Two Alumni Win 2020 Dissertation Award of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics

September 18, 2019

Two Alumni Win 2020 Dissertation Award of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics

DNP Thesis Prize

Physics alumni Shirley Li (Ph.D. 2017, advisor John Beacom) and Isaac Upsal (Ph.D. 2018, advisor Michael Lisa) have each won the 2020 Dissertation Award of the APS Division of Nuclear Physics.  The award is typically given to one person, but sometimes two.  This is the first time that two winners in the same year have come from the one institution. Previous Ohio State winners are Chun Shen (Ph.D. 2014, advisor Ulrich Heinz) and Huichao Song (Ph.D. 2009, advisor Ulrich Heinz).
The citation for Shirley Li, who is now a postdoc in the particle theory group at SLAC, reads, “For outstanding contributions to neutrino astrophysics through a coherent body of theoretical work that pioneers new background-rejection techniques for MeV detectors and new signal-selection techniques for TeV detectors.”  Li’s dissertation work has been influential with experiments and is anticipated to lead to new discoveries.

The citation for Isaac Upsal, now a postdoc at Shandong University and Brookhaven National Lab, reads,  "For the discovery and measurement of the vorticity of the quark gluon plasma in relativistic heavy ion collisions, and for indispensable leadership in the design and construction of an upgrade detector, providing crucial new capabilities to the STAR experiment at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider."  Upsal's dissertation work culminated in a highly visible cover article in Nature, and the detector he built is currently enabling new discoveries at RHIC.

The DNP Thesis announcement and past winners may be found here: