Giordon Stark

Pronouns: he/him/point

UCSC SCIPP, Natural Sciences 2, Room #337 · 1156 High Street · Santa Cruz, CA 95064 ·

Dr. Giordon Stark is a Deaf post-doctoral, experimental particle physicist involved with the ATLAS collaboration at the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics, at UC Santa Cruz. He earned his PhD in Physics from University of Chicago in 2018, and a B.S in Physics from Caltech in 2012. Giordon's research focuses on looking for signs of physics Beyond the Standard Model with a particular interest in Electroweak Supersymmetry and hadronic final states. He is also passionate about boosted object reconstruction, jet substructure, pile-up mitigation techniques, designing robust hardware triggers, the intersection of particle physics & machine learning, and more! Through these efforts, Giordon has also made core contributions to improving the communication of physics results between the ATLAS Collaboration and particle physics theorists and phenomenologists. He is also leading a group of physicists within the experiment to combine and summarize the results of many BSM searches, providing key insights for the future of the successful ATLAS SUSY search program. When Giordon is not busy trying to prove the existence of SUSY, he can be found in the kitchen proving sourdoughs, baking pavlovas, and anything else he can get his hands on.

See my curriculum vitae for more detailed information.


University of Chicago

Doctor of Philosophy in Physics

Advisor: David W. Miller

September 2012 - June 2018

California Institute of Technology

Bachelors of Science in Physics
Senior Thesis: Optical Coating Brownian Thermal Noise in Gravitational Wave Detectors

Advisors: Kenneth Libbrecht and Harvey Newman

September 2008 - June 2012

Honours & Awards

Springer Thesis Award

August 2019

Nathan Sugarman Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Resarch

May 2017

US ATLAS Outstanding Graduate Student Award

June 2016

Young Researchers' Symposium Award for Best Poster Presentation

November 2015

Department of Energy, Office of Science Graduate Student Research

Oct. 2015 - Jan. 2016

UChicago Excellence in Graduate Teaching nominee

April 2015

US LHC Users Association Lightning Round Winner

November 2014

UChicago Excellence in Graduate Teaching nominee

April 2014

UChicago Excellence in Graduate Teaching nominee

April 2013

Caltech Excellent TA Award


Edward C. and Alice Stone Fellow

June 2010

Online Presence

The last great mystery of the mind: meet the people who have unusual – or non-existent – inner voices

The Guardian - Sirin Kale

Does your internal monologue play out on a television, in an attic, as a bickering Italian couple – or is it entirely, blissfully silent?

October 25th, 2021

Deaf scientists thrive with interpreters and technology

Physics Today - Adria Schwarber

Though still underrepresented in STEM, deaf and hard-of-hearing scientists are excelling in their fields and developing ways to more seamlessly communicate with their colleagues.

July 23rd, 2021

PSD climate grants foster belonging while socially distanced

The University of Chicago - Physical Sciences Division

PSD members found creative ways to impact climate in the Division and further values of equity, diversity, and inclusion

April 13th, 2021

ATLAS releases ‘full orchestra’ of analysis instruments

symmetry magazine

The ATLAS collaboration has begun to publish likelihood functions, information that will allow researchers to better understand and use their experiment’s data in future analyses.

January 14th, 2021

My life as a particle physicist (in American Sign Language)


Particle physicist Giordon Stark describes his life as a Deaf physicist working for the ATLAS experiment at CERN.

February 21st, 2020

Analysis Preservation Bootcamp


SCIPPer Giordon Stark was an Instructor at the recent IRIS-HEP analysis preservation hands-on bootcamp.

February 17th, 2020

New open release streamlines interactions with theoretical physicists

ATLAS Experiment

The ATLAS Collaboration has released the first open likelihoods from an LHC experiment.

December 12th, 2019

A matter of interpretation

symmetry magazine

Deaf scientist Giordon Stark works to ensure the field of physics research is accessible to all.

December 3rd, 2019

Particle physics laboratory uses GitLab to connect researchers from across the globe

CERN is the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Using highly sophisticated instruments, the organization's physicists and engineers study the fundamental particles that are the building blocks of the universe. How does CERN solve the challenge of finding a tool that can handle thousands of projects and contributors as well as a revolving door of contributors from across the world?

October 18th, 2018

How do the LHC experiments work?


Giordon Stark explains how the LHC experiments at CERN work in ASL (American Sign Language).

February 17th, 2017

TV: Not Quite Dead, But Time to Pull the Plug?


