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Tao Han, University of Pittsburgh
Tao Han received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1990 with the thesis topic "Standard Model Higgs Boson Studies for Supercolliders". He was a Research Associate with the Theory Group at Fermilab and a National SSC Fellow until 1993. He joined UC Davis as an Assistant Professor in 1993 and was promoted to Associate Professor II in 1997. In 1998, he returned to UW Madison, was promoted to Full Professor in 2001, and served as co-director for the "Phenomenology Institute" from 2006. In 2011, he relocated to the University of Pittsburgh and presently serves as the founding director of the Pittsburgh Particle Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology Center (PITT PACC). He was named Distinguished Professor of High Energy Physics, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, in 2014. Han's research has focused on new physics at colliders, QCD and electroweak theory at high energies, phenomenological formulation of theoretical models. He contributed to Higgs physics at hadron colliders, initiating the concepts of "central-jet vetoing", "forward-jet tagging", "cluster transverse mass" etc. He contributed to the formulation for R-parity violating interactions in SUSY, and the Lagrangian field-theoretic description for Kaluza-Klein states in large extra dimensions. He proposed to test neutrino mass generation mechanisms at colliders and other experiments. He has also worked on dark matter studies connecting collider signals with direct and indirect searches. Han was elected a Fellow of APS in 2003 and a Fermilab Frontier Fellow in 2004. He holds an adjunct professorship at Tsinghua University, China, and was a KIAS Scholar, Korea in 2013-2015. Han served as a HEPAP member in 2013-2015, on the "Committee of Visitors" panels for the NSF and DOE, on national lab reviews, and on international review panels for KEK and Durham University's IPPP. He served on the advisory boards for TASI, KITP/KITS-China, NCTS-Taiwan, on the DPF Sakurai Prize and Nomination committees, on the editorial boards for Physical Review D, European Physics Letters, and Chinese Physics C. Han has been the organizing chair for the "Phenomenology Symposia" (Pheno conference) for the past 20 years, and a hosting organizer for the CTEQ Summer School. He is now on the chair-line for the APS April Meetings.
With the past 50 years of uninterrupted success for theoretical and experimental research in particle physics, the field holds great promise to uncover the laws of nature on the next fundamental level. As the professional organization of our field, the DPF provides the means for planning our future and representing the community's voice. I believe that there are four aspects particularly relevant and urgent for the DPF today:
(1) As laid out in the 2014 P5 report, there are rich and vibrant research programs in our field for the next two decades. Discussions on the long-term future of the field with ambitious programs are under way in Europe with the European Strategy of Particle Physics. DPF should be proactive and lead the North American effort in the planning.
(2) Given the tight public funding situation for science, the DPF must try to strengthen its relationship with Washington and improve outreach to the general public at all levels. We need to collaborate with the funding agencies to maintain a balanced and sustainable funding profile for the field.
(3) Our field is becoming increasingly global and interdisciplinary. The DPF must promote international collaboration and competition to accomplish the best outcome in fundamental research, while keeping a necessary and healthy balance between US-based and non-US based programs. We also need closer connections to other APS Divisions.
(4) The DPF needs to strive to improve the racial, gender, and regional diversity in our field. In addition, we need to help junior physicists, graduate students and postdocs, with their career development.
With my experience, I believe that I could contribute significantly to these aspects above, if elected.
Harrison Prosper, Florida State University
Harrison Prosper received his Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Manchester, UK, in 1980 while a member of the JADE collaboration at DESY. After a life-changing stint teaching science in an English middle school, Prosper joined RAL in 1982 as a postdoctoral fellow to work at the ILL, Grenoble, on the search for neutron antineutron oscillations and the search for the neutron electric dipole moment. In 1986, he joined the ZEUS Group at Virginia Tech and in 1988 Prosper moved to Fermilab as an Associate Scientist in order to work on the D0 experiment. There he led the D0 online controls group and made substantial contributions to the D0 software systems. In 1993, he joined the faculty at Florida State University (FSU), where he is currently Kirby W. Kemper Endowed Professor of Physics. Prosper is a Distinguished Research Professor at FSU and a fellow of the APS and AAAS. He has served on numerous DOE and NSF panels including HEPAP, P5, the Panofsky Prize Committee, the NSF Blue-Ribbon Panel on LIGO and AdvLIGO, and several NSF Discovery Research K-12 panels. He is an active member of the CMS collaboration, a co-founder of the CMS Statistics Committee, and currently serves in the CMS Engagement Office. Prosper has given numerous seminars, colloquia, and public talks both in the US and abroad and has lectured widely, most recently at the 2018 European School of High Energy Physics. He has had the privilege of contributing significantly to the discovery of the gluon (1979), the top quark (1995), single top production (2006), and the Higgs boson (2012), and looks forward to contributing to one more major discovery. Prosper is one of the field’s leading experts in advanced analysis methods, machine learning, and applied statistics and has worked on top quark physics, Higgs physics, the search for contact interactions using inclusive jets, the search for dark matter using mono-Higgs events, and the interpretation of search results using the pMSSM. Prosper recently stepped down as the head of the FSU HEP Group, which he led since 2008.
