The SCCS Colloquium is a forum giving students, guests, and members of the chair the opportunity to present their research insights, results, and challenges. Do you need ideas for your thesis topic? Do you want to meet your potential supervisor? Do you want to discuss your research with a diverse group of researchers, rehearse your conference talk, or simply cheer for your colleagues? Then this is the right place for you (and you are also welcome to bring your friends along).
David Knop: Neural Networks for Uranium Enrichment
The United States and Europe aim to convert research reactors from running on high-enriched uranium (HEU) to using low-enriched uranium (LEU) fuel, because maintaining a handling permit for HEU is costly and difficult. Despite that most fuel technologies require HEU, there is an alternative LEU fuel technology that can be used to run research reactors but has a very low tolerance for inhomogeneities in the uranium enrichment. Before this fuel can be produced cheaply, a technique for monitoring the uranium enrichment must be developed that is accurate, near-real-time and nondestructive.
Gamma spectrometry is a promising approach but does not reflect the uranium enrichment directly, relying instead on indirect methods which are not accurate enough to monitor the LEU fuel production. Multi-group analysis for uranium (MGAU) is one of these methods and can calculate the uranium enrichment from arbitrary sample geometries without the need to calibrate the measuring system’s geometry.
We utilize the MGAU principal and propose an artificial neural network (ANN) with a gamma spectrum as input and the corresponding uranium enrichment as output. A simulation of the physical processes in a uranium sample produced the training and test data.
I used different training sets and hyperparameter tuning with different loss functions to find an ANN model with an accuracy of 0.39 wt%. The reached accuracy is better than the accuracies Gunnink et al. reported originally (1-2 wt%). It is comparable with values for optimized versions of MGAU (0.2-0.8 wt%) but yet not accurate enough for the fuel production process (0.2 wt%).
Neural Networks, Uranium Enrichment
To register and schedule a talk, you should fill the form Colloquium Registration at least two weeks before the earliest preferred date. Keep in mind that we only have limited slots, so please plan your presentation early. In special cases, contact email@example.com.
We invite students doing their Bachelor's or Master's thesis, as well as IDP, Guided Research, or similar projects at SCCS to give one 20min presentation to discuss their results and potential future work. The time for this is typically after submitting your final text. Check also with your study program regarding any requirements for a final presentation of your project work.
New: In regular times, we will now have slots for presenting early stage projects (talk time 2-10min). This is an optional opportunity for getting additional feedback early and there is no strict timeline.
Apart from students, we also welcome doctoral candidates and guests to present their projects.
During the colloquium, things usually go as follows:
- 10min before the colloquium starts, the speakers setup their equipment with the help of the moderator. The moderator currently is Gerasimos Chourdakis. Make sure to be using an easily identifiable name in the online session's waiting room.
- The colloquium starts with an introduction to the agenda and the moderator asks the speaker's advisor/host to put the talk into context.
- Your talk starts. The scheduled time for your talk is normally 20min with additional 5-10min for discussion.
- The moderator keeps track of the time and will signal 2min before the end of time (e.g. by turning on their video).
- During the discussion session, the audience can ask questions, which are meant for clarification or for putting the talk into context. The audience can also ask questions in the chat.
- Congratulations! Your talk is over and it's now time to celebrate! Have you already tried the parabolic slides that bring you from the third floor to the Magistrale?
Do you remember a talk that made you feel very happy for attending? Do you also remember a talk that confused you? What made these two experiences different?
Here are a few things to check if you want to improve your presentation:
- What is the main idea that you want people to remember after your presentation? Do you make it crystal-clear? How quickly are you arriving to it?
- Which aspects of your work can you cover in the given time frame, with a reasonable pace and good depth?
- What can you leave out (but maybe have as back-up slides) to not confuse or overwhelm the audience?
- How are you investing the crucial first two minutes of your presentation?
- How much content do you have on your slides? Is all of it important? Will the audience know which part of a slide to look at? Will somebody from the last row be able to read the content? Will somebody with limited experience in your field have time to understand what is going on?
- Are the figures clear? Are you explaining the axes or any other features clearly?
In any case, make sure to start preparing your talk early enough so that you can potentially discuss it, rehearse it, and improve it.
Here are a few good videos to find out more:
- Simon Peyton Jones: How to Give a Great Research Talk (see also How to Write a Great Research Paper)
- Susan McConnell: Designing effective scientific presentations
- Jens Weller: Presenting Code
Did you know that the TUM English Writing Center can also help you with writing good slides?
Do your thesis/student project in Informatics / Mathematics / Physics: Student Projects at the SCCS.