Jesse Thaler

Professor of Physics
Theoretical particle physicist who fuses techniques from QFT and machine learning to address outstanding questions in fundamental physics.

Research Interests

Jesse Thaler is a theoretical particle physicist who fuses techniques from quantum field theory and machine learning to address outstanding questions in fundamental physics.  His current research is focused on maximizing the discovery potential of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) through new theoretical frameworks and novel data analysis techniques.  Prof. Thaler is an expert in jets, which are collimated sprays of particles that are copiously produced at the LHC, and he studies the substructure of jets to enhance the search for new phenomena and illuminate the dynamics of gauge theories.  He is also interested in new strategies to probe the nature of dark matter at the LHC and beyond, as well as in the theoretical structures and experimental signatures of supersymmetry.

In Search of Dark Matter at the MIT Center for Theoretical Physics
Video by Bill Lattanzi | MIT Center for Theoretical Physics

Biographical Sketch

Jesse Thaler joined the MIT Physics Department in 2010, and is currently a Professor in the Center for Theoretical Physics.  From 2006 to 2009, he was a fellow at the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at the University of California, Berkeley.  He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Harvard University in 2006, and his Sc.B. in Math/Physics from Brown University in 2002.   In 2020, Prof. Thaler became the inaugural Director of the NSF AI Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Fundamental Interactions.

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Awards & Honors

  • 2022 // American Physical Society (APS) Fellow "“For original foundational research contributions, leadership, and mentoring in the area of machine learning for fundamental physics.
  • 2022 // Simons Investigator Award
  • 2018-20 // Fermilab Distinguished Scholar
  • 2018 // Simons Fellowship in Theoretical Physics
  • 2017 // Frank E. Perkins Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising, MIT
  • 2016 // Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award, MIT
  • 2014 // Buechner Faculty Award for Teaching, MIT
  • 2013 // Buechner Faculty Award for Undergraduate Advising, MIT
  • 2013 // Sloan Research Fellowship
  • 2012 // Kavli Frontiers Fellow
  • 2012 // Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
  • 2011-16 // Early Career Research Award, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science

Key Publications