Just over a century separates the discovery of the electron by J.J. Thomson and the discovery of the Higgs boson at CERN by ATLAS and CMS. Let us pause for a moment to reflect upon the state of knowledge then compared with the state of knowledge now. Then, atoms were still hypothetical. Now, we are able to create, and study, the quark-gluon plasmas that Nature produces only in her most extreme environments. Then, experiments were performed on desktops, were low-cost, and were over in days or weeks. Now, a machine sensitive to the bending of the Earth’s crust by the Moon is needed to accelerate particles close to the speed of light, while machines the size of buildings are needed to investigate how these particles interact. The progress on all fronts, theoretical, experimental, technological, educational, since J.J. has been extraordinary. There is an inspiring, exhilarating, story to tell. Yes, some of us have tried, and a few keep trying, but we need to get much better at telling this story. Why? For two reasons. First, scientific research, especially in a field as esoteric as ours, is ultimately a cultural activity. Yes, we do occasionally produce “better mousetraps” and there are those rare occasions when what we invent transforms the world. The “spin-off” argument is a necessary part of the story and must be told, but it is far, far, from being sufficient. We do what we do because it is thrilling. Second, I firmly believe that the future of US particle physics is potentially dazzling, if only because we already know how much we don’t know; our search for “smoother pebbles” is far from over. In 2118, after a century of progress in this future of radically new concepts, new categories of thought, new mindbogglingly powerful AI-assisted machines and experiments, with physicists young and old scattered across the inner solar system, our descendants may look back with awe at what US citizens through their support of particle physics have achieved. But that future will not happen unless, today, we can persuade our fellow citizens and their leaders that this future is worth building. In my view, making a compelling case for this future is the DPF’s most important task, one I am committed to pursuing should I be elected.
Csaba Csaki, Cornell University
Csaba Csaki received his B.Sc. degree from the Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary in 1993. He obtained his Ph.D. from MIT in 1997. He was a Miller fellow at UC Berkeley 1997-99 and a J. Robert Oppenheimer fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory 1999-2001 before joining the faculty at the Cornell physics department in 2002, where he is now a full professor. He was named a DOE Outstanding Junior Investigator in 2001, elected a member of the Aspen Center for Physics in 2014, named APS Fellow in 2016, and received a German Humboldt Foundation Research Prize in 2017. He has served as chair of the DPF nominating committee, on the Sakurai Thesis Prize Committee, as well as several DOE and NSF panels. He is an associate editor of EPJC. He has lectured at various schools, including three times at TASI, which he also co-directed in 2009. He has co-organized various workshops and meetings, including three Aspen summer workshops and a winter conference, a full length KITP workshop, as well as several workshops in Germany, Korea and Italy. He is a leader in physics beyond the Standard Model. He specializes in how new strong dynamics can stabilize the electroweak sector and has made key contributions to the study of models based on supersymmetry, extra dimensions, and compositeness.
This is a critical time for the US Particle Physics community. After years of steady decline in funding, several subfields are near their breaking points. There is a real threat that we will lose our international leadership. While many of the reasons for this are well beyond the control of physicists, it is vital that we establish a proper forum to represent the goals and interests of the particle physics community independently of the ever changing priorities of the agencies. The DPF of the APS is one of the few organizations that could viably initiate such action. As a Secretary/Treasurer of the DPF, I will push for the DPF be the independent advocate of the HEP community that we urgently need at this time, while still being a constructive team player within the DPF Executive Committee. My goals for the DPF are to be more deeply involved in setting the long term agenda for US particle physics, to establish mechanisms to represent the scientific interests of the US community, and to provide an opportunity for the future leaders of our community to emerge.
