Fresno State joined ATLAS experiment in 2007. Among all the 23 CSU campuses, Fresno State was the only one on ATLAS or CMS, the two flagship LHC experiments designed to search for new physics beyond current known physics framework. Fresno State was the only CSU campus involved in the Higgs discovery. This was the first research a CSU campus was involved in which has resulted in a Nobel Prize. This provides our faculty and students outstanding research opportunities, unique in the CSU system, at the world center of high energy physics for the next 15 years or longer. Our ATLAS program currently consists of one faculty (Prof. Yongsheng Gao), one postdoctoral researcher (Dr. Harinder Bawa), and ~10 graduate and undergraduate students. In addition, ATLAS Ph.D students from Tshinghua University and Shandong University of China have been working in Fresno with the Fresno State ATLAS program. In 2014, CSU Sacramento hired a new ATLAS faculty Dr. Joshua Moss to start its ATLAS program. With approval from CERN and ATLAS during summer of 2015, the institution name of our ATLAS program was changed from "California State University, Fresno" to "California State University" to include both Fresno and Sacramento. CSU Fresno and Dr. Yongsheng Gao remain the home institution and team leader with Dr. Joshua Moss as the deputy team leader of the CSU ATLAS program. CSU East Bay hired new ATLAS faculty Dr. Kathryn Grimm in fall of 2017 to start its ATLAS program and join CSU ATLAS program with Dr. Kathryn Grimm as deputy team leader of the CSU ATLAS program. Every summer since 2008, we have been sending 5 to 12 CSU students to work at CERN on ATLAS research. Since 2016, we have been sending 12 CSU students to work at CERN each summer, thanks to a NSF IRES grant. Most of the student worked at CERN came from Fresno State, but also includes students from Channel Islands, Humboldt, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Pomona, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Sonoma.
The Fresno State ATLAS program has been supported by 5 grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF): $509,994 from NSF's Elementary Particle Physics (EPP) (Award number: 1505840, from 8/1/2015 to 7/31/2018), $249,863 from NSF's International Research Experience for Students (IRES) (Award number: 1459240, from 8/1/2015 to 7/31/2018), $510,999 from NSF's Elementary Particle Physics (EPP) (Award number: 1206123, from 6/1/2012 to 5/31/2015), $620,000 from NSF's Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) (Award number: 0959141, from 3/1/2010 to 2/29/2012), and $460,000 from NSF's Elementary Particle Physics (EPP) (Award number: 0853728, from 8/15/2009 to 7/31/2012). In addition, we have received strong support from the Provost, College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP), Department of Physics, Instructionally Related Activities (IRA) from Associated Students Inc. (ASI), Faculty Sponsored Student Research (FSSR), etc. of Fresno State. The $249,863 NSF IRES grant from 8/1/2015 to 7/31/2018 will support a total of 15 students from CSU NUPAC campuses to work at CERN on ATLAS research for 3 summers from 2016 to 2018 (5 students each summer). Each student will receive $5K for travel/lodging/meal and $4K of stipend for traveling to and working at CERN. The students are required to spend full 8 weeks at CERN working on ATLAS research projects. In addition, they are strongly encouraged to spend another 10 days or so visiting Europe after their work at CERN and before they return to the US. A poster about the IRES award and our ATLAS program can be found here


Current and past research work by our ATLAS faculty, postdocs and other group members:

  • Develop new jet substructure and superstructure variables, including color-connection variables for new physic searches (2010 to 2012 by Dr. Lowe and Prof. Gao): Talks at the ATLAS Standard Model, Higgs and Exotics Working Groups from 2011 to 2012.

  • New physics searches with dijets in final state from ATLAS data (2010 to present by Dr. Bawa and Prof. Gao): Talks at the ATLAS Jet and Exotics Working Groups since 2010. Published at New J. Physics 13 053044 (2011), and JHEP 01 (2013) 029

  • ATLAS Inner Detector, Muon Detector, and Trigger Upgrade R&D Projects (2009 to present by CSU Students and Prof. Gao): Talks at ATLAS Inner Detector, Muon Detector, Trigger working group meetings since 2009.

  • Support ATLAS Event Data Model (EDM) in the trigger (2011 to 2012 by Dr. Lowe): Talks at the ATLAS Trigger Core Software working group meetings since 2011.

  • Liaison for JetEtMiss and Physics Analysis Tools (PAT) working groups (2010 to present by Dr. Bawa): Talks at the ATLAS Jet/Etmiss working group meetings since 2011.

  • Build up the first cloud-based Tier 3 computing cluster for US ATLAS (2011 to 2013 by Prof. Lin with CS faculty and Ph.D students from Chinese research universities)

  • W/Z and egamma work (2009 to 2010 by Dr. Bawa, Prof. Gao and graduate student Brent Wilson): Talks at North America e/gamma working group meetings.

  • Set up and run the CSU Fresno ATLAS Tier 3 cluster for ATLAS physics (2011 to present). The cluster was funded by NSF MRI grant. Dr. Sergey Uzunyan from Northern Illinois Univesity (NIU) provided essential help in system design, setting up and maintaining the cluster. The CSU Fresno ATLAS Tier 3 cluster has been running and heavily used for ATLAS physics by our group members. The cluster is currently maintained by Jay Fowler and Choa-Lin Chou of CSU Fresno ITS department.

  • ATLAS performance studies, Particle identification (PID) fake rates using reflections of known physics processes from incoming real ATLAS data and their impacts on ATLAS physics (2006 to 2008 by Prof. Gao): Talks at the ATLAS Standard Model, Higgs, Exotics, Electron/Photon, Jet/EtMiss, and Tau Working Groups from 2006 to 2008.

  • Significance calculation and a new analysis method in searching for new physics at the LHC (2005 to 2006 by Prof. Gao): Talks at the ATLAS Higgs Working Group in 2005 and 2007. Published in European Physical Journal C45, 659 (2006).

  • Electron/Pion Separation with LAr Barrel Module P15 using 2002 Testbeam Data (2002 to 2003 by Prof. Gao): ATLAS Note: ATL-LARG-2003-013, published in Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A550, 96 (2005)