Island University Hosts 27th SUSY Conference on Physics

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Throughout our lifetimes, many of us will question how the universe came to be or the forces influencing it. One way the scientific community tries to accelerate discoveries and answer these questions is through gatherings and discussions such as the International Conference on Supersymmetry and Unification of Fundamental Interactions (SUSY). This year, the 27th SUSY Conference was hosted by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi from May 20-24.  

“We are so excited to be hosting SUSY not only because it is one of the world’s largest international meetings devoted to new ideas in fundamental particle physics, but because it allows our students and faculty to interact with world-renowned scientist” said Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska, Physics Program Coordinator and Professor at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

The goal of SUSY is to review and discuss recent progress in theoretical, phenomenological, and experimental aspects of supersymmetric theories and other approaches to physics beyond the Standard Model of particles and interactions.

“If the goal is physics progress, you wouldn’t distribute the best scientists around to 30 universities,” said Gordon Kane, Victor Weisskopf Distinguished University Professor of Physics at the University of Michigan, who gave the final talk at SUSY. “You would put them all in one place, which could amplify progress, make ideas emerge, and understanding surface that might not have happened otherwise.”

This year’s conference pulled nearly 250 participants from 23 different countries including Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United States, to name a few. Last year’s SUSY was hosted in Barcelona, and next year the conference will be held in Beijing.

During SUSY 2019, there were 44 plenary talks and more than 200 parallel talks given by speakers from across the globe over topics such as “Supersymmetry: Models, Phenomenology and Experimental Results,” “Unification of Forces,” “Dark Matter, Astroparticle Physics,” “Precision Calculations and Tools,” “Formal Field Theory and Strings,” “Machine Learning, Big Data and Quantum Information,” and “Neutrinos: Models, Phenomenology, Experiments; Cosmology and Gravitational Waves.” One of the invited speakers was Michele Cicoli, Associate Professor in Department of Physics and Astronomy at Bologna University in Bologna, Italy.

“These conferences are great because they allow me to gain new ideas from experimental data and from discussions with people who are also theoreticians,” said Cicoli. “When we start sharing ideas, we begin to find ways to tackle problems coming from things we do not understand in the data.” 

The Island University also hosted a Pre-SUSY Summer School for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers. During this four-day program, junior scientists attended lectures and discussions by top-notch scientists. The purpose of this training was to allow junior scientists to feel more comfortable with the subjects of the SUSY conference, which the participates also attended.

“We hope this opportunity helped these junior scientists appreciate physics even more and enabled them to better pursue their careers in physics,” Szczerbinska said.

Additional Information

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Physics Program Coordinator and Professor Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska was recently appointed as the 2020 Chair-Elect and 2021 Chair of the National Organizing Committee overseeing all Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP).