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Julius Wess Award 2015

Lisa Randall
Prof. Lisa Randall
Wess Preis Lisa Randall
from left to right: Prof. Thomas Hirth (Vice president KIT), Prof. Lisa Randall (Harvard University), Prof. Peter Jenni (Julius Wess laureate 2011)
Wess Preis Lisa Randall
Picture caption see right

Lisa Randall, professor at Harvard University, was chosen to receive the Julius Wess Award 2015.
She receives the prize for her pioneering work on theories beyond the Standard Model, in particular the unified description of basic physical forces in models with extra spatial dimensions. The presentation of the award took place on July 8, 2016.

Randall was born in Queens in New York City. She is an alumna of Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1980, where she was a classmate of fellow physicist and science popularizer Brian Greene. She won first place in the 1980 Westinghouse Science Talent Search at the age of 18. At Harvard, Randall earned both an A.B. in 1983, and a Ph.D. in 1987 in particle physics under the direction of Howard Georgi.

Randall researches particle physics and cosmology at Harvard, where she is a professor of theoretical physics. Her research concerns elementary particles and fundamental forces, and has involved the study of a wide variety of models, the most recent involving extra dimensions of space. She has also worked on supersymmetry, Standard Model observables, cosmological inflation, baryogenesis, grand unified theories, and general relativity.

Randall's books Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions and Knocking on Heaven’s Door: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World have both been on New York Times 100 notable books lists. She also wrote the libretto of the opera Hypermusic Prologue: A Projective Opera in Seven Planes on the invitation of the composer, Hèctor Parra, who was inspired by her book Warped Passages.

After her graduate work at Harvard, Randall held professorships at MIT and Princeton University before returning to Harvard in 2001. Professor Randall was the first tenured woman in the Princeton physics department and the first tenured female theoretical physicist at Harvard. (However, this should not be misconstrued as her becoming the first tenured woman in the Harvard physics department. Melissa Franklin was the first to earn that distinction.)

Randall is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004) and the National Academy of Sciences (2008), and a fellow of the American Physical Society. In autumn 2004, she was the most cited theoretical physicist of the previous five years. Professor Randall was featured in Seed magazine's "2005 Year in Science Icons " and in Newsweek's "Who's Next in 2006" as "one of the most promising theoretical physicists of her generation." In 2007, Randall was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People (Time 100) under the section for "Scientists & Thinkers". Randall was given this honor for her work regarding the evidence of a higher dimension.

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from left to right: Prof. Matthias Neubert (JGU Mainz), Prof. Margarete Mühlleitner (KIT), Dr. Andreas Haungs (KIT), Prof. Laura Baudis (Uni Zürich), Prof. Dieter Zeppenfeld (KIT, dep. Spokesperson KCETA), Nadine Stricker (Schleicher-Stiftung), Prof. Lisa Randall (Harvard University), Prof. Thomas Hirth (Vice president KIT), Prof. Marc Weber (KIT, Spokesperson KCETA), Prof. Ulrich Nierste (KIT, Spokesperson KSETA)