Mark Neubauer



Mark Neubauer

Primary Research Area

  • High Energy Physics
411 Loomis Laboratory


Professor Neubauer received his Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania (2001). After receiving his Ph.D, he worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2001-2004) and the University of California, San Diego (2004-2007). Professor Neubauer joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in Fall 2007.

Professor Neubauer is an experimental physicist whose research has spanned a diverse set of topics in the study of elementary particles and their interactions. The ultimate goal of this pursuit is to gain a deeper understanding of Nature at its most fundamental level and to elucidate the physics that lies beyond the standard model.

His research began as a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania working on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment, which was designed to resolve the long-standing deficit of solar ne observed in previous experiments. His Ph.D. thesis, Evidence for neFlavor Change Through Measurement of the 8B Solar n Flux at SNO demonstrated in 2001 that ~2/3 of solar neutrinos change flavor before detection on Earth, which can occur if neutrinos have non-zero mass and mixing. This result was published soon thereafter in a Phys. Rev. Lett. article

As a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and then UCSD, he conducted research at the current energy frontier provided by proton-antiproton collisions at the Fermilab Tevatron. As member of the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) experiment, he made important contributions to heavy flavor and high-pt physics, including searches for the Higgs boson and new physics. In 2002, he and colleagues at MIT undertook a complete re-design of the CDF analysis computing model, out of which emerged the CDF Analysis Facility (CAF), for which he served as project leader from 2002 to 2004. He played a leading role in the study of electroweak dibosons at CDF as convener of the Diboson Physics Group (2006-2007). In 2006, he led the first-ever observation of WZ diboson production. In 2007, he and colleagues provided the first evidence for ZZ production at a hadron collider.

As a member of the ATLAS Collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider, Professor Neubauer contributed to discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

Research Statement

Particle physics is embarking on a journey of exploration of the energy frontier with the turn-on of Run II at the LHC at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. At the LHC, protons are collided together with 13 TeV of center of mass energy. My research is broadly focused on searches for new phenomena at the LHC. Professor Neubauer's Group is developing electronics for the ATLAS Fast Hardware Tracker (FTK) system which will provide high-quality tracks from the silicon hit information for use in trigger decision and downstream processing. I am also involved in a number of computing projects for scientific research, including principle investigator for the ATLAS Tier-2 cluster at Illinois -- one of three clusters in the Midwest Tier-2 which is the largest LHC Tier-2 in the world, a member of the Open Science Grid Executive Team, and co-PI for the conceptualization of a Scientific Software Innovation Institute for high-energy physics.

Research Honors

  • Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, 2016 (2016)
  • Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, 2013 (2013)
  • Fellow, Center for Advanced Study (University of Illinois), 2012-2013 (2012-2013)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2011 (2011)
  • Faculty Fellow, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, 2008-2009 (2008)
  • Arnold O. Beckman Research Award, 2007 (2007)

Semesters Ranked Excellent Teacher by Students

Fall 2014PHYS 487

Selected Articles in Journals

Related news

  • COVID-19
  • Outreach

Given their background in big data analytics, particle physicists like Illinois Physics Professor Mark Neubauer are well-primed to study COVID-19's biology. Neubauer is currently serving on the executive boards of three groups that bring together scientists of diverse backgrounds to confront the pandemic: the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP), Open Science Grid, and Science Responds. These groups are coordinating their efforts and contributing valuable computing resources to understand the virus at the biological level.

  • Research Funding

The United States Department of Energy awards $2.2 million to the FAIR Framework for Physics-Inspired Artificial Intelligence in High Energy Physics project, spearheaded by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications’ Center for Artificial Intelligence Innovation (CAII) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The primary focus of this project is to advance our understanding of the relationship between data and artificial intelligence (AI) models by exploring relationships among them through the development of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) frameworks. Using High Energy Physics (HEP) as the science driver, this project will develop a FAIR framework to advance our understanding of AI, provide new insights to apply AI techniques, and provide an environment where novel approaches to AI can be explored.

This project is an interdisciplinary, multi-department, and multi-institutional effort led by Eliu Huerta, principal investigator, director of the CAII, senior research scientist at NCSA, and faculty in Physics, Astronomy, Computational Science and Engineering and the Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe at UIUC. Alongside Huerta are co-PIs from Illinois: Zhizhen Zhao, assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Coordinated Science Laboratory; Mark Neubauer, professor of physics, member of Illinois Center for Advanced Studies of the Universe, and faculty affiliate in ECE, NCSA, and the CAII; Volodymyr Kindratenko, co-director of the CAII, senior research scientist at NCSA, and faculty at ECE and Computer Science; Daniel S. Katz, assistant director of Scientific Software and Applications at NCSA, faculty in ECE, CS, and School of Information Sciences. In addition, the team is joined by co-PIs Roger Rusack, professor of physics at the University of Minnesota; Philip Harris, assistant professor of physics at MIT; and Javier Duarte, assistant professor in physics at UC San Diego.

  • Research Funding

Software continues to eat the world, and these days, machine learning is as popular a realm as any under the software umbrella. Applying machine learning algorithms to various data sets has exploded in popularity, due mostly to a need to be able to quickly perform analysis and classification tasks. At NCSA, researchers are working to apply machine learning across multiple disciplines, making research more efficient than ever before.

  • Accolades

Thirty-eight research groups at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been allocated new computation time on the Blue Waters supercomputer at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). This round of allocations provides over 17 million node-hours, equivalent to over half a billion core hours, and is valued at over $10.5 million, helping Illinois researchers push the boundaries of innovation and frontier science discovery.