maria spiropulu

Maria Spiropulu, a professor of Physics at Caltech’s PMA, is a world renowned experimental particle physics researcher and a notable mentor of many graduate and undergraduate students. She worked for 10 years at the Tevatron’s collider experiments at Fermilab in Chicago and 13 years at the CERN’s Large Hadron Collider with leading roles on detector R&D and operations and in the searches for new physics including the discovery of the Higgs boson. She is known for developing the “double blind” data analysis method for the first time in searches for supersymmetry at the Tevatron and inventing the novel “razor” framework for discovery and characterization of new physics.

Spiropulu received her PhD from Harvard in 2000 and was an Enrico Fermi Fellow at the University of Chicago until 2003. She moved to CERN in 2004 as a research staff physicist at the Physics Division and was promoted to a senior physicist position at CERN in 2008. She was appointed a Professor of Physics at Caltech in 2009. Spiropulu is an AAAS fellow since 2010 “For her leadership in experimental high-energy physics, in particular for her pioneering efforts in the experimental search for supersymmetry and extra dimensions” and an APS fellow since 2014 "For pioneering searches for supersymmetry and extra dimensions at the Tevatron, innovative searches for new physics and the study of the Higgs boson at the LHC, and key contributions to triggering and data flow for CDF and CMS.”

In the past years she has been working on advanced data technologies with an eye on using AI methods to enable and accelerate scientific discovery. She initiated a collaboration with leading quantum computation researchers targeting the embedding of physics problems onto the D-Wave quantum annealer.

Spiropulu is a member of the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee as well as the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) to the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. She is the chair of the Forum of International Physics of the American Physical Society and serves on the Advisory Panel of the HEP Forum for Computational Excellence and is a member of the Aspen Center for Physics. Spiropulu has been contributing to intellectual exchange forums such as the Edge ( and has participated in many public outreach science events and documentaries (NASA TV, NOVA, Science Channel’s Wormhole, the History Channel, the San Francisco Exploratorium etc).

Spiropulu is the author of "Where is Einstein?", the final chapter in "My Einstein: Essays by twenty four of the World's Leading Thinkers on the Man, His Work, and His Legacy. In 2015 she delivered Master Classes at the World Science University in NY and in 2016 she participated at the World Science Festival’s gravity and dark matter panels. She is the founder of the Physics of the Universe Summit (POTUS), a meeting held under Chatham House Rules that explores challenges in emerging and cross-cutting areas of science & technology.

December 2009
LHC High Energy Launch



selected publications

@ the compact muon solenoid

awards & fellowships


selected invited lectures at international conferences / workshops

selected featured lectures at international conferences

selected departmental colloquia

selected events organizer

selected public lectures

lecture series

selected outreach and initiatives

POTUS 2010

Trillions of reasons to be excited


article by G. Johnson (pdf)

article by D. Overbye (pdf)

@MariaSpiropulu on twitter