Maria Spiropulu

Shang-Yi Ch'en Professor of Physics

Maria Spiropulu crossing her arms
Mail Code: MC 256-48
Office: 265 Downs-Lauritsen Laboratory (HEP)
B.Sc., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 1993; M.A., Harvard University, 1995; Ph.D., 2000. Associate Professor, Caltech, 2008-11; Professor, 2011-17; Ch'en Professor, 2017-.
Research Areas: Physics

Research Interests

Maria Spiropulu is an experimental particle physicist. Born and educated in Macedonia/Greece, she moved to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. at Harvard and worked at the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF). She has worked on silicon sensors, calorimetry, trigger and data acquisition and on searches for new physics. She used the double blind data analysis method for the first time in hadron collider data. The particular Tevatron results from her search for supersymmetric dark matter using missing energy were the best yet obtained.

Maria Spiropulu is an experimental particle physicist. Born and educated in Macedonia/Greece, she moved to the U.S. to pursue her Ph.D. at Harvard and worked at the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF). She has worked on silicon sensors, calorimetry, trigger and data acquisition and on searches for new physics. She used the double blind data analysis method for the first time in hadron collider data. The particular Tevatron results from her search for supersymmetric dark matter using missing energy were the best yet obtained. 

Spiropulu is interested in the search for dark matter at the LHC, questions on dark matter that cut across particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Her research efforts target instigating innovation in data analyses and creative thinking towards answering fundamental questions on the physics of the universe at the largest and smallest length scales. She remains close to the detector and the trigger system of the LHC's Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment with the objective of obtaining high physics purity and best possible quality data samples for the CMS physics analyses. 

Her discovery physics program at the LHC includes the development of new methods in the searches for dark matter candidates. The successful razor kinematic variables, which target new dynamics with weakly interacting particles in the final state (such as neutrinos or dark matter particles) are now adopted by multiple groups searching for new phenomena at both the ATLAS and CMS experiments. The first CMS results using the razor kinematics technology were presented in March 2011. Spiropulu with her students and colleagues has been developing since 2007 a wide-angle program for look-alike model discrimination when new physics is observed. The program includes the missing energy look-alikes and the higgs look-alikes extended studies that employ a range of discriminating kinematical variables and advanced data regression methods. 

In 2004 Spiropulu moved to CERN's Physics Department to continue her research at the Large Hadron Collider. During the years 2005-08 she led the search and discovery program of the CMS experiment as co-convener of the SUSYBSM physics analysis group. In 2009 she was named a Fellow of the AAAS "for her leadership in experimental high-energy physics, in particular for her pioneering efforts in the experimental search for supersymmetry and extra dimensions."

See Maria Spiropulu's full research page.

Selected Awards

2008: Fellow, the American Association for the Advancement of Science 2003: Golden Trumpet award (Publicity Club of Chicago) for Quarks Unbound 2003: Watkins Visiting Professorship, Watkins Foundation 2002: William A. Crump Jr. Endowed Physics Lectureship, St. Andrews School 2001: Compton Lectureship, Enrico Fermi Institute 2000: Enrico Fermi Fellowship, Enrico Fermi Institute and the Pritzker Foundation 1999: Van Vleck Award, Harvard University 1993: Teaching White Award, Harvard University 1987: Presidential Honorary Distinction, the President of Greece, Christos Sartzetakis

Professional Societies

American Association for the Advancement of Science American Physical Society Division of Particles and Fields European Physical Society Harvard Club of Chicago Harvard Club of Switzerland