2021 Sigma Pi Sigma Research Symposium

 · 2 mins read

The Tenth Annual Undergraduate Physics Research Symposium was held on November 5, 2021 in the Rotunda Lower West Oval Room. Fifteen undergraduates - a new record - gave oral presentations of their physics and astronomy-related research at the event, and four undergraduates presented posters. Topics presented were as follows:


  • Michael Bowler: Shaping the neutron beam profile at the Nab experiment
  • Abby Hellman: Developing Live Monitoring of Gas Electron Multiplier Detectors
  • Gracemarie Buehlmann: Jet-Level Analysis of Simulated CMS Data for Machine Learning Applications
  • William Musk: GEANT4 Monte Carlo Study of Electron-Proton Spatial Correlations in the Nab Detectors

Some of our undergraduate presenters

Oral Presentations

  • Jason Boynewicz: Oceanographic Lidar
  • Dawn Ford: Property Tuning of Layered Materials by Electrochemical Intercalation
  • Emiko Gardiner: Shock-Ionized Jets from Massive Protostars
  • Davis Garwood: Examining Fermi-Hubbard Model on Triangular Lattice through NLCE
  • Rose Knight: Simulating and Characterizing Nonlinearly Shaped Ultrafast Pulses Towards Machine Learning Prediction
  • Katya Mikhailova: Characterization of Femtosecond UV Pulses using an Autocorrelator
  • Zaki Panjsheeri: Coordinate Space Representation of Quark and Gluon Generalized Parton Distribution Functions
  • Alex Rosenthal: Failure to Social Distance: Breaking Gathering Limits in Titan’s Lakes
  • Emery Shelly: Application of Radiomics in Lung Cancer Diagnosis
  • Mohit Srivastav: Using Machine Learning to Improve Signal Efficiency for the Mu2e Cosmic Ray Veto
  • Jamie Staeben: Quantifying WSA-ADAPT Solar Wind Prediction Performance
  • Michael Stepniczka: Neutron Stars in Scalar-Tensor Theories: Analytic Scalar Charges and Universal Relations
  • Andrew Toler: Light Dark Matter eXperiment
  • Darren Upton: Deciphering the Proton Radius Puzzle
  • Philip Velie: Optimized Extraction of Generalized Parton Distributions from Deeply Virtual Compton Scattering

Our fantastic judges

Prizes were given to the best three presentations and posters. We would like to congratulate the following students for their outstanding performance:


  • 1st place: Dawn Ford
  • 2nd place: Zaki Panjsheeri
  • 3rd place: Alex Rosenthal


  • 1st place: Gracemarie Buehlmann
  • 2nd place: Michael Bowler
  • 3rd place: William Musk

We would like to give special thanks to our judges: Profs. Group, Zheng, Cates, and Murphy. We also would like to thank the Physics and Astronomy Departments for support for prizes, and to Sigma Pi Sigma President Emi Gardiner, Vice President Gracemarie Buehlmann, and Social Chair Abby Hellman for their work in organizing this year’s highly competitive Symposium. We hope to see all returning students - as well as some new ones - next year!