DPF Election Candidates 2018

Candidates for Vice-Chair

Jonathan Feng, University of California, Irvine


Jonathan Feng received degrees in physics and mathematics from Harvard and Cambridge and his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1995. Following that, he was a Miller Fellow in Berkeley and held research positions at IAS Princeton and MIT. He joined the UC Irvine faculty in 2001 and became Professor and Chancellor's Fellow in 2006. Feng's research is on physics beyond the standard model and its implications for high-energy colliders, low-energy precision experiments, and topics at the cosmic frontier. His research has helped establish dark matter as a leading motivation for new physics and has emphasized anew the essential role of particle physics in understanding the contents and structure of the universe. Feng’s work has been recognized by a CAREER Award, Sloan, APS, Guggenheim, and AAAS Fellowships, and a Simons Investigator Award. He has served on several NSF, DOE, NASA, and NAS advisory panels, including the DOE Committee of Visitors and the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey, and he was actively involved in the last community planning exercise as a member of the DPF Executive Committee that initiated the process (2010-12), co-convener of the Snowmass Cosmic Frontier Working Group (2012-13), and a member of P5 (2013-14). Feng has been a member of the Particle Data Group (top quark and dark matter sections) (1996-2008), moderator for arxiv.org’s hep-ph (2003-17), and co-chair of the KITP Advisory Board, and he is currently an officer of the Aspen Center for Physics. He has a strong commitment to mentoring and has supervised 11 postdocs, 9 of whom now hold faculty positions. Feng has given many public outreach talks, and, with Mark Trodden, wrote the Scientific American cover story “Dark Worlds,” which won a 2011 National Magazine Award, the preeminent award for American magazine journalism. More recently, with Daniel Whiteson and Ph.D. Comics artist Jorge Cham, Feng created animations on physics topics that appeared on PBS television and have been viewed almost a million times on the web. At UC Irvine, Feng co-founded ``What Matters to Me and Why,'' a series in which speakers share their personal stories and deepest commitments, with the goal of fostering an atmosphere of inclusive excellence and community among students, staff, and faculty on campus.


The array of questions that we are addressing has never been so compelling. Our goals to understand the Higgs boson, discover new particles and forces, determine the properties of neutrinos, identify the origin of flavor, and determine the nature of dark matter, dark energy, and our cosmic origin are all breathtakingly exciting. At the same time, in addition to bringing large projects to fruition to explore these topics, it is becoming increasingly important to explore new theoretical paradigms, support small projects, and make space for new ideas in accelerators, instrumentation, and computing, all topics that are essential to our future. Doing all of this will not be easy, but to succeed, it is clear that the DPF must fully realize its potential to represent our field and build consensus. One aspect of this is community planning. In the coming years, and in the lifespan of the DPF chair line, another Snowmass process will begin. It will be essential to draw on our experience with the last Snowmass/P5 process, avoiding its mistakes and building on its successes, to present a compelling and winsome plan with community involvement and buy-in at every stage. The DPF also plays an important role in outreach. Many people -- from schoolchildren to senior government officials -- find our questions fascinating, and their faces light up when they are exposed to what we are trying to do. The DPF should continue to think innovatively about its outreach activities. Events like “Higgs on the Hill,” which brought together DPF members and Congress members and staff to celebrate the Higgs discovery, can have an outsize impact. Informal “town hall” teleconferences connecting DPF members with DOE and NSF program managers would also be a useful supplement to HEPAP meetings. Finally, the DPF can do a better job of communicating with its members and building community. Updating the web page with current committee memberships, meeting minutes, and periodic newsletters would be a good start. If elected, I plan to join with others on the Executive Committee to strengthen ties with related APS divisions, adopt their best practices, and, most importantly, work hard to broaden and support the pool of junior colleagues who are the future of our field.

