Young-Kee Kim

Candidate for Councilor

Short biography

Young-Kee KimI am working on experimental particle physics whose goal is to understand how the universe works at the most fundamental level by discovering and understanding the fundamental constituents (“elementary particles”) and the forces acting among them. I am Louis Block professor of Physics at the University of Chicago. I served as Deputy Director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) from July 2006 to June 2013, and co-Spokesperson of Tevatron’s CDF experiment from 2004 to 2006. I was born and raised in Korea. After receiving a B.A. in physics and an M.A. in theoretical particle physics, I came to U.S. My research has been conducted at
  • AMY experiment at the TRISTAN e+e- collider, KEK, Japan as a student (1986 – 1990)
  • CDF experiment at the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider, Fermilab, as a postdoc at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. and Assistant, Associate and Full Professor at UC Berkeley (1990 – 2002) and as Full Professor at the Univ. of Chicago (2003 – 2013)
  • ATLAS experiment at the LHC proton-proton collider, CERN, Switzerland (since 2013)

I have devoted much of my work to understanding the origin of mass for elementary particles, a central question in particle physics. It includes a number of precision measurements of the W boson mass and the top quark mass. These measurements provided information on the mass of the Higgs boson which is responsible to give mass to elementary particles. In addition, my group (my postdocs and graduate / undergraduate students) was involved in numerous physics topics including the WZ and ZZ production process whose final states are similar to those of the Higgs boson process, the Bs oscillation, the top quark lifetime, the mass difference between the top and anti-top quarks, properties of the Z and W boson, and decay rates of bottom and charm mesons. My efforts on detector work include the tracking chamber, the trigger systems, and the forward-region calorimeter.

Although accelerator physics is an active research field and accelerators are critical for particle physics and other areas in science, we are not educating enough accelerator students. I devote some of my time on educating the next generation of accelerator physicists. I have 5 Ph.D. students in accelerator physics.

Honors and awards include Ho-Am Prize in Science, Rochester Distinguished Scholar Medal, APS Fellow, AAAS Fellow, Alumni Award from Korea University, and Sloan Fellow. I have served on numerous national and international advisory committees (7 in Europe, 11 in Asia, and 15 in U.S.) and organized numerous international workshops and conferences.

Candidate Statement

I deeply care for the international and diverse scientific connection, cooperation and collaboration. I believe that the Forum on International Physics has been and will be playing a very important role in this regard.

I learned a very important lesson during my graduate program: a strong sense of community and the power of collaboration. This was crucial for someone like me who was not well prepared for research, and who, then, did not understand English very well. The power and importance of collaboration has been demonstrated on many occasions. I continued to testify to the importance of the community and collaboration. My recent experiences include leading the CDF collaboration (a very diverse group of about 700 students and junior / senior researches from all over the world), serving as Deputy Director of Fermilab (whose ~1,700 employees come from very different disciplines and backgrounds and whose ~2,300 users come from all over the world), and supervising my students and postdocs who came from very different backgrounds. My experiences made me appreciate the importance of diversity and inclusiveness and issues and difficulties associated with women and minorities and with those from developing countries. This led to my engagement and activities in diversity.

I am a co-founder of Greater Chicago Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. Launched in 2007, this consortium helps “two-body” issues. In 2012, I helped organizing “Expanding Your Horizons, Chicago” to inspire middle-school-age girls (especially from the under-represented region of Chicago) to recognize and pursue their potential in STEM via annual hands-on workshops with local scientists and engineers. I have given numerous presentations at conferences and workshops for promoting women and minorities in science. I helped my own institutions to sponsor African School of Physics that teaches and promotes physics in African countries. I attended the 2008 IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics as a keynote speaker where about 300 people from about 70 countries participated (many came from developing countries). This summer, I participated in a Career Development Workshop for Women in Physics as a speaker where most of participants were from developing countries. Through these workshops and conferences, I learned many lessons on specific difficulties associated with developing countries.

Physics has become dominated by international collaborations. I feel it is interest of American scientists to foster such collaborations.