The Home Page of Dr. Andrew Askew

Hi, I'm Andrew Askew. I'm an assistant professor of Physics with Florida State University. I work mainly on the CMS experiment at CERN, but worked for a long time on the DZero experiment at Fermilab.  I still work with a lot of people at Fermilab, but nowadays I’m usually at the LPC.

This is me:

This is my CV.  I got my PhD from Rice University in 2005. In point of fact, I got my MS from Rice as well. Interesting side note: most physicists either have a non-thesis MS, or don't bother with it if they're PhD track. Rice treats this specially and doesn't have a qualifier for the PhD program: instead they require a thesis MS. My PhD is linked off the Dzero homepage here, but here's a special link to my MS.


Physics Interests:

I’ve had a pretty diverse set of physics interests over my career to date.  I did my PhD thesis on diboson production, and still find that subject pretty fascinating, specifically Standard Model diagrams in which one has two or more vector bosons at the same vertex.  Somewhere along the way I also gained a fascination with parton distribution functions, something a lot of physicists take for granted, but are super important for making any kind of predictions at hadron colliders.  Then again, I also spend a lot of my research time at the LHC searching for physics beyond that in the Standard Model.

Here are some things that I’ve worked on recently:

·       Over the past couple of years, I got involved with the CMS Monophoton analysis.  Partially because it’s very challenging, partially because I find extensions to the Standard Model like extra spatial dimensions interesting and at least in some part because it probes the coupling of the photon to the Z-boson (forbidden at tree level in the Standard Model).  Here are some links to the public results for the 7 TeV dark matter and exotica search, and for the anomalous coupling limits, and now the 8 TeV dark matter search.  I did a lot of work on the overall analysis strategy that we’re still using, and I’ve working on using ECAL timing to estimate backgrounds like beam halo.

·       Searching for new physics with missing transverse energy is by now a staple of particle physics.  But what if there IS new physics and it doesn’t manifest that way?  Nightmare fuel.  Basically what one has to do is exploit object multiplicity and kinematics as opposed to the imbalance in visible energy.  My postdoc got me involved in searching for what is known as “Stealth SUSY”, and attracted one of my students to the topic as well.  Here’s a link to the 7 TeV result, the 8 TeV will be along at some point…

·       Of course, I’ve also been involved with the complement: searching for physics with photons and missing transverse energy.  This was one of the very first results we got out from the VERY early LHC data (the most recent result is here).  I’m still involved, and one of my students is studying the 8 TeV data.  Missing transverse energy is one of the most complicated things to model which is what makes this interesting for me.  Ninety percent or more of this analysis is just in the background estimate.

·       Believe it or not, I don’t JUST study photons (I LIKE photons, they’re challenging being a non-redundant object, they’re a very clean probe of a lot of physics).  The last paper I was involved with on DZero was a measurement of the lepton charge asymmetry in muonic decays of the W-boson.  This asymmetry is directly related to the shares of the proton momentum that the quarks are carrying, and thus the parton distribution functions.  Had to learn a lot about tracking here and the vagaries of the DZero tracker, makes me appreciate the CMS tracker that much more.

·       Speaking of parton distribution functions, I was on the analysis review committee (ARC) for this analysis of direct photon production at the LHC.  That was so much fun, I’m now involved with the 8 TeV analysis with one of my students.

Selected Presentations:


·       Diboson Cross Sections at √s = 1.96 TeV”, Presented at the XXXXth Recontres de Moriond on QCD and High Energy Hadronic Interactions, La Thuile, Aosta Valley, Italy, Mar. 12-19, 2005. First talk I gave on behalf of both Tevatron experiments. It looks heavy on details, I know, but me talking about it really emphasizes what is important. I guess you had to be there.

·       “Recent Diboson and Electroweak Results from Dzero, Presented at Fermilab Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar, June 23, 2006. This was a big one: first 3 sigma evidence for WZ in the all lepton mode. Huge audience, packed Curia II to the rafters. It also spawned this article in the CERN Courier, which I mostly wrote.

·       “Life, the Universe, and Electroweak Symmetry Breaking,” a colloquium I gave at the University of Virginia, in February of 2008. Meant to be somewhat lighter, since the audience was the whole Physics department. Mainly Dzero results, but casts an eye forward for physics at CMS.

