Graduate Student Alice Sady Wins National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship

Alice Sady is a second year graduate student studying experimental particle physics. She is working with Professor Petar Maksimovic, searching for new physics at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN with the CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) experiment. The LHC will begin taking new data late this spring at almost twice the center of mass energy, which greatly increases the potential for discovery. Alice will focus on searching for a heavy particle that decays to a Higgs boson and another vector boson, using newly developed techniques to identify the Higgs boson. She also hopes to use new data to look for a particular variety of supersymmetry where the lightest supersymmetric particle decays to electrons and muons that are closely surrounded by quarks and gluons. In the past two years, she has collaborated with theorists and experimentalists in the department to create a variable that serves as a signal-background discriminant for this kind of decay that involves leptons surrounded by hadronic activity, a signature that has not been considered in most LHC analyses. With the NSF fellowship, she will be able to use this variable to look for new heavy particles and supersymmetric particles in the data arriving in 2015.

Alice has been heavily involved in outreach and diversity organizations, both at her undergraduate institution Williams College and here at Hopkins. She planned women in physics lunches and headed a chapter of Society of Physics Students to support the undergraduate community at Williams and provide outreach to the rural community in the Berkshires. At Hopkins, she participates in PAGS outreach events, served as a member on the Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council, and is the current chair of the Physics and Astronomy Diversity Group.