Young-Kee Kim, University of Chicago


Young-Kee Kim, an experimental particle physicist, is Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics at University of Chicago. She has devoted much of her research to understanding the origin of mass for fundamental particles by studying two of the most massive particles (the W boson and the top quark), and the Higgs particle. With her students and postdocs, Kim made precision mass measurements of the top quark and W boson and the first direct top-quark lifetime measurement at the CDF experiment at Fermilab’s Tevatron. She was co-spokesperson of the CDF collaboration with more than 600 physicists from around the world during a period of great scientific output. As Deputy Director of Fermilab from 2006 to 2013, she had broad responsibilities including shaping the intensity frontier programs such as the long-baseline neutrino program, which is the centerpiece of the domestic particle physics program, and the muon experiments. She currently studies the Higgs boson as a new tool for discovery and Dark Matter particles at the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s LHC. She devotes some of her time to accelerator physics and to educating the next generation of accelerator physicists. She works to advance the role of women and under-represented groups in physics.

Kim earned BS and MS in Physics from Korea University in 1984 and 1986, respectively, and Ph.D. from University of Rochester in 1990. After her postdoctoral research at Berkeley Lab, she became Assistant, Associate and Full professor at UC Berkeley. In 2003, she moved to University of Chicago.

She is a Fellow of the APS, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Sloan Foundation, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received the Ho-Am Prize, the Women in Science Leadership Award from the Chicago Council of Science and Technology, South Korea’s Science and Education Service Medal, University of Rochester’s Distinguished Scholar Medal, and Korea University’s Alumni Award.

She served on numerous advisory committees and science councils for scientific organizations including SLAC, LBNL, LANL, STScI, HEPAP, CERN, DESY, Orsay LAL, CEA Saclay, INFN-Italy, Oxford, KEK, J-PARC, Kavli-IPMU, RISP-Korea, and IHEP-China. She chaired ICHEP 2016 in Chicago.


The diversity and recent success of particle physics is impressive! The wealth of data coming out of experiments at the energy-, intensity-, and cosmic-frontiers, the progress in theory and computing, and new ideas of accelerators and detectors are breathtaking. The U.S. particle physics program, laid out in the 2014 P5 report via a year-long community-wide Snowmass study organized by the DPF and the P5 strategic planning exercise, is on a good track. The core values of particle physics research are acknowledged and shared by the broader community.

However, we face a number of challenges that together we must work to overcome. Fundamental research should be above partisan politics and we need to convey the message to the government and the public about the relevance of fundamental research. Above all, we need to re-affirm the importance of a shared investment in our students, in our advanced instrumentation, and in our research future. Without the proper representation of minorities and women in our field, we would miss a huge pool of diverse talent that can enhance our ability to innovate and to look at problems and find solutions from many different perspectives. There is tremendous value in empowering youth and we need to find more ways to engage their energy and breadth of backgrounds. Their ideas will determine the future of our field.

Since I first attended the APS meeting in 1990, I have been engaged in various activities of the American Physical Society. I served on the Executive Committee of the DPF and the National Organizing Committee for the APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP). I organized one of the APS CUWiP conferences in 2014 at the University of Chicago. I was a convener of DPF meetings. Since 2014, I have been serving on the APS Board, the APS Council, the APS Council Executive Committee, as well as on the Executive Committee of the APS Forum on International Physics. All of these roles will end in 2017. I am currently a member of the APS Task Force on Expanding International Engagement.

I am honored to have an opportunity to give something back to the particle physics community, which has so molded my scientific life, by serving as a candidate for the chair line of DPF.

Candidates for Division Councilor

Robert Bernstein, Fermilab


Robert Bernstein received his B.S. degree in physics from MIT in 1976. He received his PhD in physics in 1984 from the University of Chicago on a search for direct CP violation in the kaon system. He then moved to Columbia University as a Research Associate and worked on neutrino deep-inelastic scattering in the CCFR collaboration. In 1987, he went to Fermilab as a Wilson Fellow where he is now a Senior Scientist. As a Wilson Fellow, he developed the idea for a precision measurement of the weak mixing angle in neutrino DIS using a novel neutrino beam and was awarded an APS Fellowship for the invention and construction of that beam. He was the co-spokesperson of the NuTeV experiment that relied on that beam, which also measured opposite-sign dimuon production and precision neutrino structure functions. After NuTeV ended he moved to the MINOS and NOvA experiments. In 2006, he became co-spokesperson of the Mu2e experiment, searching for charged lepton flavor violation, stepping down in 2012. He served on the DPF executive committee from 2013 through 2015 as a member-at-large. He also began a new conference series on charged lepton flavor violation which has had two successful meetings in 2013 and 2016 and is now planning the 2019 conference. He has served as a member of, and is currently the Chair of, the Wilson Fellow committee at Fermilab. He is also a member of the Fermilab Committee on Scientific Appointments. Finally, he is the Senior Advisor to the Fermilab outreach program for high school students, Saturday Morning Physics. He has written a review article and given many review talks on charged lepton flavor violation, on deep-inelastic scattering in neutrino physics, on neutrino oscillations, refereed article for several journals, and served on many conference organizing committees.


