Stephen Amsel

Stephen Amsel


Montreal, Canada Area
Computer Software

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Stephen Amsel's Overview

  • Demand-planner at Alaso Frozen Foods
  • Lifeguard at Several Employers
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant (Volunteer) at McGill University
  • Bialik High School

99 connections

Stephen Amsel's Summary

I spent the last few years producing numerical models of various systems. I ran optimized parameter-space searches to compare the predictions to observation in order to test theories of relations between fundamental underlying parameters and observable quantities. Following that, I worked on development for finite-element simulators for two years.

I left graduate school for multiple reasons in 2013 and since then have developed software as demand for them arose.

I am currently working in inventory-management for frozen foods while working independently on multiple software-tools which could be useful for research and in business-application in multiple fields and industries. I intend to pursue their development and use them to build a long-term career.

Computer Programming: C, C++, Fortran 95, Fortran 77, RUBY, Matlab, Bash, IDL, Mathematica, Python,
Algorithms: Markov Chain Monte Carlo, Finite element methods

Physics: Plasma physics, Particle physics, Astrophysics

Stephen Amsel's Experience


Alaso Frozen Foods

July 2014Present (3 months)

Coordinating purchases to ensure that goods are in stock to be delivered to customers.

Independent Consultant


October 2013December 2013 (3 months) Montreal

Developed and implemented an algorithm to aid in scheduling staff to adhere strictly to demand for service.

Graduate Student Instructor

University of Michigan

Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry

September 2009August 2013 (4 years)

I taught sections of introductory level lab-classes according to instructions given to me by the course-coordinator. These instructions include the material to be covered and general guidelines for grading.

I also taught one introductory course in astronomy where I set up the labs and decided what exact material would be covered to support the material learned in the lecture-section of he same course.

Graduate Student Research Assistant

University of Michigan

Educational Institution; 11-50 employees; Research industry

June 2008August 2013 (5 years 3 months)

Research in physics both through graduate studies and as a research assistant. I address inverse-problems where some observable quantities is known but there is no clear way to directly determine underlying dynamics from them.


Several Employers

June 2001January 2007 (5 years 8 months)

Canadian training (Comparing to the U.S.: Less Baywatch, more paramedic specialized in aquatic emergencies)
Customer service
First Aid
Swimming pool maintenance

Undergraduate Research Assistant (Volunteer)

McGill University

Educational Institution; 10,001+ employees; Higher Education industry

20062007 (1 year) Montreal

Tested an image-analysis algorithm for searching for Cosmic Strings' signature in the CMB. Work led to publication of "Detecting Cosmic Strings in the CMB with the Canny Algorithm".

Stephen Amsel's Courses

  • PhD Program, Physics

    University of Michigan

    • Electrodynamics (Jackson)
    • Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Structure
    • Quantum Field Theory
    • Graduate Statistical Mechanics
    • Cosmology (Early Universe)
    • Astrophyics (Stellar and particle)
    • Galactic Astronomy
    • Particle physics
  • B.SC., Physics and Geophysics

    McGill University

    • Electrodynamics
    • Quantum Mechanics and Applications
    • Mechanics (Newtonian and Lagrangian)
    • Fluid Physics
    • Statistical Mechanics
    • Relativity
    • Astrophysics
    • Calculus, Differential Equations
    • Numerical Analysis
    • Abstract Algebra (Group Theory)
    • Probability and Statistics
    • Computer Programming (Fortran, C)
    • Geophysical Applications (Geophysics laboratory-course)
    • Physics laboratory courses
    • Introductory Mineralogy
    • Elementary Earth Physics (applied physics
    • Geodynamics and Geomagntism (applied physics)
    • Structural Geology
    • Geology Field School (applied Structural Geology)
    • Seismology (data analysis, theory)

Stephen Amsel's Projects

  • Code development for Space Weather Modelling Framework

    • April 2013 to August 2013
    Team Members: Stephen Amsel

    Code-development to handle multiple simultaneous processes more accurately.

  • Code-development for FLASH physics-simulator

    • June 2011 to December 2012
    Team Members: Stephen Amsel

    I implemented a fast semi-implicit diffusion-algorithm for the FLASH High Energy-Denisty Physics simulator, allowing substantial acceleration of computing at high resolutions.

  • Parameter-Space Search in Supersymmetry

    • June 2008 to August 2011
    Team Members: Stephen Amsel

    I searched parameter-spaces of two versions of Supersymmetry for models which would meet existing constraints, explain dark matter, be visible at accelerators, and address the fine-tuning problem which Supersymmetry was originally intended to solve. Then I determined the expected astrophysical signals of these models, and they signals at accelerator-experiments. This led to the publication, "Probing EWSB Naturalness in Unified SUSY Models with Dark Matter".

Stephen Amsel's Languages

  • English

    (Native or bilingual proficiency)
  • French

    (Professional working proficiency)
  • Hebrew

    (Elementary proficiency)
  • Yiddish

    (Elementary proficiency)
  • Spanish

    (Elementary proficiency)

Stephen Amsel's Publications

  • Detecting Cosmic Strings in the CMB with the Canny Algorithm

    • Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP)
    • April 15, 2008
    Authors: Stephen Amsel, Joshua Berger, Robert Brandenberger

    We applied an edge-detection algorithm to search for the signature of Cosmic Strings in the Cosmic Microwave Background. Then using appropriate statistical analysis, we determined the strength of signature necessary to find evidence for their existence with images of different resolutions. We found that our method was more sensitive than the one which is conventionally used.

  • Probing EWSB Naturalness in Unified SUSY Models with Dark Matter

    • Journal of High Energy Physics
    • 2011
    Authors: Stephen Amsel, Katherine Freese, Pearl Sandick

    We looked at limits imposed upon supersymmetry by various accelerator-constraints as well as dark matter density and detectability. We find that the most detectable models are also those with the lowest fine-tuning in EWSB. Also, comparing the CMSSM and models where the assumption of a universal Higgs mass is relaxed, we find the extra freedom in the up-type Higgs mass-parameter allows for far greater freedom in parameter-space and physical results despite the constraints.

Stephen Amsel's Skills & Expertise

  1. Physics
  2. Fortran
  3. Python
  4. Research
  5. Matlab
  6. Programming
  7. C++
  8. Numerical Analysis
  9. Science
  10. Scientific Computing
  11. C
  12. Computational Physics
  13. Statistics
  14. LaTeX
  15. Astrophysics
  16. Particle Physics
  17. Physics Simulation
  18. Stochastic Optimization
  19. Markov Chain Monte Carlo
  20. Image Analysis
  21. C-based programming languages
  22. First Aid
  23. CAD
  24. JavaScript

View All (24) Skills View Fewer Skills

Stephen Amsel's Education

University of Michigan

PhD Program, Physics


Exiting with a Master's degree.

Activities and Societies: I am a graduate student. We have no lives.

McGill University

B.SC., Physics and Geophysics


Minor in Math
Minor in International Relations
Expanded physics-background with courses beyond the program

Activities and Societies: International Relations Students' Association of McGill McMUN (Staff), SSUNS (Staff)

Marianopolis College

DEC, Pure and Applied Sciences


CEGEP, equivalent to Grade 12 and Freshman Year, Specific to Quebec

Activities and Societies: Marianopolis Robotics Club Marianopolis Model U.N. club

Bialik High School


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