University at Albany

Physics Faculty

Cecilia Levy
Assistant Professor of Physics
Ph.D. University of Muenster

Room: Physics 209

Academic History:
  • BSc Universite de Montreal, Canada
  • MSc Queen's University, Canada on the PICASSO dark matter experiment
  • PhD University of Muenster, Germany on the XENON100 dark matter experiment
  • Postdoc RPI on the XENON1T dark matter experiment
  • Postdoc SUNY Albany on the LUX/LZ dark matter experiment
Current Research:

My primary research interest is in astroparticle physics, more specifically, I contribute to the ongoing effort to directly discover dark matter, an elusive particle which makes up 25% of the universe. While there are many experiments currently looking for dark matter, they all have the same limitation in that they cannot go past the neutrino floor, an irreducible neutrino background that limits their sensitivity. To palliate to that, I am trying to develop a new, smarter dark matter detector which could differentiate between dark matter and neutrinos based on their incoming direction. I am also investigating whether the same technique could be used for the search for neutrinoless double beta decay, a rare, undiscovered nuclear physics process.

In addition to astroparticle physics, I also do research in breast cancer imaging. Current technology (mammograms and ultrasounds) is far from perfect and results in many wrong or missed diagnoses. I am trying to improve on the current technology on two fronts. First by using machine learning algorithms to interpret the data better. Second, by trying to develop a better, more accurate imaging technique.

Teaching Research:

My immediate teaching interest is in freshman and sophomore core physics classes. This is very important to me as these classes are the foundation for a student's success in the physics program. In addition, a thorough comprehension of these core classes is crucial for a student to be able to understand more advanced and specialized courses. My teaching philosophy is that I am here as much to teach as to help the students, therefore I try to be as adaptive and as approachable as possible in order to give my students the best chance of success.