I am a physicist and teacher who is especially interested in discovering new physics, especial detection of dark matter.
Teaching physics is my opportunity to show how amazing it is that the universe can be understood and explained. Teaching opens the door for future scientists to realize for themselves the prospect and excitement of making their own contribution to human knowledge and understanding.
One of my chief goals as a physicist is to reach out to engage the next generation and help to kindle their interest. I'm interested in helping students see how physics connects to their every day life and how physics can help them obtain their career goals.
I've been fortunate that my teachers have demonstrated some of the keys to successful teaching: enthusiasm, patience, and creativity. I'm passionate about physics and passionate for my students to do well. I'm more than willing to go over the same "stubborn" concept. I'm always looking for a new creative way to inspire learning.
I'm interested in underground rare event searches most notably direct detection of dark matter in the form of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) as well as developing and prototyping novel detector designs for next generation searches.
I currently am a member of SuperCDMS, a collaboration attempting to observe as-yet undetected WIMP interactions in Ge and Si crystals. SuperCDMS attempts to detect WIMP interactions by observing the phonon (sound) and ionization signals resulting when a WIMP scatters off a nucleus in a detector. A WIMP scatter is expected to deposit energy similar to that of a single x-ray. The primary challenge is WIMP detection is the "needle in a haystack" challenge of distinguishing a WIMP interaction from the millions of times larger background.
- Ph D, Physics, University of California Santa Barbara, 2007
- BS, Physics, Butler University, 1998
- Direct Detection of Dark Matter the University of South Dakota, DOE - Office of Science, (2022 - 2023)
- Direct Detection of Dark Matter the University of South Dakota, DOE - Office of Science, (2021 - 2024)
- Direct Detection of Dark Matter and CevNS at the University of South Dakota, DOE - Office of Science, (2018 - 2021)
- PIRE: Advanced germanium detectors and technologies for underground physics, NSF, (2017 - 2022)
- SuperCDMS Subaward, The SuperCDMS Collaboration subaward of DOE project funds, (2017 - 2019)
- Cryogenic Radiation and Dark Matter Detection, South Dakota Board of Regents, (2017 - 2018)
- Including Silent Cultural Voices in Astronomy, The University of South Dakota, (2017 - 2017)
- Generation-2 Dark matter Experiment at The University of South Dakota, DOE, (2016 - 2018)
- Detecting Dark Matter with the SuperCDMS Experiment, South Dakota Board of Regents, (2016 - 2017)
- Acquisition of a High Performance Computing Cluster for Multidisciplinary Computationally Assisted Research, SD Board of Regents, (2015 - 2017)
- SD EPSCoR Student Technology Fellowship Program, South Dakota Board of Regents - EPSCoR, (2015 - 2015)