Associate Scientist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory
Visiting Research Assistant Professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago
Senior Member, Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP), University of Chicago
Visiting Scholar 2022-2023
Professor Jesse Thaler, MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science/MIT Department of Physics
Brian Nord’s work focuses on how to improve the ways in which we make scientific discoveries--developing algorithms, designing experiments, and re-envisioning research communities. Brian started his career in large-scale structure simulations. Since then, he has studied galaxy clusters, strong gravitational lensing, and the cosmic microwave background. Nord’s current research focuses on teaching machines to search for clues of the universe’s origin and destiny. In particular, he uses artificial intelligence to study the cosmos, including dark energy, dark matter, and the early universe. He actively works on statistical modeling of strong gravitational lenses, the cosmic microwave background, and galaxy clusters. Nord also develops techniques to integrate physical principles into deep learning models and to interpret neural networks.
Nord holds a BA in Physics from Johns Hopkins University, and MS and PhD degrees in Physics from University of Michigan. Nord is an Associate Scientist in Fermilab’s Machine Intelligence Group, which seeks to apply AI to modern challenges in high-energy physics. He is also a Visiting Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics and a Senior Member of the Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics (KICP) at the University of Chicago.
Brian is a leader in the movement to address inequities and oppression in academic and research environments. He co-created the academic #Strike4BlackLives (strike4blacklives.com) in June 2020 (along with 2011-14 MLK Visiting Scholar Chanda Prescod-Weinstein and the Particles for Justice Group) and works to drive anti-racist efforts and develop justice-oriented communities. He co-founded the Deep Skies Community (deepskieslab.ai), which is dedicated to shared leadership and prioritizing the humanity of research colleagues over productivity -- one of the first of its kind. He is a co-author of ThisIsBlackLight.com, a curriculum for learning about Black experiences. He also co-founded the Change Now team, which produced a list of calls for action to make a more just laboratory environment at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
"Is there a map to the stars: how do we navigate careers and build community in academic science?" MLK Visiting Scholars Luncheon Seminar, Institute Community and Equity Office, 6 December 2022.
"Imagining Scientific Advancement in the Era of AI: Implications for Discovery and Community." Pappalardo Distinguished Lecture in Physics, MIT, 6 October 2022.