My Recent & Current Students --the finest!

PhD Students

Patrick Patrick Bruskiewich, September 04-present, Patrick did his MSc thesis here at UBC in particle theory. He has 15 years experience in industry as well as teaching, and has returned to UBC for his PhD. Topic on Babar TBA.

Douglas Thiessen, PhD Thesis, September 97-February 03, "Measurement of the Branching Fraction of the Semileptonic Decay B0-> D* l nu in the BaBar Experiment". Doug did his MSc thesis at HERMES with SFU, and has been working on his PhD on BaBar since fall 97. He worked on the online controls and its database system for BaBar and quickly became a Java and object oriented coding expert. His thesis topic was measurement of the semileptonic B meson branching ratio, which gives information on a fundamental parameter in heavy quark decay, the CKM matrix element Vcb. This analysis relies heavily upon lepton identification software, and Douglas performed detailed studies to understand of muon identification efficiencies and performed systematic cross-checks of efficiency tables obtained from control samples other than his own. He is now a Research Associate with the Cancer Imagining group at the BC Cancer Research Center in Vancouver working on instrumentation to non-invasively aid in the diagnosis of skin cancer. Past President of UBC Toastmasters. Won an APS best student presentation prize for his thesis work presentation at the APS Northwest Section meeting in Eugene, Oregon.

Jiansen Lu , PhD Thesis, September 97-December 01, "Measurement of |Vub| using B Hadron Semileptonic Decay". Jiansen completed his MSc studies at SAL at U Saskatchewan. He started working on his PhD on OPAL in fall 97. Jiansen worked on the online reconstruction system and his PhD thesis topic, Vub, a parameter describing the rare b quark to u quark decays. Jiansen devised a new method making use of neural networks to measure V_ub using the inclusive semileptonic B decay spectrum and inclusive discriminators in the hadronic recoil system. He was a Research Associate on the HERMES experiment with the TRIUMF group, and is now a Research Associate at University of Alberta, working on ATLAS (Higgs physics strategies and radiation hard electronics).

MSc Students

Zhongzhi Song MSc Thesis, September 03- July 05. "Monte Carlo Studies for Parameterization of B-Mixing with Dilepton Events". Feasibility study for a global fit technique to simultaneously extract B mixing and lifetimes using dilepton events. (Applying this methodology to data, instead of Monte Carlo, is a PhD thesis waiting to happen.) Now a PhD candidate in Economics/Finance at UBC.

Zerah Lurie MSc Thesis, September 99- February 02. " Evaluation of the Photonic Conversion Finder for the BaBar Experiment". Study of converted photon backgrounds to semileptonic B decays at BaBar. This background must be addressed in investigations of B lifetime measurements, measurements of matrix elements and form factors in B decays, neutral B meson mixing measurements, and measurements of charge-parity violation in B decays. As an aspiring science writer, he also completed journalism degree here at UBC, received a prestigious science journalism internship with Newsday in New York and is currently working with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (science journalist). Won an APS best student presentation prize for his thesis work presentation at the APS Northwest Section meeting in Seattle.

Stephen Sewerynek, MSc Thesis , September 97 - April 99, "A Monte Carlo Study of the Momentum Dependence on the Results of Tracking Unknown Particle Species in the BaBar Detector". After a year of work at Ontario Hydro, Steve decided to come back into physics for a MSc on BaBar, which he started in 97. His thesis is a study which has enabled reduction in reconstruction computational time for BaBar charged particle tracking. He examined dependencies of tracking particles as individual species as a function of momentum and devised an algorithm which is presently implemented in the standard Babar reconstruction code. He worked as a satellite imaging engineer/scientist at MacDonald Dettwiler, in Richmond BC for 1.5 years, then software guru at AvantGo in San Mateo California, and most recently at Good Technology (also in Silicon Valley)

Cherie Goodenough, MSc Thesis , September 94-September 96, "Background Studies for BaBar". Fall 96, joined OPAL Technologies (they make scanning electron microscopes for use in lithography and semiconductor industry) as a Process Engineer, in Santa Clara, California. In 1997 OPAL Technologies was bought out by mega-giant Applied Materials (one of the big semiconductor companies in Silicon Valley). In 1998, she was made an offer she couldn't refuse at Cypress Semiconductor, a silicon chip processor and manufacturer, as an engineering physicist. In 2000, she and her family moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where she worked as an engineer for a startup alternative energy sources company, Energy Related Devices, then as a research engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Now doing graduate research in non-proliferation studies.

