by Iva Raynova. Published: 30 June 2016

Michal joined the ALICE group of the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, near the end of his Masters programme, when he had to decide on the topic of his thesis. “I was a CERN summer student in 2007 and I spent my time here working on my Master thesis. There was no data to be analysed yet, so I was just doing some Monte Carlo studies.” Later on, during his PhD at the same university, he started working on antibaryon-baryon ratios in proton-proton collisions in ALICE. “After that I found a postdoc in the Czech Technical University in Prague, and I have been working there ever since, but I changed the topic of my analysis. Currently I study ultra-peripheral collisions and I am waiting for last year’s data from lead-lead collisions to be reconstructed, so that I can continue with the analysis.”

He is also part of the ALICE Diffractive (AD) group. AD is a trigger detector which was installed last year and Michal was responsible for its software setup. After being period run coordinator for one month in 2015, this year he was invited to return to the ALICE Run Control Centre as run manager. “It is the atmosphere in the ARC that I really like. That is why I gladly agreed to come back. To be a run manager, you need to know a lot about the operation of the detector. It is also very useful to have previous experience in the Control Centre, so that you can act appropriately if there is a problem or if you have to the change the polarity of the magnet for example.”

Michal likes music and he has been playing the guitar since he was 17. Reading classical literature is also one of his favourite activities. “I like those books which you start studying at high school, mainly the classics of the 20th century. They stand the test of time and that is a proof of their quality. Some say that they are out of date, but that is not true, because a lot of the topics in them are still relevant nowadays. Take Dostoevsky’s books for example. It is like he is dissecting the human mind, he looks at what is going on inside. Like in “Crime and Punishment”, where the story is simple, but you know in detail what is happening in the main character’s head.”