professionals with solid STEM backgrounds and excellent programming skills. Two institutions in particular are taking on this challenge, the Universidad de San Carlos and the Universidad del Valle, by running undergraduate physics and mathematics programs whose quality has been steadily increasing in recent years. However, these institutions suffer from a shortage of personnel, material resources, and little emphasis has been given to the development of transferable skills. 

ICTP Physics Without Frontiers (PWF), in cooperation with these universities organise annual schools oriented to data science and data analysis. The project coordinator is Juan Diego Chang and his team.

 See below for more details of these schools.



2019: Machine Learning for Scientists

Dr Kurt Rinnert (University of Liverpool) lead a two-week course in machine learning for over 40 physics students from around Guatemala and a select few from Hondous and El-Salvador. The objective is to provide the students with a solid foundation in the principles of Machine Learning and Data Science, in particular they will be taught how to use tools to analyze actual data from LHCb to find a muon decay.

Oragnsied by Alvaro Veliz Osorio (Jagiellonian University), Juan Diego Chang (Universidad del Valle), Zaida Urrutia (Universidad del Valle), Giovanni Ramírez (Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala).

2018: Practical Programming for Scientists

Dr Kurt Rinnert (University of Liverpool) and Dr Kate Shaw (ICTP), lead a two-week intensive course in Practical Programming for Scientists to undergraduate students and lecturers in physics and related subjects, to provide them with a solid foundation in the principles of programming.

Oragnsied by Alvaro Veliz Osorio (Jagiellonian University), Juan Diego Chang (Universidad del Valle), Zaida Urrutia (Universidad del Valle), Enrique Pazos (Universidad de San Carlos), Ninotchka Matute (Fundacion Crecer)

Co-sponsored by Kingo - Guatemala, Fundación Crecer Guatemala, and University of Liverpool.

PWF Final FB

The focus of the course was to give the participants a solid foundation in the principles and pratice of programming. The course includes a programming challenge that requires the students to solve problems of ever increasing difficulty beyond the format of conventional exercises.

The course uses Python which is a versatile programming language used by researchers in many areas of science for data analysis. Importantly, Python is becoming the language of choice of many practitioners in booming industries such as Machine Learning, Deep Neural Networks, and Data Science.

In addition to the course there was a public event where Dr Kurt Rinnert and Dr Kate Shaw discussed physics, big data, and PWF, to an innovation and tech crowd to emphasis the important skills of physics graduates and opportunities resulting from investing more in the fundamental sciences. The poster for this event is at the bottom of this page.

Course details and lecture slides can be found on the ICTP PWF Indico 

Photographs are on the PWF Flickr Page







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