The Divisional Councilor represents the DPF in the APS Council and shapes APS policy to serve the DPF community. The APS Council is responsible for scientific and strategic matters for APS. During my term as a member-at-large, I made significant contributions to DPF efforts in organizing Snowmass and the subsequent P5 rollout. I led re-writing our bylaws at the time of the Governance change and took that opportunity to broaden the DPF mission: we needed to include particle physics beyond just HEP, and to explicitly include the computation and instrumentation disciplines that are integral to our field. I began our Mentorship Award and served as the first Chair. I conceived of and set up the DPF Early Career Position. After my term ended I continued to serve a number of roles in helping the DPF organize and administer its award programs and even its email communications. We need better to join APS for reasons than to “support a good cause”. I would like to help change that by bringing your ideas and concerns to the APS. DPF is a fundamentally international division and our membership wants the APS to take a more active role in advocacy. DPF is also well-positioned to promote diversity and inclusion in particle physics. The Divisional Councilor position, by its nature, requires cross-divisional coordination. We could coordinate international activities with the Forum on International Physics. While on the Executive Committee I set up mini-symposia for the April APS meeting with DNP to foster collaborate on neutrino cross-section issues. I would continue with such efforts and try to broaden them. We have natural alliances with (at least) DNP, DPB, and the DAP and the APS is an organization where we can work together. We should take good ideas from others: DNP has an excellent program to send undergraduates to the APS meetings we should adapt for DPF. The Divisional Councilor can also suggest ideas to all of APS. For example, Users Organizations often have much better Congressional outreach programs than does APS. In summary, I would advocate for our exciting and diverse field within APS and look for partnerships in APS to promote physics as a whole.

Elizabeth H. Simmons, [through 2017-09-17] Michigan State University, [from 2017-09-18] University of California, San Diego


Elizabeth H. Simmons earned a physics A.B. from Harvard in 1985. After receiving an M.Phil. at the University of Cambridge as a Churchill Scholar, she returned to Harvard for an A.M. and Ph.D. in particle theory and held an SSC Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard. In 1993, she joined the faculty of Boston University, supported by DOE OJI and NSF CAREER awards. In 2003, she moved to Michigan State University, where she is now University Distinguished Professor of Physics, Dean of Lyman Briggs College, and Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Staff Development. In mid-September, she will move to the University of California, San Diego to become Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Physics. Simmons’ research in collider phenomenology emphasizes symmetries and flavor physics beyond the Standard Model, via composite higgs models, strongly-coupled theories, top quark physics, and extensions of the strong and electroweak gauge sectors. She has co-led workshops at the Aspen Center for Physics and Top Thinkshops at Fermilab and was a co-organizer of the Rencontres de Blois from 2010-12. She has served on review panels for NSF, DOE, FONDECYT, and Research Corporation. A Fellow of both the AAAS and APS, she has served on the DPF Executive and Nominations Committees, chaired the DPS’s Sakurai Prize and Education & Outreach Committees, and was on the APS Governance Committee during the most recent APS Bylaws revision. Simmons has been a General Member of the Aspen Center for Physics since 1994, with multiple terms as a Trustee and Officer, and has fostered ACP’s progress toward greater inclusivity. Since 2003, she has served on P5, the University Research Program HEPAP sub-panel, the SLAC EPC, the NSF MPS Advisory Committee, the Advisory Board of Tsinghua University’s HEP Center, and the External Advisory Board of the KICP. Simmons’ work to build gender equity in physics includes running a decade-long high-school outreach program, being a US delegate to the IUPAP Int’l. Conferences on Women in Physics, co-leading three ICTP Career Development Workshops for women physicists from developing nations, contributing to the lgbt+physicists Best Practices Guide for department chairs, and co-authoring the 2016 APS LGBT Climate Report.


