Archive | October 2017

What are you talking about?

While the clicks are gathering, and while various people, including schools working with IRIS, are analysing the resulting data, I’ve been starting a study of what’s being discussed on the Talk forum. A wordcloud of the content of the comments already tells us quite a lot…

WordCloud from HiggsHunter talk

Unsurprisingly #ocv is the top-ranked hashtag as people indicate they’ve found an off-centre vertex.

As we might expect, citizen scientists use descriptors like “blue” or “white” to describe objects in the images, and then there’s also a good deal of further analysis, with words like “branches”, “center” and “detector”. Clearly some images are hard to interpret as they’re #messy, or otherwise generally a #toughie. Fortunately at least some are “interesting”!

It is great that there’s plenty of particle physics technical talk of “muon”, “quark”.  I love even more that the hashtag “#bundle” has developed its own meaning within the HiggsHunters community, even though it’s not one used in the generaly particle physics jargon. Clearly the Zooniverse’s citizen scientists are developing their own technical vocabulary for the images.

So my next job is to go out and understand those new terms…!