A Semester at CERN

A Semester at CERN

Friday, April 13, 2018

Maddy Hagen (far right).
Maddy Hagen (far right).

Working at CERN is an amazing experience for any physics undergraduate. Madeline “Maddy” Hagen ’19, is already returning to the world’s largest particle physics lab for the second time in her fledgling career.

Hagen has just received word that she is one of only six college students in the United States selected to participate in the University of Michigan-CERN research semester this fall. She will conduct particle physics research at the super-lab that is home to the world-famous Large Hadron Collider.

Hagen will work on a soon-to-be-assigned project at CERN, under the guidance of mentors in an established research group. The super-lab is located on the border of France and Switzerland, and she will live on the French side of the border in St. Genis for the semester.

“I was looking for a study abroad experience where I could spend the whole semester doing research rather than just be in classes,” she explained about her application for the grant. “CERN is the lab of my dreams.”

This will be her second trip to CERN: she and fellow physics major Jamie Bedard ’18 accompanied Dr. Matt Bellis, associate professor of physics, to the lab last year for a series of meetings related to their analysis of data from the CMS detector.

"Maddy has explored a number of research projects in engineering and computing since arriving at Siena," said Dr. Rose Finn, a professor of physics. "Once she gave particle physics a try, she was hooked. As a department, we create opportunities for students to explore, and the goal is to find something you are passionate about. Maddy found it, and now she has earned the opportunity to live and work at one of the premier locations for particle physics in the world - a life-changing experience for a talented and motivated student!"

Another awesome experience is on the horizon for Hagen: she will spend this summer conducting research at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland.

“Siena really prioritizes research as a part of undergraduate education,” she said. “Because we focus on undergraduates here, there is excellent opportunity for students to do research in addition to their classwork.”