FAQ

FAQ

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Can you tell me about yourself?


There's not too much to tell.  I was born to parents of modest means.  My dad was a mechanic and didn't finish high school.  My mom worked in factories and became a medical professional later in life.  I grew up in a very small and rural town in the northeastern U.S.  I was a good student with a penchant for doing well on standardized tests.  My school was ordinary; I didn't go to a magnet school or anything special.  Growing up,  I was a short order cook, pumped gas, worked in factories, and I was a carny.  I got in the usual kinds of trouble as a teenager.


I went to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for college and achieved two degrees, one in math and one in physics.  I also received several minor degrees.  I graduated cum laude.  I then went to Rice University, where I received my masters and PhD in experimental particle physics.  My thesis advisor was Professor Marj Corcoran.  I then had postdoctoral positions at The University of Michigan and Fermilab before moving on to be a staff scientist at Fermilab.


Over the past 25 years, I have done research using the DZero and CMS detectors, resulting in over 1,000 papers.


I have a great physics theory.  Can you read it/help me publish it/intervene with the powerful forces that are ignoring it?


Sadly, I cannot.  I receive far too many such requests to do this.  But I wish you the best of luck in your efforts.


How can I work with you?


My collaborators are researchers from universities across the globe.  If you want to work with me, you should attend an excellent university and join whatever experimental collaboration it is that I am involved in at the time.  


Can you get me a job at Fermilab or CERN?


Unfortunately not.  If you are interested, I encourage you to look at their employment pages: FNAL and CERN.


What's the best way to keep up with what you are doing?


Probably the best way to do that is to "like" my Facebook page.


I'm an American student who wants to study particle physics, what should I do?


Well, obviously, you should be smart and work hard.  Your path depends on how old you are.  If you are a high school student, I recommend taking as much physics in high school as you can.  You should at least finish pre-calculus or calculus if your school offers it.

Where you go for your undergraduate education matters only a little.  Some kids like big schools.  Some thrive in small ones.  My advice is only to go where you will succeed and where you can do some undergraduate research.  That last bit is very important.  It doesn't have to be super cutting edge, but it should be pretty modern.  This will help you for the most important bit of advice, which is the following.

When you go to graduate school, I recommend that you go to the most prestigious place you can get into.  While this list is not complete, think Berkeley, MIT, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Caltech, etc.  Research is a competitive world and your doctoral academic pedigree is very helpful.  In addition, research your thesis supervisor.  The more successful and better connected they are, the better they can help you.  Good luck.


I am a non-US student.  What should I do to study physics?


Unfortunately, I cannot answer that.  I don't know your country's academic system.  It may be that you can do your undergraduate studies in your country.  Read my advice for US students and then ask a researcher in your country for advice.


Where do you get your t-shirts for your videos?


Several places.  Some are on zazzle.com, while others are on cafepress.com and amazon.com.  Others are custom made and others are from various other online vendors.  My recommendation is to google the saying on the shirt and that will help you find it.


What more famous star do you look like?


Well, there's Mr. Feeny, Siddharth Kak, and Mark Mothersbaugh, or at least so I am told.