Mirjam Cvetic, University of Pennsylvania
Mirjam Cvetic received her Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Ljubljana (1981), PhD from the University of Maryland (1984), was a post-doctoral fellow at SLAC, Stanford University (1984-87), and has had a primarily affiliation with the University of Pennsylvania since 1987, where she is Fay R. and Eugene L. Langberg Professor of Physics.
Her research encompasses broad thrusts in theoretical physics with a focus on real phenomena in particle physics, cosmology and gravity. She is a world expert on string theory compactifications and their implications for particle physics: the first three-family supersymmetric Standard Models with interesting D-branes; new non-perturbative effects (D-instantons) that can explain the origin of neutrino masses; new particle physics models of F-theory (string theory at finite coupling). These efforts also tie to her early studies of heavy gauge bosons at the LHC and the ILC.
Cvetic is an expert on topological defects, resulting in pioneering work on supergravity domain walls. Her proposal of domain wall/cosmology correspondence plays an important role in the cosmological context of gravity/field theory duality. She is also recognized for work on general black holes in string theory (Cvetic-Youm black holes) and their microscopic studies, and for constructions of new special curvature metrics.
Cvetic is a Fellow of APS (2001), a recipient of Distinguished Alumni Award (2007), a Simons Foundation Fellow (2013) and an elected member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts (2014). She was an elected member (2008-11) and a Chair (2009-10) of the Advisory Board of the KITP, Santa Barbara, an elected Advisory Board member of the Aspen Center of Physics (2010-15 and 2015-20), an elected member of the DPF Executive Committee (2015-18), and a Chair of the DPF Mentorship Award (2018-19). She has served on numerous national (HEPAP (2012-2015), DOE, NSF, APS) and international (NSERC, German Science Foundation) advisory panels.
Particle physics has made tremendous contributions to fundamental understanding of nature. Profound advances in theoretical particle physics have shed light on foundations of quantum nature of fundamental forces, and have also made important fundamental contributions to other scientific disciplines, ranging from astrophysics, nuclear and atomic physics, to condensed matter. Particle physics experiments require the development of the cutting-edge technology which in turn impacts many aspects of human endeavor. We are at an important crossroad, with a number of important experiments planned and underway in the energy, intensity and cosmology frontiers, all well positioned for new fundamental discoveries. While the U.S. particle physics community has a coherent, carefully thought-out plan for the future U.S. particle physics research, it also faces tremendous funding pressures, including the university research programs, both in experimental and theoretical particle physics. As a HEPAP and DPF Executive Committee Member I had consistently raised these issues and emphasized the importance of the world leadership role of the U.S. particle physics, including its forefront theory efforts ranging from collider physics, particle physics phenomenology to formal theory. The DPF should play a leading role when it comes to confronting challenges faced by the particle physics community. I have consistently supported steps to improve communications about the importance and broad impacts of our field at all levels, ranging from the outreach, to our colleagues in other fields of science, to the Congress. As a Treasurer and a Secretary of the DPF I look forward to initiating new steps to render the DPF an important player in maintaining the world leadership role of the U.S. particle physics both in experiment and theory.
André de Gouvêa, Northwestern University
André de Gouvêa got his B.A. (1994) and Master's Degree (1995) in Physics at the Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro and his Ph.D. in Physics in 1999 - thesis title "Supersymmetric Versions of the Standard Model" - at UC Berkeley, working with Professor Hitoshi Murayama. He was a Non-Member-State Fellow in the Theory Division at CERN, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Fermilab Theory Group. He joined Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2003 where he is a Professor of Physics since 2014. André's research is on theoretical particle physics, and has concentrated on neutrino physics and the phenomenology of theories that may help explain the origin of neutrino masses, along with the exploration of other ideas for and consequences of the physics that may lurk beyond the standard model. He was elected Fellow of the APS in 2012 for his contributions to the field of neutrino physics. He has a tradition of working closely with experimentalists, and is currently a member of the Mu2e, muon g-2, and DUNE collaborations. André has been very active within the particle physics community. He was one of the Neutrino Conveners for the Intensity Frontier Exercise in 2011/2012 and the Community Summer Study (Snowmass) in 2013. He served as a member of the 2014 version of the P5 HEPAP sub-panel. André served as an elected member of the Fermilab Users Executive Committee (2013--2015) and is currently a member of the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee. André is very interested in interacting with young particle physicists and introducing particle physics to the general public. He has lectured in several international summer schools during the last fifteen years, including TASI (most recently in 2016) and the ICTP Theoretical Particle Physics School. He has given public lectures in the US and abroad, most recently the ICTP-SAIFR Distinguished Public Lecture (São Paulo, February 2018, in Portuguese). He was also featured in an episode of "Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman" (“Is There a Shadow Universe?,” in 2014).
