Darin Acosta

WEBSITE(S)| http://bonnerlab.rice.edu/

SURF Mentoring

Potential projects/topics: Experimental particle physics and detector studies with the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in order to understand the structure of matter and to search for new particles and interactions. The LHC, where the Higgs boson was discovered, will recommence operations with proton beams in May 2023. The CMS Endcap Muon Track Finder (EMTF) group will re-commission a real-time data processing system ("trigger") used to select data for analyses, after some modifications were made over the winter break. This project involves data analysis using data collected by the CMS experiment as well as simulated data to study the upgraded EMTF trigger algorithms. Monitoring of current data also would take place to help validate performance and diagnose any odd features. Some coding and plot making, including the use and training of machine-learning algorithms, would be involved. The student also would be invited to learn and participate in some of our ongoing particle physics analyses using LHC data.

Potential skills gained: The student would gain experience in computing and programming and in the use of statistical data analysis and plotting tools. The student also will be exposed to the field of particle physics and in how research is conducted at a premier facility at the high-energy frontier.

Required qualifications: While not required, any prior experience with computer programming languages such as python or C++, and data analysis/plotting tools would be helpful.

Direct mentor: Faculty/P.I., Post-doctorate, Graduate Student

Student Project Titles List

Assesing L1 Trigger Performance in Data for High-Energy Particle Collisions at the CMS Experiment

Research Areas

Prof. Acosta’s research program in experimental particle physics has spanned the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, the HERA electron-proton collider, the Tevatron proton-antiproton collider, and the LHC proton-proton and heavy ion collider. His research has focused on precise measurements of Standard Model processes (QCD and electroweak) as well as on searches for new particles beyond the Standard Model including leptoquarks and excited fermions. Most recently his research uncovered evidence for the rare Higgs boson decay into dimuons. Prof. Acosta is an expert on the trigger systems of particle collider experiments that perform a real-time analysis of high-rate collision data before storage to computer disk. He designed and successfully delivered the endcap muon trigger for the electronic trigger system of the CMS experiment at the LHC, and currently leads the overall CMS Trigger project.