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Scott Dodelson seeks collaboration as head of the Department of Physics

This fall, Carnegie Mellon University named Scott Dodelson as the new head of the Department of Physics.

Dodelson, a distinguished scientist from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), specializes in particle physics and cosmology and conducts research examining dark matter, dark energy, inflation, and cosmological neutrinos. He was also previously a professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.

Currently, Dodelson serves as the co-chair of the Science Committee for the Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration that maps hundreds of millions of galaxies, detects thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure in an attempt to reveal the nature of dark energy. He also works with the South Pole Telescope and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope to gain a better understanding of inflation, dark energy, and neutrinos.

At Carnegie Mellon, Dodelson is enthusiastic to add to the work already accomplished by the Department of Physics, such as the work being done to conduct cosmological surveys by the department’s McWilliams Center for Cosmology.

“Within the McWilliams Center, I found kindred spirits in the faculty who are leading scientific projects aimed at understanding the universe, but I was equally attracted to the department’s strong groups in biological physics, condensed matter, and nuclear and particle physics,” Dodelson said in a university press release. “I’m excited to learn about these diverse fields and connect with other departments throughout the university.”

Dodelson added that he was also attracted to the university’s enthusiasm for foundation research and has plans for the Department of Physics to collaborate with and spread this excitement to other communities such as other departments in the Mellon College of Science, other universities, and through international research initiatives.

Dodelson succeeds Stephen Garoff, a Carnegie Mellon Professor of Physics, Chemical Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, and head of the Department of Physics from 2013 to 2017.