Jaret Heise , MSc Thesis , September 93-March 96, "Studies of Helium-Based Gas Mixtures Using a Small Cell Drift Chamber". Jaret performed gas studies with the BFactory Prototype I drift chamber. These were crucial in choosing the gas mixture we eventually used in the BaBar drift chamber. He's completed his PhD with the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) experiment at UBC, specializing in Supernovae detection and is presently an NSERC PDF at Los Alamos National Lab, continuing with SNO.

Fan Liu, MSc Thesis, January 92 - April 94, " Measuring B0 Fragmentation Through the Decay B0 --> D*+ lepton neutrino using the OPAL Detector at CERN". Now working as a Computer Analyst at Bay Networks, (networking and telecommunications) in California. Bay Networks were recently bought out by Nortel, (new name NortelNetworks) so Fan's getting closer to coming back to Canada!

Co-op Undergraduate Students

These have spent their workterms on site at either SLAC or CERN for working with me: (report titles given)


Trevor Lanting , Double co-op work-term at SLAC working on BaBar online control system, and data acquisition, triggering (with a novel adaptive logic network) and cosmic ray running of Proto II Drift Chamber. "An EPICS-based High Voltage Control System for Proto II", 1997. "An Adaptive Logic Network for BaBar Prototype Chamber Triggering", 1997. Graduated with BSc from UBC in 2000, just started grad school at UC, Berkeley.

Suzanne Komili , "EPICS as a Drift Chamber Monitoring System", 1996; and "Signal Conditioning for Slow Controls of the BaBar Drift Chamber", 1996. (double co-op workterm at SLAC). Environmental monitoring for the BaBar prototype drift chambers. Finished BSc at UBC in 1999. Took a year off to work at Massachusetts General Hospital, working with the NMR medical diagnostics group studying blood flow in stroke patients. Now in graduate school at Harvard U doing medical/bio Physics.

Ari Benbasat , "Tracking and Graphics Coding for Prototype Drift Chamber", 1995. Software for the BaBar prototype drift chamber. Finished BASc (Engineering Physics) at UBC in 1998. Presently a PhD student at MIT's Media Lab.

Nicola Jones, (no report, NSERC Summer student, not a co-op student), BaBar, 1994. Finished BSc at UBC 1997. Did a subseqent degree in at UBC's Sing Tao School of Journalism. Presently a news assistant and editor at Nature, in London, UK.
picture of Hester Hester Hagemann, "The SLAC B Factory Drift Chamber", 1994. Finished BSc at UBC. Worked at Science World in Vancouver.


(sorry, no pix down here.. this was back in ancient times)

Peter Hollemans, "X Windows: A Solution for Data Processing at OPAL" 1993. Finished BSc at U Victoria.

Carolyn Smith, "Study of D* lepton neutrino Decays from B Mesons", 1992. Did an MSc in oceanography at McGill, now doing PhD at Dalhousie U in Oceanography. Carolyn's work-term report won first prize for submitted entries at the 1992 CUPC conference.

Christopher Hunter, "Study of D* Mesons at OPAL", 1992. Recently finished graduate school at Cambridge U, general relativity. Present whereabouts unknown.

Jody Klymak, "Particle Identification using Time-of-Flight at OPAL", 1991. In graduate school at U Washington, oceanography.


Julie Hart Kirk, OPAL RA, online reconstruction system (ROPE) expert, analyses in W pair physics at LEP, 1994-96. Now at Birmingham University.

Carla Sbarra, OPAL RA, online reconstruction system (ROPE) expert, analyses on triple gauge vertex couplings at LEP, 1996-99. Now at Instituto di Tecnologie e Studio delle Radiazioni Exraterrestri in Bologna, Italy.

Michael Kelsey, BaBar RA, drift chamber construction and quality assurance, 1997-98. Now at Princeton U

Kenji Abe, BaBar RA, drift chamber gas system expert, based at SLAC, 1999-2002.

Tulay Cuhadar-Donszelmann, BaBar RA, currently based at SLAC, 2002-present.

Neil Knecht, BaBar RA, UBC Killam Postdoctoral Fellow, to be based at UBC, 2003-present.

Janis McKenna, UBC Department of Physics & Astronomy, May 99.