This is an exciting and challenging time to be a particle physicist. Data is flooding from myriad experiments with a wider range of ever more capable facilities; theory is in the wonderful position of scrambling to keep up with the latest results and integrate a multitude of innovative concepts together. We must sustain this scientific momentum to enable future discoveries. I believe that doing so requires us as a field (and DPF as our professional organization) to maintain a dual focus on the technical advancement of our science and on the connections of our science to issues of national importance. Framing our field as encompassing the Energy, Intensity, and Cosmic frontiers has already helped the public appreciate the breadth of the exciting research we do. The public’s fascination with the Higgs discovery was palpable in 2012 and endures to this day. Likewise, their curiosity about dark matter, dark energy, gravitational waves, pentaquarks, and rumored new fundamental forces is strong and continually fueled by media reports on our work. In the coming years, we must leverage this public interest to build federal support for future stages of the LHC’s explorations, ensure a steady stream of astroparticle and non-collider experiments, and sustain plans for colliders yet to come. Given the international scope of our field and the fascination it holds for K-12 students, we also have the opportunity to be true leaders in bringing an ever more global and diverse cohort of young people into the field and mentoring their rise into leadership roles. As part of this, the DPF should promote the membership’s ongoing engagement with APS-wide and national efforts to ensure that our nation’s schools and universities offer rigorous science curricula, well-prepared science instructors, and safe, welcoming classrooms for all students. By publicizing the new scientific techniques and insights we are creating within our own domain of expertise, while partnering with APS and external organizations on education, inclusion, and outreach, the DPF membership can sustain the public and federal support required for our field’s continuing success.

Candidates for Member-at-Large

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, and named APS Fellow in 2016. 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 member of the DPF Executive Committee, 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.

Rick Van Kooten, Indiana University


Rick Van Kooten is currently Professor of Physics and Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University. He received a B.Ap.Sc. from the University of Toronto in Engineering Physics in 1984 and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1990 with a thesis on the first searches for new quarks and leptons in Z boson decays at the Stanford e+e- Linear Collider. He followed the Z bosons and was a CERN Scientific Associate and then a DESY Research Scientist with the University of Hamburg working on the OPAL Collaboration at LEP, first studying heavy flavor physics in Z decays and then searching for new supersymmetric particles at the higher energies of LEP2. He started as an Assistant Professor at Indiana University, continuing on the OPAL Collaboration, with 1.5 years of leave at CERN as one of the two OPAL Physics Coordinators until 1998. Transitioning over to hadron collider physics, he joined the DZero Collaboration for Run 2 of the Tevatron at Fermilab and was involved in the fabrication and implementation of the DZero scintillating fiber tracker. He returned to studying heavy flavor physics, convened the b-jet tagging and B physics groups, and served two stints as DZero Physics Coordinator in 2006-2007 and 2012-2015. He continues as a member of the ATLAS Collaboration with interests in vector boson scattering and searches for new physics at the Large Hadron Collider. Starting as a graduate student, he has contributed to studying the prospects of a high-energy e+e- linear collider, was a founding member of the American Linear Collider Physics Committee, steering committees, and co-convened the LC Higgs Physics group for five years.

Van Kooten served as Department Chair in 2007-2012. He has also been active in service to the field: was a member of the Particle Physics Project Priority Panel (P5); a member of the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee in 2007-2009, and chaired the PAC in 2009-2011; served on grant review and selection panels for U.S., Canadian, and German funding agencies; on the Committee of Visitors to the DoE evaluating their grant review procedures; an active convenor of Snowmass working groups since 1989; involved in the Coordinating Panel for Advanced Detectors (CPAD); and a member of the Heavy Flavor Averaging Group since 2002.


