I thought I would take the time to introduce just a few of the current or recent ATLAS @ SMU group members. We have the virtue of all being at CERN this summer (and some of us are here year-round!). From left to right in the photo above:
- Tingting Cao – a third-year graduate student at SMU now entering her fourth year, Tingting formally joined the SMU ATLAS group in autumn of 2011 and has contributed to the way in which ATLAS shift crew members understand the rate at which the ATLAS detector is “triggering” on interesting signatures from the LHC. She is interested in the search for the Standard Model Higgs Boson and is beginning to contribute to the “golden channel,” H -> four leptons (via intermediate Z-boson pair production). She is based at CERN.
- Renat Ishmukhatemov – Renat just earned his Ph.D. from SMU for his study of photon production at the LHC. His thesis was based on his contributions to some of the first ATLAS publications on the subject. An understanding of photon production at the LHC is a critical ingredient in separating two-photon decays of the Higgs boson from background processes that also produce two photons. Renat has joined The Ohio State University and their ATLAS group as a post-doctoral scholar. He has been and will continue to be based at CERN.
- Aidan Randle-Conde – Aidan is in his third-year of a post-doctoral scholar position with the SMU ATLAS group. He has already made important contributions to the search for additional Higgs bosons (beyond the Standard Model Higgs boson) and has turned his attention to the Standard Model Higgs bosons and other ways to search for it and study its properties, if it is discovered. He is based at CERN.
- Stephen Sekula – I am an Assistant Professor of Physics at SMU, and my primary interests are in looking for Higgs bosons other than the one predicted in the Standard Model. Additional Higgs bosons are required if we are to understand where things like Dark Matter (not predicted by the Standard Model and thus not described by it) get their mass. I am based at CERN for only half the summer; my teaching duties usually keep me anchored in Dallas, with occasional trips during the semester to CERN.
- Julia Hoffman – until very recently, Julia has been a post-doctoral scholar with the SMU ATLAS group. She has been focused on the “golden mode” of Higgs decay – the decay of a Higgs boson to four lepton via an intermediate Z-boson pair. In addition to organizing internal workshops and meetings on the subject, she has worked very closely with Prof. Ryszard Stroynowski (the principle investigator of our group) and SMU graduate student (and now post-doctoral scholar) Ryan Rios. Julia’s recent focus has been on understanding systematic uncertainties present in the Higgs boson “golden mode” analysis which is targeted for summer 2012 results. Julia is now a post-doctoral scholar with Academia Sinica in Taiwan on the AMS-02 Experiment. She is based at CERN.