TV sets are going out of fashion. Actually, not quite. But that's what it seems like. You could feign a comparison between Online Shopping and Brick & Mortar stores.

November 25th, 2014

The Pros and Cons of Inbox by Gmail


It's reminiscent of a Facebook-style newsfeed that changes the way that I look at email.

November 24th, 2014

My Inner Voice as a Deaf Person

Thought Catalog

If a person is born deaf, which language do they think in?

September 17th, 2014

Information for Interpreters

  • 1

    You'll find a lot of things about me and my work if you google my name. This website and my CV may be helpful, as well as my twitter, to give you a sense of my wording/register/patter/sense of humor, etc. I really love puns. Additionally, my thesis website is a great example of how I approach public speaking.

    A short simple summary of my work: "Tons of small small small things go boom in large tube that takes pics of the smash quite fast. I write code to look at the pics and try to find new things to fill gaps in our map of the field." from Twitter.

  • 2

    I grew up oral. In one-on-one, I speech-read very well. People will not realize I'm Deaf as I have no noticeable deaf accent, however I am a very quiet speaker. Sometimes you need to let me know if I'm too quiet and need to speak up. For brief interactions, I may be fine alone if the other person isn't too quiet or does not have a strong accent. If it's longer, please interpret. A good rule of thumb is to proactively slide in behind the speaker and begin interpreting.

  • 3

    I will default to speaking for myself in hearing settings always. Voicing for me will only ever be in very informal situations that are not Physics-heavy. I'm usually bad about making (and following) a script for any presentation I do. If you don't feel comfortable voicing for me, even if I want you to, let me know as I will switch to voicing. I don't mind. If there is a D/HoH person around, I might accidentally sim-com, but I try to avoid this. Usually, if there's at least one D/HoH person, I will sign for them and expect you to voice for sign-language impaired people.

  • 4

    I learned ASL relatively late. In fact, I learned it after I started learning PJM. Because I travel internationally a lot for conferences, I will also have picked up many pieces of other sign languages. Regardless of how I sign, I tend to prefer receiving in ASL where possible. If you do not feel comfortable with the subject material/jargon, because this ain't your daddy's physics, signed-english (PSE-like) and more fingerspelling is fine as I'll figure it out from there. Additionally, whenever I sign, I'm a bit lazier and tend not to finish my thoughts on the assumption that whenever I drop a sign, it's implicit what fits in.

  • 5

    Context and shared vocabulary will often not be clear, because they're research discussions! I'm accustomed to academic ASL with mouthing of key vocabulary, and do appreciate seeing the English when interacting in situations where using the same vocabulary as the hearing speakers would be helpful. If you aren't familiar with the jargon, mouth the word and guess at the phonetic spelling, and we'll have a high chance of getting the right word. If I know the word, I'll quickly feed you a sign to replace that word if it comes up often, so you do not need to fingerspell over and over again. Do not assume that's the official sign. Drop it like it's hot afterwards.

  • 6

    During presentations with minimal audience interaction, visual aids, and a single speaker, I'm comfortable following the presentation slides as long as you indicate where the focus is on the slides. Switch back to interpreting when the speaker starts spontaneous expression again or diverges from the slides significantly. I might not always look at you the entire time, but I'm always paying attention. I have photographic memory.

  • 7

    I'm always tired. Don't take offense.

  • 8

    When meetings are informal, please introduce yourself to everyone, because I'll forget. The exception is with people I work with. They're used to seeing me with interpreters by now and usually introductions are not needed.

  • 9

    I often work with hearing people who have never met a Deaf professional before. Please let me know how you feel about educating hearing participants about sign language and interpreting. I know "empowering the Deaf person to explain this stuff themselves" is a thing, but I've also answered that question fifty thousand times before, and delegation is an empowered act (if you're comfortable with it).

  • 10

    I work in a large international collaboration with 3000+ folks. The people in my community have varying levels of fluency in English. Many people will have accents. If you cannot work with accents at all, reconsider taking the job. You also need to let me know so I can make sure you have a strident team. It's not going to be just Spanish or Italian, but also French, Moldovan, Afrikaans, etc...

  • 11

    Are you fluent in signed languages other than ASL? Let me know! I will always want more practice with those during informal situations.

  • 12

    Shared vocabulary/names will be stored in my vocabulary sheet. Request access if you don't have access. Please be sure to add all unfamiliar terms to the spreadsheet after each session.