Particle physics is as vibrant and dynamic as ever, driven by past and recent exciting discoveries. Its strength is also its diversity in directions of research from collider experiments to studies of neutrinos and rare processes, high energy cosmic rays, dark matter and dark energy and astrophysics strongly supported by advances in theory in all these areas. Although an overall strategy for the field has been laid out by the HEPAP P5 exercise, such a long-term strategic plan requires continuous adjustments to respond to both the science and funding environment, in the U.S. and globally. It is important that the DPF continue to organize relevant input from particle physicists from all levels via grass-roots targeted working groups and Snowmass-type extended studies, working closely with the DoE and NSF. It is critical that particle physics experiments at _all_ scales be pursued, from the megaprojects such as the LHC and DUNE down to table-top experiments – major advances can come from any of these.

There is no doubt a great level of uncertainty in funding and support for fundamental science in the U.S., but we need to take advantage of the current momentum of the positive reaction of a significant fraction of the U.S. towards the importance of science and evidence-based studies. Now is the prime time for DPF to work with other divisions and societies maximize this opportunity to demonstrate the beauty and necessity of particle physics to lawmakers, tax payers, and society as a whole. Such activity can also be used to think outside of the box for funding opportunities including outreach to foundations and corporations, just as universities have diversified. It is crucial to the health of our field that advances in detector instrumentation, high-performance computing and electronics, and accelerator advances be emphasized to get more “bang for the buck” in our work. The DPF can be crucial in ensuring that our younger researchers are educated in such tool development.

Although my current position as Vice Provost of Research admittedly keeps me busy, being excused from teaching does provide me the time for research and service in the field, and I would be honored to bring new perspectives to a role of member-at-large on the DPF Executive Committee.

Stephane Willocq, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


Stephane Willocq received his B.Sc. degree in Physics from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in 1985 and then earned his Ph.D in Physics from Tufts University in 1992. During those years, he worked on accelerator neutrino physics with bubble chamber techniques at CERN and Fermilab, including holography. In 1993, he joined the SLD experiment at SLAC initially as a Yale postdoc then as a SLAC postdoc. His involvement was in the commissioning and performance of the Cherenkov ring imaging detector and heavy flavor physics with studies of b-hadron lifetimes and mixing. He served as co-convener of the SLD Heavy Flavor physics group and Secretary of the SLAC Users Organization Executive Committee. Since 1999, he is part of the Physics faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He joined the BaBar experiment in 1998 and participated in algorithm development for the BaBar electromagnetic calorimeter. His physics involvement focused on the study of radiative penguin decays of B mesons, with a particular interest in the b -> s l+ l- transition as an extension of his work on Bs mixing at SLD. He served three years on the BaBar Publications Board. In 2004, he joined the ATLAS experiment at the LHC. Prior to data taking in 2009, he focused on the development of reconstruction software for the muon spectrometer. He served as muon reconstruction coordinator for three years and as overall muon software coordinator for another two years. He pursued searches for resonant and non-resonant new phenomena in the dimuon final state, with an emphasis on high-mass dimuons. He led a team of experts to understand the reconstruction and identification of muons at the highest transverse momenta attainable at the LHC. For the last few years, he searches for new physics in fully-hadronic diboson and di-Higgs final states exploiting jet substructure techniques. From 2010 to 2012, he was Deputy Manager for US ATLAS Physics Support and Computing. He served as co-convener of the ATLAS Exotics physics group from 2012 to 2014. He also served as Deputy then Chair of the ATLAS Speakers Committee Advisory Board from 2010 to 2012 and is currently serving as Chair of the ATLAS Publications Committee until early 2018. He was elected APS Fellow in 2017.


