Michael Hildreth


A.B., Princeton Universty, 1988
Ph.D., Stanford University, 1995

E-mail: mhildret@nd.edu
Address: NSH 414
Phone: (574) 631-6458
Fax: (574) 631-5952

Research Interests

Prof. Hildreth’s primary physics interest is in discovering and understanding the mechanism or mechanisms responsible for Electroweak Symmetry Breaking. Simply put, this would answer questions like: “why is there mass?”  Prof. Hildreth is a part of the CMS Experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he and the rest of the Notre Dame High Energy Physics group played key roles in the recent discovery of a Higgs boson.  His group is involved in measuring Higgs properties, specifically the coupling of the Higgs boson to top quarks. These measurements are essential in determining if the Higgs we see is really the source of Electroweak Symmetry Breaking and the origin of particle masses, or whether new physics is required.  He is also working on searches for new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, specifically looking for new physics in final states involving high energy photons and, separately, high energy tau leptons.

Prof. Hildreth is currently leading the CMS group responsible for modeling the interaction of particles with the material of the detector elements. This is essential for understanding the response of the detector to the signals for all of the various physical processes one wishes to study at the collider.

Since 2012, Prof. Hildreth has led a multi-university team that is exploring the programmatic and technical intricacies of knowledge preservation in science.  The DAta and Software Preservation for Open Science (DASPOS) team consists of physicists, computer scientists, and digital librarians from Notre Dame, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champagne, University of Nebraska Lincoln, New York University, and the University of Washington.  This is a multi-disciplinary effort designed to explore the knowledge preservation needs of various disciplines and to construct a prototype data and software preservation architecture that can be used as a template for knowledge preservation efforts in different fields of science.

Prof. Hildreth is also involved in an accelerator instrumentation project the KEK laboratory in Tsukuba, Japan. He leads a primarily undergraduate group of students who are building laser interferometer systems to monitor the mechanical stability of accelerator components at the 10 nanometer level. The primary goal of this research is to demonstrate that a precision energy spectrometer based on beam position monitors can attain the necessary resolution.

Selected Publications

CMS Collaboration, Observation of a new boson with mass near 125 GeV in pp collisions at √s = 7 and 8 TeV,  J. High Energy Phys. 06 (2013) 081

CMS Collaboration, Search for the standard model Higgs boson produced in association with a top-quark pair in pp collisions at the LHC  J. High Energy Phys. 05 (2013) 145

CMS Collaboration, Search for new physics in events with photons, jets, and missing transverse energy in pp collisions at √s = 7 TeV,  J. High Energy Phys. 03 (2013) 111

CMS Collaboration, Search for high mass resonances decaying into τ-lepton pairs in pp collisions at √s = 7 TeV,  Phys. Lett. B 716 (2012) 82-102 


  • Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator, 2002
  • Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar, 2003
  • Rev. Joyce Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Notre Dame, 2008
  • Thomas P. Madden Award as the Outstanding First Year Instructor, Notre Dame, 2010
  • Shilts/Leonard Teaching Award in the College of Science, Notre Dame, 2014


Hildreth Curriculum Vitae PDF file