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Varun Sharma

University of Wisconsin - Madison



Varun Sharma is a research scientist in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He has been an active member of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) since 2011. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Physics & Astrophysics, University of Delhi, India, for his work on the substructure of quarks. Sharma’s current research focuses on physics beyond the Standard Model, specifically dark matter searches and its possible connection to the Higgs sector. He has also been searching for lepton-flavor violating decays of the Higgs boson. He is the co-convener of the Hadronic/Photon subgroup of the Searches for new physics in final states with Unbalanced transverse momentum and Standard objects (SUS) Physics Analysis group in the CMS experiment. Sharma has been involved with the CMS trigger system and served as the trigger technical coordinator of the experiment from 2019 to 2022. He ensured the efficient operations of the CMS experiment calorimeter trigger system and designed valuable algorithm upgrades for its future. He used the Xilinx Vivado High Level synthesis (HLS) tool to develop firmware and demonstrate its performance on prototype boards. In 2022, he was awarded the CMS Achievement Award for his crucial coordination and exceptional commitment to the operations of the Level-1 Trigger system.

Project interests

  • Develop and implement new machine learning techniques to improve the accuracy and reach of physics results
  • Use machine learning to improve the performance of current FPGA-based level-1 trigger algorithms.
  • Find new physics to help understand the unsolved mysteries of nature