Particle physics is an incredibly exciting subject that continues to shed light on the how nature works at the smallest distance scales. The discovery of the Higgs boson, along with the existing concrete evidence for physics beyond the standard model - neutrino masses, dark matter, dark energy - point in several very promising directions for exploration. We are driven towards a broad particle physics program that should include large neutrino detectors and powerful neutrino beams, different dark matter direct and indirect search experiments, diverse surveys of the large-scale structure of matter in the universe, and the pursuit of next-generation, high energy colliders, among others. Success hinges dramatically on details: can all of this be done in a world where resources allocated to particle physics keep decreasing? can we convince society that these are worthwhile endeavors? can the international and domestic particle physics communities coordinate successfully and carry out a very challenging program that takes advantages of the different strengths of the different regions? The DPF can, and must, play a leading role when it comes to many of the challenges faced by particle physics in particular, and science as whole. Outreach at all levels of society - general public, congress, universities - is required, and, in general, particle physicists don't do it as well as they should. The DPF can help significantly there. As an at-large member of the executive committee, I look forward to actively participating and contributing to render the DPF an important contributor to the future health and success of particle physics in particular, and physics and science in general. I believe I have broad experience at several fronts - from talking to congressional offices through my activities with the Fermilab UEC to interacting with the general public during public lectures to serving as a member of P5 and the Fermilab PAC - in order to be effective.
Radja Boughezal, Argonne National Laboratory
Radja Boughezal is an Associate Staff Scientist in the HEP division of Argonne National Laboratory. She joined ANL as an Assistant Staff Scientist in 2010 after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland and as a Sofja Kovalevskaja Research Fellow at the University of Wuerzburg in Germany. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg in Germany in 2005, a Masters degree in theoretical physics in 2001 from the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, and a B.S. degree in physics from the University of Constantine in Algeria in 2000.
Her research in theoretical particle physics focuses on the precision understanding of QCD and electroweak effects at high energy colliders. Her recent work includes improving the Standard Model predictions for LHC observables such as the Higgs boson cross section and kinematic distributions which played an important role in the Higgs discovery. She has helped develop new techniques for higher-order perturbative calculations in QCD that have led to better understanding of a diverse set of phenomena, including the production of electroweak gauge bosons at colliders, backgrounds to dark matter searches, and the partonic structure of the proton. She was selected as an Emmy Noether Fellow of the Perimeter Institute in 2016 and has served as a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Higgs Couplings workshop series between 2014-2017. She was a convener for the QCD working group at several DPF meetings as well as various Linear Collider workshops. She has lectured at several summer schools including TASI, CTEQ and MITP in Germany. She actively organizes workshops at venues such as the KITP and Aspen that bring together theorists and experimentalists to discuss timely questions in our field. She is very active in contributing to outreach activities that motivate high school kids, especially those from under-represented categories, to pursue STEM careers and break the cliche that such careers are difficult.
It is an interesting time for high energy physics. We are only six years removed from the discovery of the Higgs boson, and the search for deviations from the Standard Model continues unabated at the LHC. Here within the U.S. we are planning for a future large-scale experimental effort in neutrino physics and searching for dark matter through multiple fronts. Yet despite these successes and exciting developments, we are facing a challenging funding climate that hinders our ability to fully pursue the many opportunities before us. I believe that successfully navigating these challenges depends critically on three issues, which I would focus on helping the community achieve if elected as a member-at-large of the Division of Particles and Fields.
