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picture of me
Me, in Greenland, while doing fieldwork for GNO.

Cosmin Deaconu

Postdoctoral Scholar / Associate Fellow at KICP / UChicago

cozzyd at kicp dot uchicago dot edu

ERC 491 (in KICP)

5640 S Ellis Ave, #491, Chicago, IL 60637

Office: 773.702.7862
Mobile: 775.846. 9105


ANITA-4 shortly before flight at the Long-Duration
Balloon Facility near McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Right now, I primarily work with Professor Abigail Vieregg on several experiments seeking to observe, for the first time, some of the most energetic particles in the universe. (ANITA, ARA, GNO) search for radio emissions produced by extremely-high-energy (~EeV) neutrinos interacting in glacial ice. These neutrinos are thought to be produced through interactions of ultra-high energy-cosmic rays (which we do know exist) with the cosmic microwave background (which we also know exists) through the GZK process. A successful observation would help shed light on the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and provide the highest-energy measurements of neutrino-nucleon cross-sections.

Me fiddling around with one of the DMTPC prototypes

Previously, in graduate school, I worked on developing a detector sensitive to the direction of low-energy (< 100 keV) nuclear recoils (DMTPC). Due to a daily asymmetry in expected dark matter particle trajectories at Earth, such a detector would be able to confirm the astrophysical origin of a putative dark matter signal and also allow probing dark matter cross-sections lower than the coherent neutrino scattering "floor" that could limit future counting experiments. The same technology can be also used for directional fast neutron detection, which is potentially useful for background monitoring or non-proliferation.

As an undergrad, I worked on tracking studies for the SiD detector concept for the ILC.

In general, my research interests mainly lie in developing novel particle detectors, analysis tools, and statistical methods for rare-event searches.

Curriculum Vitae



  • Postdoctoral Scholar / Associate Fellow    June 2015 -
    University of Chicago / Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, Chicago, Ill.
    Radiodetection of extremely high-energy neutrinos (ANITA, ARA, GNO). I am currently primarily involved in ANITA analysis efforts, but have also contributed to ANITA calibration, ANITA flight software, GNO data acquisition and fieldwork, GNO analysis, and development of a new phased-trigger array for ARA.

  • Graduate Researcher    Fall 2009 - May 2015
    Massacusetts Institute of Technology / Laboratory for Nuclear Science, Cambridge, Mass.
    Development of a detector sensitive to the direction of dark matter recoils (DMTPC). Usually funded as a research assistant, but also occassionally a teaching assistant and supported by a Rossi Fellowship my first year. As one of only a few students working on DMTPC, I contributed heavily to hardware development, automation, monitoring, analysis tools, and simulation. My thesis evaluated the directional sensitivity of the detector technology, including all known effects, for the first time.

  • Research Intern       June 2007 - June 2009
    SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, Calif.
    Worked primarily on SiD tracking studies.

  • Resident Computer Consultant      September 2008 - June 2009
    Stanford Residential Computing, Stanford, Calif.
    Member of student residential staff specializing in computer help. Included teaching of basic computer literacy and multimedia courses.

  • Managing Layout Editor       September 2006 - June 2007
    The Stanford Daily, Stanford, Calif.
    Worked on design for a daily student newspaper. Hired and trained new nightly layout editors.

Conference Activity

Workshop Activity

Teaching and Outreach

  • TA for 8.01 (Freshman Mechanics) at MIT
  • TA for 8.811 (Graduate Nuclear Physics) at MIT
  • Instructor for CS1C and CS2C (residential basic computing courses) at Stanford
  • Presenter at Astronomy Conversations at the Space Visualization Lab at Adler Planetarium, Chicago
  • Instructor at Yerkes Winter Institute, 2015
  • Upward Bound Tutor (Sep 2015 - current)

Extended Fieldwork

  • Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Carlsbad, N. M. (on occasion, 2010-2013).
    Deployment of DMTPC prototype underground in a salt mine environment.
  • Summit Station, Greenland (June, 2015).
    Deployment of phased array antenna prototype in a borehole
  • Columbia Scientific Ballooning Facility, Palestine, Tex. (June-July, 2016)
    Integration for ANITA-4 flight
  • Long-Duration Balloon Facility, near McMurdo Station, Atarctica (November - December 2016)
    ANITA-4 deployment.


  • Human: English (fluent), Romanian (native), Spanish (intermediate)
  • Computer: C++, C, Python, Java, Matlab, JavaScript, PHP, bash, HTML, LaTeX, make


The ANITA code I work on is mostly available on GitHub. Most other code I've written for research remains, for now, in private repositories. Some of it would be useful to others and I hope to make those bits available someday.

My BitBucket repository that has a few other random things. One of them, TabSynth, has something of a web page, although it's probably woefully outdated by now.

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Last updated Jan 6, 2017