Professor of Physics
Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs, Department of Physics
Carnegie Foundation/CASE 2016 U.S. Professor of the Year
Fellow, American Physical Society
A.P. Sloan Fellow
NSF Presidential Faculty Fellow
Professor Mats Selen, the Carnegie Foundation/CASE 2016 U.S. Professor of the Year, earned his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton in 1989. An international leader in experimental particle physics, Professor Selen has made significant contributions to four distinct research areas: (1) the measurement of the D* branching ratios and an analysis of D* mesons that set a new reference standard; (2) study of the charm quark and contributions to current understanding of charmed particles and their decays; (3) radiative and hadronic D decays; and (4) innovations in particle identification and data acquisition, including the invention of an entirely new method, Cherenkov correlated timing (CCT), which can separate from K mesons, up to momenta of 4 GeV/c. Selen also guided a massive curriculum revision of the calculus-based introductory physics courses at Illinois, started the Physics Van, an award-winning community outreach program, and is a regular on local morning television as “The Whys Guy.” Selen is widely recognized for his teaching, having won numerous local, regional, and national awards, including the RCSA’s Transformational Research and Excellence in Education (TREE) Award, the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching, and being ranked an excellent teacher by his students in 18 difference semesters.