·       “Electroweak Measurements (including Dibosons) at the Tevatron, presented at the XXIst Recontres de Physique de la Valle d'Aoste (La Thuile 2008). Again, speaking for both of the Tevatron experiments. Basically ALL of the Electroweak results from the Tevatron, including the world's shortest W-mass summary.

·       “Alternative New Physics at the LHC”, presented at “Anticipating New Physics at the LHC”, a conference hosted by the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Also: my first talk on behalf of both LHC experiments. There's also video of it!

·       Recent D0 Results”, Presented at the Fermilab Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar, as a part of the 2008 Fermilab-CERN Hadron Collider Physics Summer School, August 15, 2008.  This was cool, first time I got to speak in front of a real audience in Ramsey auditorium at Fermilab.

·       Hadron Physics at the LHC”, presented at HADRON09, which was held at Florida State, AND just so happened to be on behalf of CMS, ATLAS and LHCb.  So no pressure there at all…

·       Recent results on BSM searches at CMS”, Presented at the Fermilab Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar, Jul. 29th,2011.  A nice return to form, covering all the CMS searches that summer.  Spoiler:  we didn’t find anything.

·       Direct Photon Production at the LHC”, presented at Blois2013. First talk given at a chateau!

This isn’t all my talks, it’s a sample. Mainly ones that I felt were unique in some way.

Other HEP Activities:

·       I linked to the LPC at the top of the page, but in 2013 I was named an LPC Distinguished Researcher (senior).  Which was really great, interacting with all of the other folks and seeing what their programs looked like.  The real reason I wrote the proposal for this was that I had an idea for a series of interactive lecture/hands on exercises illustrating how the photon reconstruction worked (you can find the lectures here).  In short, I pulled CMS data events, gave a description of how the reconstruction worked, and why it does what it does, and had students actually do the reconstruction by hand.  I made the exercises in Excel, and I link the ones for clustering here (barrel 1,2,3, endcap 1,2,3, particle flow 1,2,3), shower shape here, and isolation here (barrel 1,2,3, endcap 1,2,3).  Even if you don’t know what the clustering algo is supposed to do, I still think the clustering example is fun (you need to enable the macros for it to work). Just clicking on the cells changes the color and means you’ve selected them to be clustered.  Then you can check your result against the actual reconstruction using the buttons.  Certainly taught me a lot about what you can get Excel to do.  The class took place over two days, and even so was an extraordinary amount of work to prepare for.  Somehow I managed it.

·       I’m a member of the CMS ECAL Editorial Board.  Which is neat, I get to see more of the detector specific presentations and posters.  It’s more work, and it’s hard for me to believe that giving my opinion/criticism of things is an actual job, but here we are.

·       I’m one of the three organizers of the LPC Physics Forum.  What started initially as a venue for people resident at Fermilab to present some of their results in a more friendly CMS setting has grown into a rather interesting beast:  first Thursday of the month the Physics Forum is open to the public, AND in a twist, no powerpoint is used:  speakers do their talking the old fashioned way, using the blackboard (which is actually a whiteboard but well...).  This was apparently novel enough to be picked up by Symmetry, picked up by Slashdot, and finally NPR.  I was temporarily “internet-famous”.  The third Thursday of the month is a more traditional forum, highlighting the work of younger collaborators, and including things that may not be approved, and thus is open only to CMS members.  It’s an interesting job, though cajoling physicists into giving these talks is surprisingly difficult.

·       I’m on a number of different ARCs (analysis review committees).  In the last couple of years I’ve reviewed QCD, Higgs, SUSY, all manner of different measurements and searches.  Usually I see these tasks as an opportunity to learn about other aspects of particle physics that I’ve either not personally done before, or things I’m interested in and haven’t had the time.

·       I’m presently chair of the Florida State “Saturday Morning Physics” program!  Every year we hold a series of presentations for kids in middle/high school (and some even younger ones have been appearing) illustrating both our research as well as just fun physical topics.

Other Miscellaneous stuff:

o   I'm married to a lovely woman, who is also a physicist though stays home for now. You can go see her page here, and the wedding page is still up here (you can get to pictures through that).

o   I have a crazy daughter.  Here’s a picture.

o   I brew my own beer, given the time to do so that is. Got a recipe? Let me know. Eventually mine will go here, which is assuming that I ever want to completely revisit a recipe I’ve already tried.  For me, beer is like cooking: constantly evolving, wildly inconsistent.  If I could be consistent, I’d be a chef.





Andrew Askew

Last modified: Wednesday May 20 12:22:16 EST 2015