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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. I also work on the new BEACON mountain-top radio tau observatory.

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 now-canceled International Linear Collider.

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). On ANITA, I developed much of the analysis tools used for ANITA-III and ANITA-IV analysis and led an ANITA-III analysis, as well as contributions to operations, flight software, and calibration. For ARA, I wrote the data acquisition, transfer, processing and monitoring software for the phased array portion and am working on developing analysis tools. Much of that work has been ported to BEACON, a new mountain-top neutrino detector under development. For GNO I worked on data acquisition, data analysis, and simulations of the ice.

  • 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.

Conference Activity


  • KICP Friday Seminar, 2017 Radio-detectin of Ultra-High Energy Neutrinos with the ANITA Long-Duration Balloon Payload
  • UT-Arlington Physics Department Colloquium, 2017 Radio-detectino of Ultra-High-Energy Neutrinos in Polar Ice
  • UChicago HEP Lunch Talk, 2017

Workshop Activity

Teaching and Outreach

  • TA for 8.01 (Freshman Mechanics) at MIT (2011)
  • TA for 8.811 (Graduate Nuclear Physics) at MIT (2013)
  • Instructor for CS1C and CS2C (residential basic computing courses) at Stanford (2008-2009)
  • Presenter at Astronomy Conversations at the Space Visualization Lab at Adler Planetarium, Chicago (2015 - )
  • Instructor at Yerkes Winter Institute, 2015
  • Upward Bound Tutor (2015 - 2016)
  • Booth Presenter at French-American Science Festival (2016-2018)
  • Presenter for KICP Life-Long Learning Series (older adult outreach program) (2017-)
  • Presenter at Chicago Astronomy on Tap (2018)
  • Mentor for Operation Airlift (2018)

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, Antarctica (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


This is my GitHub Page. The ANITA code I work on is mostly available here. Phased Array code is mostly here and BEACON code is here. A bunch of 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 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 December 2018