Jeremy Gaison, Physics '15

Please tell us a little about yourself
I grew up in Greensburg, PA which is about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh (go Steelers!). Currently a junior dual majoring in physics and mathematics, I’m the current president of the Society of Physics Students at Drexel as well as an avid Drexel basketball fan. In my free time I enjoy playing videogames with my friends as well as playing some pick-up Frisbee and exploring Philadelphia.

What’s your current research project?
I began my research at Drexel in the Students Tackling Advanced Research (STAR) program after my freshman year. There I got my feet wet in neutrino research analyzing data from the KamLAND experiment. For my first co-op I did research in nuclear physics just outside of Washington, D.C. at the US Army Research Lab. For my second co-op I worked in the Drexel Math Department doing simulations of wave propagation in polyatomic lattices using KdV equations and co-authored a paper on that research. Most recently, though, I’ve returned to working on various experiments in the neutrino research group at Drexel. Under the guidance of Dr. Dolinski, I’ll be continuing work on the EXO experiment searching for neutrinoless double beta decay using liquid Xenon based detectors. The final goal of this project is to explore the possibilities of neutrinos being their own antiparticles.

Have you received any awards or scholarships while here at Drexel?
Henry S.C. Chen Memorial Award for Physics, 2013
Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society inductee, 2013
M. Russel Wehr Award, 2012
Students Tackling Advanced Research (STAR), 2011
National Merit Scholarship, 2010-present

Were you provided with opportunities to travel?
I’ve had the opportunity to travel multiple times during my tenure at Drexel. I worked at the US Army Research Lab, Adelphi, MD for 6 months and at Argonne National Labs outside of Chicago. I’ve also had the opportunity to present my research at the Division of Nuclear Physics of the 2012 APS Fall Meeting, CA, and the 2012 Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial, FL. I was able to attend those conferences with a combination of national grants and resources from Drexel, including the Department of Physics and student organizations without paying a dime out of my pocket.

How was your co-op experience?
Co-op has been a wonderful experience helping me to decide what I want to pursue after graduation. I’ve been able to do real research in a number of fields, travel, and present my work at conferences. From my experiences, I’m confident that I want to pursue neutrino physics research and I’m excited about my upcoming co-op doing just that. I’ll be working on the EXO experiment under Dr. Dolinski, and plan on continuing my research in this field for my senior thesis.

Why would you recommend Physics at Drexel for undergraduate school?
Drexel has been a great school for physics, in my opinion. The advisors in the department have been so helpful in preparing me for grad school, and the research opportunities here and in my co-ops have been critical in helping me decide on the career path that I want to pursue. On another note, undergraduate physics at Drexel includes a strong programming component, which is necessary for a future in the field. I came in with absolutely no background in programming, but classes here helped me to learn and master the computing skills necessary to excel in research.

What advice do you have for a high school student looking for an undergraduate program?
For high school students considering going to school for physics, I’d suggest that they look for a place where they can get involved in research early. Since research is such a major part of being a physicist, it’s important to experience what it’s like to be part of a research group and decide if it really is something you want to devote your career to.