I’m a theoretical physicist and occasional cosmologist at Northwestern University, formerly at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (IPhT), CEA-Saclay and University of Paris-Saclay.

This means I get to ask questions for a living.

The cosmology bit means I sometimes ask big questions about the beginning of the universe, and how it got to be the way it is now, and where it might be going. The theoretical physicist bit means the questions themselves have to make sense; they should fit into some sort of framework through which we hope to apprehend the rules of the universe in general.

Theoretical physicists have different styles. As a theoretical physicist, I aspire to enabling the what in my predictions to dictate the stories of the how. Towards this end I study and looks for new structures in the scattering amplitudes of relativistic quantum field theories.

I joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 2018. I’ve been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton,NJ and held a postdoctoral position at the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. I received my doctorate at UCLA in 2010, after earning my undergraduate degree from Caltech in 2005.

Before graduating from Caltech, I worked as a programmer at Jobtrak Corporation, then as a software and research engineer/scientist at where I was responsible for data insight, search serving optimization, establishing two patents, and helping found and launch Overture Research Labs (eventually Yahoo! Labs).

As one of the beneficiaries of a successful transition from industry into research-driven academia, I’ve developed some opinions. For the most part, theoretical physics and industry are separated by a semi-permeable membrane flowing from academia to business. I strongly feel it is in the best interests of both for there to be much more bi-directional cross-over. Indeed if you are not in academia, but you have interest in contributing to fundamental research, please feel free to drop me a line.

I currently live with Liz and our four children in a momentum eigenstate.

When not thinking/doing/coding/teaching/sharing science for fun and profit, I run, skate, play (with) my violin, and cook, whilst continuously parenting and spousing.

Honors & Awards

  • CO-PI, Group DOE Grant1, DE-SC0015910: Particle Physics at Northwestern University (2022-)
  • Named AT&T Research Professorship (2021-2023)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow (2020-2023)
  • PI, Personal DOE Grant1, DE-SC0021485: Scattering Amplitudes and QFT Insight (2020-2022)
  • Laureate ERC Starting Grant1, Principle Investigator, preQFT: Strategic Predictions for Quantum Field Theories (2015-2020).
  • John F. Templeton Grant, Co-leader with Renata Kallosh, Quantum Gravity Frontiers (2012-2015).
  • Julian S. Schwinger Named Diploma, Erice International School of Subnuclear Physics (2011).
  • Best Theoretical Physics Prize, Erice International School of Subnuclear Physics (2011).
  • Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics, Postdoctoral Research Scholar Fellowship (2010-2013).
  • Guy Weyl Physics Alumni Graduate Fellowship (2007-2010).
  • John S. Bell Named Diploma, Erice International School of Subnuclear Physics (2008).
  • Best [open] Question Prize 2, Erice International School of Subnuclear Physics (2008).
  1. The awarding of funding for fundamental theoretical research is absolutely an honor and a tremendous responsability.  2 3

  2. re: economy of physical descriptions, c.f. the amount of information encoded in real numbers.