We live in fascinating but difficult times. We have a broad scientific program with exciting prospects for discovery and significant advancement at particle accelerators, underground laboratories, and astrophysical observatories. The questions we are addressing are more important and fundamental than ever before, with inquiries into the origin of electroweak symmetry breaking, the origin of mass and matter, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy, to cite just a few. Yet, we must continue to improve how we communicate the tremendous excitement of the field to the broader population as well as to those responsible for providing the necessary funding to allow our research to bear fruit and thrive for the long term. I believe the DPF has a central role to play in communicating the importance of our science to the greater public and government through outreach programs and communication campaigns. The DPF has an important role to play in supporting and enhancing diversity in our community. This must also be part of the message that we communicate far and wide. A key aspect of a healthy and thriving scientific program is planning for the future. This is particularly crucial to ensure long-term prospects for the younger scientists in our community. The Snowmass process was instrumental in formulating a vision for the years to come and further planning that explores a number of future facilities and research avenues must be part of our activities. A focus toward the future must be part of our regular APS and DPF meeting structure and can also be further developed with dedicated meetings in more specific areas of research. We must be sure to maintain adequate support for technological developments in particle acceleration and detection, as well as computing, to make sure that the US is well positioned as a leader in the field for years to come. It would be an honor to serve the community as part of the DPF Executive Committee and advocate for our field.

Elizabeth Worcester, Brookhaven National Laboratory


Elizabeth Worcester received a B.S. in physics from Georgia Tech in 1997, a M.S. in physics from UCLA in 1998, and a Ph.D. in physics from University of Chicago in 2007. Her dissertation research was the final precision measurement from KTeV of the CP violating parameter epsilon'/epsilon and other parameters in the neutral kaon system. After taking a few years to be at home with her children while they were babies, she took a postdoctoral research position at Brookhaven National Lab in 2011. Her postdoctoral research was primarily on neutrino oscillation physics, specifically Daya Bay, LBNE, and R&D of water-based liquid scintillator. In 2013 she was promoted to a scientific staff position at BNL; she also holds an adjunct faculty appointment at Stony Brook University. She is currently a member of the Daya Bay, SBND, ICARUS, and DUNE collaborations. Her research is focused on development of cold electronics for liquid argon TPCs and on DUNE physics. She is deputy project manager for TPC electronics for SBND and QC Coordinator for TPC electronics for protoDUNE. She has performed many of the long-baseline oscillation sensitivity and systematics studies that have formed the basis for experiment design decisions, first for LBNE and then DUNE. She has served as LBNE and DUNE long-baseline physics working group co-convener and DUNE Systematics Task Force co-convener. She is currently deputy physics coordinator for DUNE. In these roles, she has often served as a liaison between the experimental and phenomenology communities. She is active in education and outreach, mentoring students at BNL Stony Brook, lecturing in summer schools, and giving public talks and interviews. Worcester has served on the organizing committees of numerous workshops, including PhyStat-nu, the BNL Cold Electronics Mini Summer School, CETUP*14, and Brookhaven Forum. She serves on the advisory board of the Neutrino Physics Center at Fermilab.


With the recent ground breaking for LBNF/DUNE, the US particle physics community is at the start of a very exciting time. There is no denying that this huge and very compelling experiment will occupy many of our resources for the foreseeable future. It is important as a field that we find a way to provide our flagship experiment the resources it needs to fulfill its mission, while also allowing room for smaller experiments, new ideas, and the seeds for the next generation's flagship experiment. It is also true that DUNE's measurements will not exist in a vacuum; to make the most of the opportunity provided by LBNF/DUNE, we must also support the precision measurements and theory work that will allow us to control systematic uncertainties and interpret our results. DPF can help communicate the value of all this work; as someone who is heavily invested in DUNE but also believes very strongly in the importance of breadth in our research program, I hope that I would be in a good position to advocate for the balance that is needed. Balance of another kind - diversity and inclusion in our field - is another topic that is of great personal importance to me. I followed a non-traditional career path, taking time away from research to be at home with my children, and I recognize the contributions of many valued colleagues who came to research later in life or spent time working in industry. I hope to find ways to change our culture to be more tolerant of such diversity in life choices and experience; I think such diversity can only improve the quality of our research as well as opening doors to more balanced demographics. Even as I write this statement from a windowless lab, late on a Friday night, I can say honestly that I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that this community has provided for me and I would be proud to serve you on the DPF Executive Committee.

Candidates for Early Career Member

Ben Carlson, University of Pittsburgh


Ben Carlson became interested in high energy physics as an undergrad while studying electron cloud development at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring as a summer REU student. He then went to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, and received a Ph.D. in 2015. His PhD work was with the CMS experiment, where he worked on a measurement of the Upsilon cross section and a search for supersymmetry with a focus on “stealth” supersymmetry using leptons and jets and no missing transverse energy (MET). For his final year of his PhD Ben was based at Fermilab, supported by awards from the Fermilab Universities Research Association and the LHC Center for Physics.

Ben is currently a Postdoctoral Associate at the University of Pittsburgh. He works on the ATLAS experiment and is based at CERN. His current physics interest is non-standard decays of the Higgs boson. He is currently working on a search for invisible decays of the Higgs boson produced via vector boson fusion. On the detector side, Ben is part of the team that runs the hardware L1 trigger system. He focuses on problems related to optimizing the physics sensitivity of the trigger, motivated by new physics searches such as invisible decays of the Higgs.

He has also expanded his work on the software-based high level trigger system, particularly on the MET algorithms. Currently he is working on techniques to mitigate the impact of pileup on MET trigger rates. As a spin-off of this project, Ben is creating a software tool for fast and flexible estimation of the trigger rates.

Ben enjoys working with students, and helps supervise undergraduates and graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh. He is regularly approached by graduate students from collaborating institutions seeking high-impact tasks within the trigger group, and has serves as technical project supervisor for many of them. In addition to being a technical resource, Ben offers advice on how to communicate effectively to maximize the impact of their work.

Ben has a keen interest in the long-term future of the LHC projects. In particular, he is working on the ATLAS detector design for the planned detector upgrades. He is the coordinator of a group dedicated to studying the expected performance of upgrades to the L1 calorimeter trigger system.


We live in an exciting time for high energy physics, with big open questions such as, What is the nature of dark matter? How is the hierarchy problem solved? What is the nature of neutrinos? At the same time, we have made significant progress in answering these questions. Given the rapid progress of the high energy physics program, the next decade will be crucial for establishing the long-term direction of HEP. The discoveries of this decade will guide the decisions for the next generation of experiments.

Working on any experiment is most fun when effectively connected to colleagues to maximize collaboration. HEP experiments are made up of an international and diverse group of people, who are often spread out over significant distance. As a result, it can be a challenge for developing physicists to form informal collaborations. As a member of the executive committee, I will work to establish networking opportunities for developing physicists.

To achieve this goal, I will organize social gatherings for in person meetings at APS meetings. Particular emphasis will be placed on networking opportunities between developing and senior physicists, working with the Forum for Early Career Scientists to coordinate for maximal participation.

I will also communicate to developing physicists the resources available to them from DPF. This will be accomplished with advertisements at APS meetings and at summer schools. At the same time seek direct feedback from early career members of on the kind of programs they would like to see. This will be done through a web-based poll system.

David Martinez, Illinois Institute of Technology


David Martinez is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Illinois Institute of Technology. David obtained the bachelor in Physics at University of Nariño (Colombia) in 2007 working on scintillating fiber efficiency studies for the Forward Proton Detector. In 2014 and after he spent around 4 years doing his research at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), he received a Ph.D in Physics from Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas (CBPF - Brazil), he worked on the first measurement of charged current inclusive neutrino cross section ratio with the charged current quasi-elastic cross section on a Hydrocarbon target for MINERvA neutrino scattering experiment. After the Ph.D, David began his postdoctoral research at the Illinois Institute of Technology, focusing his efforts on Daya Bay reactor neutrino experiment. David co-led the newly Daya Bay published analysis of the reactor flux and spectrum evolution with the nuclear fuel burn-up. Furthermore, David had the opportunity to led the operations team in the role of run coordinator for the MicroBooNE experiment, the biggest operational Liquid Argon Time Projection Chamber (LArTPC) in US. David has been actively participating in multiple activities to serve the Physics community, having been elected in 2013 as one of the officers of the Fermilab Student and Postdoc Association (FSPA). Since the beginning of 2016, David has played the role of Spokesperson liaison between the young collaborators and the leadership for Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE). David enjoys working in outreach activities, he has led workshops in Colombia and Chicago to teach high school students the basic concepts of high energy physics, also showing the work done by scientists in the different neutrino experiments in laboratories as Fermilab. Furthermore, he has supervised young undergraduate and graduate students from different institutions in US, South America and Africa in the different neutrino experiments where David is involved.


