Hello! My name is Mark Farino and I am currently a rising junior majoring in mathematics and physics, as well as minoring in French. My classic fun fact is that I am left-handed (and need to come up with a better fun fact about myself).
I currently am working with Dr. Vladimir Savinov of the Physics and Astronomy Department to search for oscillations of charmed Ω baryons in particle physics data from the Belle collaboration in Japan. Oscillations are where a given particle transitions to its antiparticle equivalent (such as a proton transitioning to an antiproton), and is possible for charmed Ω baryons specifically. So, my task is to search for events in the data that contain this particle and measure the frequency of oscillations.
I consider this research immensely important because I am searching for a yet-to-be-discovered decay chain and investigating a phenomenon which would better explain the world around us; one of the greatest mysteries in physics is why the universe contains significantly more matter than antimatter, as any matter produced during the Big Bang should have resulted in an equal quantity of antimatter to maintain balance. However we clearly are here (!), so I want to find experimental evidence to validate how this is possible.
My Professional Goals
If there is one constancy in my life, it is naivety (so the prospective path of my life is always at least slightly hazy, but I think that makes it more interesting!); with that being said, I do have professional goals of which I believe the Brackenridge will assist me in pursing. My current aspirations are to apply for the Goldwater Scholarship this upcoming school year, complete my research project and use it for a BPhil degree, and attend graduate school in either mathematics or physics. I think the Brackenridge will help me accomplish all three of these. First and foremost, the fellowship provides the means to continue my project over the summer, allowing me to make significant progress without the worry of classes or other strifes in normal college life during fall/spring semester. In addition, the workshops accompanied with the fellowship appear perfectly tailored to help me in achieving the other goals, especially as two of these programs respectively have foci of applying to national scholarships and graduate schools. Thus, I believe I will become more knowledgeable and better prepared to pursue my goals with the Brackenridge Fellowship, and learn much more than that along the way as well.