Alice Cocoros Print



:   Physicist

:  Astrophysics

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Degree Field of Study Year Attained Institution Name
PhD Physics and Astronomy 2018 Johns Hopkins University
Masters Physics and Astronomy 2014 Johns Hopkins University
BA with Honors Astrophysics 2013 Williams College

Dr. Alice Cocoros is a physicist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, focused on applying her expertise in data analysis, modeling, simulation, and physics to space missions such as NASA's latest New Frontiers mission, Dragonfly. She earned a Ph.D. in Physics and Astronomy from Johns Hopkins University in 2018, writing a thesis in experimental particle physics focused on a search for new particles using data taken with the Compact Muon Solenoid detector on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. She earned her BA in Astrophysics with Honors from Williams College, with a thesis that focused on developing a new theory to describe the nature of dark matter and its interaction with known particles. 

She serves as the LIDAR Lead for the Mobility team on NASA’s Dragonfly mission, focused on implementing hazard detection for the rotocraft on the surface of Titan. She is the Payload Systems Lead for the Interstellar Probe Study commisioned by NASA's Heliosphysics Science Mission Directorate, which is examining the engineering challenges that would shape a near-term pragmatic mission designed to study our habitable astrosphere by flying through the heliosphere and out to the local interstellar medium. She supervises the Advanced Algorithms Section of the Science and Space Instrumentation Branch in the Space Exploration Sector. Her research interests include applying machine learning techniques to high contrast images of stars to detect exoplanets, as well as developing methods to produce lower size, weight, and power instruments in the far ultraviolet. She is passionate about diversity, inclusion, and mentoring.

AGU Index Category AGU Index Sub-Category
Start Year End Year Description
2018 Current Physicist and Section Supervisor at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, Space Exploration Sector. Lead and participate in a number of space mission and research efforts, providing data science, modeling, simulation, and particle physics expertise.
2016 2018 Instructor and TA, Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy. Designed and taught “Exploring the Building Blocks of the Universe”, a three week Winter Intersession physics course for non-majors, TA for Electricity and Magnetism I (Active Learning)
2013 2018 Graduate Research Fellow, Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy - Designed, developed, and implemented data processing for a search for new particles and processes that decay to two Higgs bosons which each decay to two b quarks, using data taken with the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector on the LHC at CERN. Wrote simulation software to emulate aspects of the CMS pixel detector. Analyzed performance of machine learning used to enhance detection.
Year Description
2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
2013 Johns Hopkins University Clare Boothe Luce Fellow
2010 Williams College Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow
2017 Johns Hopkins University Preparing Future Faculty Certificate
2013 Johns Hopkins University Department of Physics and Astronomy Diversity Chair (four years)
2014 Johns Hopkins University Diversity Leadership Council Member (two years)
2020 American Geophysical Society Member
The following publication information was downloaded from

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Alice Cocoros and Ralph McNutt and Pontus Brandt and James Kinnison and Stephen Jaskulek and Glen Fountain and Clayton Smith and Kathleen Mandt and Elena Provornikova and Carey Lisse and Kirby Runyon and Abigail Rymer and Michael Paul, (2021), Instrumentation Solutions and Constraints for a Long Duration Interstellar Probe Mission,

Brandt, P.C., Cocoros, A., Hill, M.E., Lisse, C.M., Mandt, K., McNutt Jr., R.L., Mostafavi, P., Provornikova, E., Roelof, E.C., Runyon, K., Rymer, A.M., Turner, D.L., and Vepachedu, V., (2020), An Overview of the Science Enabled by a Pragmatic Interstellar Probe in the Next Decade

Kinnison, J.D., Ashtari, R., Brandt, P.C., Cocoros, A., Copeland, D., Fountain, G.H., Mehoke, D.S., Rogers, G., Schlei, W., Smith, C. and Whitley, S., (2020), Considerations for a Pragmatic Interstellar Probe Mission

Joshua Vander Hook, Julie Castillo-Rogez, Richard Doyle, Tiago Stegun Vaquero, Trent M. Hare, Randolf L. Kirk, Valerie Fox, Dmitriy Bekker, Alice Cocoros, (2020), Nebulae: A Proposed Concept of Operation for Deep Space Computing Clouds, 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference,

Hibbard, K. E., Adams, D. S., Cocoros, A. A., Mehta, N. L., Sawyer, C. A., and Villac, B. F., (2019), Dragonfly: In Situ Terrain-Relative Navigation for Titan Surface Exploration

A.M. Sirunyan and A. Tumasyan and W. Adam and F. Ambrogi and E. Asilar and A. Cocoros et al. , (2019), JHEP,

A.M. Sirunyan and A. Tumasyan and W. Adam and F. Ambrogi and E. Asilar and A. Cocoros et al. , (2018), Search for a massive resonance decaying to a pair of Higgs bosons in the four b quark final state in protontextendash, Physics Letters B, 781, 244--269,

A.M. Sirunyan and A. Tumasyan and W. Adam and F. Ambrogi and E. Asilar and A. Cocoros et. al., (2018), Identification of heavy-flavour jets with the CMS detector in pp collisions at 13 TeV, Journal of Instrumentation, 13, 05, P05011--P05011,

Christopher Brust, Petar Maksimovic, Alice Sady, Prashant Saraswat, Matthew T. Walters, Yongjie Xin, (2015), Identifying boosted new physics with non-isolated leptons, Journal of High Energy Physics, 2015, 4,