Photo Credit: Elliott McCrory
College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
Home: Crest Hill, Illinois
Mentor: Pushpa Bhat and Leonard Siegel
Who I am: I will be a senior in physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There I work on hardware development for ATLAS Fast TracKer (FTK) commissioning. Duties included testing the second stage board (SSB) hardware for bugs, functional verification of various components, and constructing a new test stand to expand and expedite hardware development. I used this test stand to play a key role in board testing when new SSB’s arrive in Spring 2017. Additionally, I am working on searches for supersymmetric particles in events with low transverse momentum leptons and large missing transverse energy from escaping dark matter candidates.
I also have crossed fields and have done research in sociology. I was a research assistant for a multiple case study seeking to understand how LGQ parents of minority or mixed race families socialize their children. This included recording data, developing methods for interviewing adolescents, transcribing interviews into text, and analysis of data per Dr. Ramona Oswald’s socialization model. I conducted my own study in Spring 2017 focusing on the difference in the ways the salient identities of a parents impact the salient identities of their children for LGQ families of color.
Research: Presently, the Standard Model (SM) states that there exists three generations of quarks and leptons. Each generation is distinguished by the fermion rest mass where higher generations have higher masses. Under the SM, qq-bar to ll-bar follow the Drell-Yan (DY) process. If the process were to also follow a Contact Interaction (CI) model, it would be the first evidence for quark/lepton compositeness. This implies quarks and leptons are composed of yet more elementary particles, which are sometimes called preons. Using Monte Carlo simulation we can demonstrate the asymmetries between the DY and CI models. Specifically, the invariant mass spectra of dilepton events and the Collin-Soper angle distribution show significant variation between the two models. From there, the simulation is compared to data. In the absence of evidence for CI, higher limits can be set for the energy threshold for compositeness.