(1) It is critical to support a diverse program of research in high energy physics. This includes both large-scale and smaller experimental efforts, as well as support for a broad spectrum of theoretical investigations not directly tethered to any particular experimental program. We should pursue ways of connecting to other areas of science where our expertise and knowledge may provide insight. As one example, the recent discovery of gravitational waves may offer exciting new directions for high energy physics research.
(2) We should strive for diversity of funding, looking for opportunities to support our field in ways beyond the usual sources. One possibility comes from the increasing interplay between high energy physics and related fields such as advanced instrumentation and high-performance computing. This requires explaining to Congress, the business community and the general public what our expertise can bring to these other fields.
(3) Finally, we must increase the diversity of the young scientists entering our field, finding ways to convey to kids of all backgrounds the fun of high energy physics. For me, coming up with new ideas to solve the mysteries of the universe is extremely rewarding. Through high energy physics I have had the opportunity to live in multiple countries and was fortunate to experience interesting scientific and social interactions. I wish to help convey that excitement and experience to the next generation of particle physicists as a DPF member-at-large.
Natalia Toro, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford University
Natalia Toro is currently an Associate Professor of Particle Physics and Astrophysics at SLAC and Stanford University. She received her S.B. degrees in Physics and Mathematics from MIT and her Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2007. Her Ph.D. research focused on LHC phenomenology and weak-scale model-building. She then joined the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics as a postdoc, where she continued work on collider phenomenology and initiated study of the applications of small-scale experiments (including B-factories and new fixed-target proposals at JLab) to searches for new, weakly coupled forces. This work contributed to the development and proposals of the APEX and HPS experiments, for which she has been a co-spokesperson and collaborator respectively since 2009. In 2010 she accepted a faculty position at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, returning to the US in 2015 to work at SLAC. During this time she has continued her work on small-scale experiments, leading to the development of new beam-dump and missing momentum proposals to search for dark matter, as well as developing the theory of both light dark matter and new possibilities for the spin structure of long-range forces. Toro has been involved as an organizer or advisory committee member in many recent workshops on dark-sector physics, and was a co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the 2017 “Cosmic Visions: New Ideas in Dark Matter” workshop.
Particle physics is currently at a very exciting juncture: The LHC is already turning the Higgs discovery into a new opportunity for precision measurement, and expanding into new territory with potential for important new discoveries. Accelerator, low-background, and cosmology data all promise new insights into the neutrino sector. And the quest to understand the particle nature of dark matter is progressing on multiple fronts. At the same time, considerable new interest has emerged in small-scale experiments, pioneering new techniques to make important scientific inroads — this is particularly true in dark matter science, where new searches for axions and sub-GeV dark matter have been proposed. It is essential for the future of US particle physics that we continue our strong leadership in the established, large scale experiments and also that we become leaders in both devising and pursuing the small-scale initiatives whose outcomes will define important future directions for our field. The DPF can help significantly in supporting this balance, as well as promoting these opportunities to the general public and to funding agencies. As an Executive Committee member I will actively work towards this initiative, as well as helping the DPF to be a powerful force in connecting physicists in these disparate domains of fundamental physics.
Meenakshi Narain, Brown University
Narain is a member of the CMS Collaboration since 2007. Currently, she is the Collaboration Board Chair of U.S. CMS and is co-chair of the CMS Diversity Office. She received her PhD from Stony Brook University, after her M. Sc. from IIT, Kanpur. She was a postdoc and a Wilson Fellow at Fermilab. She joined the Boston University faculty in 1999 and moved to Brown University in 2007.
Her research interests are studying the top quark, Higgs Boson, and searching for physics beyond the SM. As a member of D0, she played a key role in the discovery of the top quark in 1995. She was convener of the top and the Higgs groups. For D0 upgrade, she led the Level 2 Silicon track trigger and the Level 1 Central Track Trigger projects. On CMS, she has led the b-quark id group and the exotica resonances subgroup, and is now the Level 3 manager of the US CMS Silicon Outer Tracker Modules project for the HL-LHC upgrade. From 2013-2016, Narain served as coordinator of the LPC at Fermilab, a critical link for US physicists in CMS. In 2013, she co-convened the New Particles group of the Snowmass effort. Narain continues to define the future vision of our field by coordinating the physics and performance studies for the HL-LHC upgrade of the CMS detector, which have been included in four Technical Design Reports. She is the experimental contact for the Future Accelerators category of the DPF whitepaper for input to the European Strategy Group planning effort.
