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Sievert Prize: Particle Physics After the Discovery of the Higgs Boson

2022 Inaugural Sievert Prize Lectures






Lectures: "Particle Physics After the Discovery of the Higgs Boson"

Every Saturday at 11:00 AM from June 18-August 6 at The Hive at McCormick Ford Motor Vehicle Engineering Design Center at Northwestern University.

 Join us each week for an exciting and educational lecture by distinguished researcher, Dr. Sapta Bhattacharya!

  • June 18, 2022- The Quest: Introduction to Particle Physics
  • June 25th, 2022- The Giant Experiment
  • July 2nd, 2022- The Compact Instrument
  • July 9th, 2022- The Discovery
  • July 16th, 2022- Battle-Testing Our Theoretical Model
  • July 23rd, 2022- What Could Be Out There?
  • July 30th, 2022- Machine Learning Makes Everything Better
  • August 6th, 2022- What's Next? 

These lectures are free and open to the public. Free parking available in the Noyes/Haven/Sheridan Lot or the Northwestern Place/Garrett Lot.  Click here for directions


The Department of Physics and Astronomy thanks Paul R. Sievert for his generous support of the Sievert Prize at Northwestern University. Paul Sievert created this endowment in memory of his wife, Ilene B. Sievert in 2020 in order to strengthen the Physics and Astronomy program at Northwestern for the benefit of the Northwestern community and the general public.  This prize is awarded to one or more postdoctoral researchers in the department. 

About our Speaker: Saptaparna Bhattacharya is a post-doctoral research associate at Northwestern University, working on the CMS Experiment. She received her Ph.D. physics from Brown University in 2016. She has been the recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Researcher award from the LHC Physics Center at Fermilab two years in a row from 2019-2020. She currently serves as the leader of the generator studies group in CMS, overseeing the activities of more than hundred physicists with an aim to deliver state-of-the-art simulations to the CMS Collaboration. Since 2020, she has held a leadership position in the upgrade studies performance group in preparation for Snowmass 2022, a community planning exercise undertaken by the High Energy Physics community approximately every ten years. She was an elected member of the Fermilab Users Executive committee from 2018, serving as the chair of the committee in 2019-2020. In this role, she has traveled to Washington D.C. on several occasions to talk about the importance of funding research in fundamental science.


About the Ilene B. Sievert Prize Lectures

This series of lectures was established and endowed by Paul R. Sievert to honor the memory of his late wife Ilene (9/5/1940 - 12/16/2012).

Ilene was an undergraduate at the University of Chicago when she married another undergraduate, a physics student, Paul, in 1960.  She had started in biology but switched to her second major interest, English literature after her marriage.

She obtained her B.A. and then took a job in the Computer Institute eventually working as one of Nick Metropolis’s programmers. She programmed an early machine, the Maniac III.  Paul went on to graduate school at U. of Chicago. 

Eventually Paul and Ilene came to Evanston in 1974. Paul became CEO of Allied Valve Industries in Chicago while Ilene was a housewife and mother.  After her children were sufficiently grown she went back to her first interest, biology, specifically herpetology. She raised and studied poison dart frogs and published a number of papers on herpetology in the journal of the Chicago Herpetological Society. She had a lively interest in evolutionary theory, one of her favorite books being the Origin of Species by Darwin. Others included the evolutionary writings of Gould and Dawkins. She also followed her husband’s continuing interest in physics.

Ilene also served for a time as the president of the PTA for Park School in Evanston. Park School is for mentally handicapped children and is where her son attended. She had many friends in Evanston and some from her time at U of C, including John Ketterson, a current faculty member in the physics department at Northwestern University.  Her interest in science and the knowledge that she certainly would have attended these lectures is one of the main motivations for the endowment of this prize.

The purpose of these lectures is to present to the interested general public cutting edge research results in hard science by an up-and-coming researcher in the field.

The topics could cover any field in science: biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, mathematics, etc.  The number of lectures and the depth of presentation is such that the intelligent general public should be able to follow and come away with an understanding and appreciation for a current subject of research and its importance. Though this prize program is being administered by the Physics Department of Northwestern University, other hard science departments of Northwestern will be consulted as prize recipients and lecture subject.

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