The coming years are going to be exciting for the particle physics community. The Intensity, Energy and Cosmic frontier experiments are showing impressive results, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) with the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2012, their continuos effort to understand the Higgs physics properties and the search for physics beyond the standard model. Recent results released from Dark Energy Survey (DES) continue improving our understanding of the structure of the universe, and future ground-breaking neutrino experiments as the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) and the Short Baseline Neutrino Program (SBN) will continue the effort to understand the nature of the neutrino and its role in the universe.

It is crucial the role that the young DPF community play in all the discoveries, research and development (R&D), and the future projects in particle physics. As an Early Career Member of the executive committee of DPF, I will work to continue finding spaces where the young community can share their work and leadership examples to the senior scientists and professors. Furthermore, I will be devoted to listen and discuss with the young DPF community about new ideas to improve our future professional development and next steps in our careers, finding better ways to communicate our main concerns and needs to the DPF leadership. Taking advantage of the diversity within our community, I will work to improve the current efforts to increase the participation and leadership roles of women and under-represented groups in the different cutting-edge experiments in all the energy frontiers.

Zhen Liu, Fermilab


Zhen Liu is currently a postdoctoral Research Associate at the theoretical physics department of Fermilab. He received his B.Sc. degree in Physics from Zhejiang University in 2009. He then moved to the U.S. and earned his master's degree in physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He spent the last year of his Ph.D. working at Fermilab through the Fermilab Graduate Student Research Program in Theoretical Physics, previously known as the Fermilab fellowship in theoretical physics. Zhen received several awards during his Ph.D. from UW-Madison and from the University of Pittsburgh. These include an award through the LHC-Theory Initiative program by the NSF and an Outstanding Graduate Student Abroad award through the China Scholarship Council.

Zhen's research has a focus on probing new physics at the LHC and other high energy colliders through innovative observables and using new tools such as the recently discovered Higgs boson. Currently, he has been working on the intriguing potential for new physics through interference effects between signals and background, and exotic long-lived particle signatures at the LHC. He is also interested in studying various dark matter scenarios and the complementarity between collider experiments and dark matter direct and indirect detection searches. Given the long term planning necessary for next generation experiments and the exciting journey ahead of particle physics, Zhen has been working on physics cases for various future collider scenarios, including the ILC, CEPC, FCC-ee and a muon collider, and has contributed to the proposal of these future colliders at various degrees. As an active junior member of the community, he has been contributing to various community reports, including the 2013 Snowmass reports and recent Higgs Yellow reports. Zhen has a tradition of working closely with experimentalists and is involved in organizing several LPC activities at Fermilab and also has been serving as a committee member for the LPC topics-of-the-week program for two years.


We are living through an exciting and challenging era of particle physics. The discovery of the SM-like Higgs boson, a precise measurement of the θ13 neutrino mixing parameter, and many greatly improved experimental probes for new physics beyond the standard model mark the great triumphs of our understandings of particle physics. Deep puzzles of nature, such as dark matter, neutrino properties, matter-antimatter asymmetry, etc., are actively being explored but remain to be solved. Yet, no clear sign pointing to a particular solution to these puzzles has emerged. The challenges of understanding how nature works shall be undertaken by continuing efforts in innovating and improving physics experiments at all frontiers and in theory, where individual efforts, international collaboration and cross disciplinary studies all should be highly encouraged.

The Division of Particles and Fields of the American Physical Society, as a professional organization in our field, brings the community together and speaks for the community. The DPF hence plays crucial roles in coordinating among particle physics institutions, including universities and labs as well as governmental agencies, and assures implementation of a coherent plan for our community. The DPF shall promote scientific research globally through international collaborations and communication. As an early career member of the DPF executive committee, I will work to strengthen the involvement of junior physicists and early career member such as postdocs and students in the DPF activities and promote career development programs that aim at helping early career members. I will work to support these goals and visions of DPF and look forward to actively contributing to DPF to promote the success particle physics research and for a vibrant physics community at this exciting time.