Narain is a recipient of NSF POWRE, CAREER, MRI, and DOE OJI awards. She is a Fellow of the APS (2007) and was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard. She was inducted to Sigma Xi for contributions to the future of science. Narain has been a member of review panels for NSF and DOE, and of FNAL URA visiting committee. Narain has advocated for gender-equity as chair of the Brown Physics Department diversity & inclusion initiative, and faculty mentor of WiSE groups. She is on the board of the Presidential Scholars Program for high-achieving students from lower-and-middle-income families. She serves on the DPF selection committees for the Panofsky Prize and for APS Fellows. Her outreach efforts are numerous, and she is spearheading a pilot to combine STEM activities with art and design at “WaterFire Providence”, visited by 30K people.
Our field is rich with exciting results in all areas – collider physics, neutrinos, high energy cosmic rays, astrophysics, dark matter, and dark energy. The neutrino program in the US and the HL-LHC upgrades are taking shape. Theory colleagues are helping define future experiments while providing better descriptions of the observed phenomenon.
It has been five years since we met in Minneapolis for the Snowmass study in 2013. The resulting studies informed the P5 report that has guided the US HEP program for the past years. Much has happened since 2013, and a new planning cycle is upon us. The European Strategy Report, which evaluates existing and other proposed new facilities will be discussed in 2019, and a decision about the ILC by Japan is expected this year. The DPF is preparing the next community study in 2020 or 2021, with initial planning in 2019. We have to focus the discussion on the merits of each of the possible projects to arrive at a proposal that maximizes the physics opportunities within the available (limited) resources.
I would help lobbying Congress to provide the resources to achieve our objectives. The P5 report, with a coherent plan and community buy-in, was a great tool to convince Congress to support our program. It is thus imperative that the next planning effort again results in a broadly accepted strategy. The executive committee has to put its weight behind this goal. A key to successful lobbying of Congress is a solid support base among the population at large, especially from non-scientists. Outreach programs which further this goal need to reach audiences outside the academic community with the support of DPF.
We live in a time of heightened awareness that not all members of our community have equal opportunities. Besides supporting the effective discussion of our physics objectives, I consider it important to create an environment in which scientists from all groups of society can thrive. I have made substantial contributions towards this goal at Brown, my home institution, and promoted changes within the CMS Collaboration. If elected as a member, I would champion diversity initiatives that help institutions create programs to mentor underrepresented groups and to highlight the achievements of female and minority scientists.
Yonatan Kahn, KICP, University of Chicago
Yonatan Kahn is a postdoctoral fellow at the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics at University of Chicago. He received a B.A. in physics and math from Northwestern University in 2009, and completed Part III of the Mathematical Tripos at University of Cambridge in 2010. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 2015 with thesis topic "Forces and Gauge Groups Beyond the Standard Model," for which he was awarded the APS J.J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in 2016. From 2015-2018 he was a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University. Kahn's research focuses on novel detection methods for dark matter, including sub-GeV dark matter, axions, and dark photons. A theorist with strong connections to experiments, he is a member of the ABRACADABRA and PTOLEMY collaborations, and has contributed theoretical work on dark matter-induced atomic ionization for the DarkSide experiment. Kahn is also the co-author with Adam Anderson of "Conquering the Physics GRE," published by Cambridge University Press, and has given summer courses and webinars for APS's Bridge Program to prepare students for the Physics GRE.
Particle physics represents one of the greatest intellectual endeavors of humanity. In addition to enormously increasing our knowledge about the universe we live in, particle physics has spurred advancements in technology and engineering which should not be overlooked: the mass-production of superconducting magnets for high-energy colliders which now leads to cost-effective MRIs, for example. In an era where support for basic science from the highest levels of government is not guaranteed, our community should advocate strongly for the continued relevance of particle physics research and the long-term investment in American science it represents. The current proliferation of novel and creative dark matter experiments provides spectacular opportunities both for collaboration with our colleagues in other areas of physics and for the development of new detector technologies with many potential applications. As the Early Career member of the Executive Committee, I look forward to representing the particle physics community from the perspective of a postdoc and advocating for the needs of postdocs within the particle physics community.
Ian Moult, University of California, Berkeley
Ian Moult is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He received his B.Sc. from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) in 2011 and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016. He was a postgraduate fellow of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada from 2012 to 2015, and the recipient of the Andrew M. Lockett Memorial Fund Award for Graduate Research at MIT in 2015, and the J.J. and Noriko Sakurai Dissertation Award in Theoretical Particle Physics in 2017. His research focuses on the development of new field theory techniques, often using the concept of effective field theories, to improve theoretical predictions for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and Dark Matter indirect detection. He has also developed novel techniques to characterize and calculate the substructure of jets, which play an important role in searches for new physics at the LHC.
Particle physics is entering an interesting era. Progress is being made on many fronts, both formal and experimental, but many important decisions about the future direction of our field need to be made in the next few years. I therefore believe that the DPF has a particularly important role in guiding the direction of our field, and ensuring researchers have the support required so that the US particle physics community remains healthy and on the forefront of physics research. We must also work to encourage young women and minorities to pursue studies in our field to ensure a more diverse future for US particle physics.
Fernanda Psihas, University of Texas at Austin
Fernanda Psihas got her B.S. from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in 2011. She received her Master's from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2013 and her PhD from Indiana University in 2018. For her B.S. she searched for rare decays of the Z boson on CDF. Since 2011, she has focused on neutrino physics, working on NOvA and most recently DUNE and NEXT. On NOvA, Psihas worked actively in operations, being the only graduate student to lead a group in the experiment on detector monitoring and data quality. She developed energy reconstruction techniques and a framework for the study of systematic uncertainties for the main oscillation analyses. She also developed a deep learning classifier with colleagues from NOvA, which was the first of its kind used in a HEP result and is now being tested for use on DUNE. She also developed the single particle classification technique used on NOvA today. In 2017, Psihas was awarded a ConTex bi-national fellowship to continue her work on the physics of the neutrino masses at the University of Texas. Since then, she has focused on developing R&D skills on a new concept for a Se-based ion TPC and working to demonstrate a new technique to detect single ions in a Xenon gas TPC for NEXT. Psihas has continued developing deep learning techniques on NOvA and was recently appointed convener of the reconstruction and deep learning working group.
Her community efforts include representing the Fermilab Users in the Users Executive Committee, where she works on government advocacy and efforts to promote safe and respectful environments. Psihas spearheaded the creation of the Fermilab Machine Learning group, a knowledge-sharing community for deep learning, and participated in the development of a machine learning community white paper, and a roadmap for the computational needs of our field in the 2020's. Her outreach activities include Fermilab's Ask-a-scientist and neutrino lectures for middle-school level students, among others. She served on the development team for the APS bridge program at Indiana University. As the representative of Young NOvA on the experiment’s Institutional Board and later Young NOvA president, Psihas focused on community-building activities and awareness of safe environment for young scientists.
We have a vibrant community of scientists with the will and the knowledge to keep pushing the limits of our understanding of the Standard Model, neutrinos, dark matter, cosmology, and the connections between them. More and more do new experimental results and theoretical models inform one-another on short timescales to direct our experimental searches and shape the R&D for technologies which will be available in the next decade. In the coming years, we will continue ongoing projects in preparation for our most ambitious experimental efforts yet, and collaboration across the board is more important than ever. Our community is unique in our ability to strategize cohesively, as we did in the P5 process. This has yielded fruit in terms of physics deliverables on time and on budget, resulting in overwhelming support from Congress. We continue to strive to do the best science we can with the resources we are entrusted, but we still have much room to grow. The next iteration of our strategic planning should keep open doors for new and exciting developments on short timescales and small scales, as well as consistently supporting large projects.
DPF can support and foster this community to grow and improve on our efforts. In the coming years, I believe we should focus more intently on the following areas:
This last point is one I am personally committed to since the beginning of my career. In our community, we have much to add when it comes to openness of conversations about and prevention of issues of harassment. For our field to be successful at attracting and retaining brilliant young people, they need to be empowered to take stands and put forward new ideas, and they need to be protected in an environment where development of scientists and advancement of science are both equally our priorities.