Fermilab Today Friday, February 29, 2008
Furlough Information


An IDES representative will conduct small group meetings every 30 minutes in the Wilson Hall Atrium Dining Room (SW corner) each Friday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. from today through the end of March. The representative will answer questions about unemployment compensation.

New furlough information, including an up-to-date Q&A section, appears on the furlough Web pages daily.


Friday, Feb. 29
3:30 p.m.
4:00 p.m.
Joint Experimental-Theoretical Physics Seminar - One West
Speaker: R. Hill, Fermilab
Title: The Anomalous Baryon Current and Neutrino-Photon Interactions in the Standard Model

Monday, March 3
2:30 p.m.
Particle Astrophysics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: M. Crocce, Institut de Ciencies de l'Espai (ICE)
Title: TBA
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
All Experimenters' Meeting -- Curia II
Special Topic: CMS Installation and Commissioning

Click here for NALCAL,
a weekly calendar with links to additional information.


WeatherMostly cloudy 36°/17°

Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe
Friday, Feb. 29
- Old fashioned ham & bean
- Philly style chicken
- Braised pork chops
- Baked fish over rice
- Roasted veggie & provolone panini
- Assorted pizza slices
- Baked potato

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, March 5
- Pork satay w/peanut sauce
- Sautéed asian vegetable
- Baked lime custard

Thursday, March 6
- Mushroom duxelle
- Sautéed flounder w/shrimp
- Lacey potato pancakes w/chives
- Steamed green beans
- Marzipan soufflé w/bittersweet chocolate sauce

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Career fair at Fermilab helps students stay on track

An engineering panel at the STEM Career Expo, Feb. 20 included (top row from left) Cynthia Pedersen, Jim Zagel, (front row from left) Anne Lucietto, Bunnyray Larmond and Linda Valerio.

Fermilab's inaugural science and career fair drew big crowds and rave reviews.

Students and parents said they appreciated meeting professionals in one-on-one settings and listening to panel discussions.

"It was a great success. The students were excited about learning more about prospective careers," said Education Department employee and event organizer Susan Dahl.

More than 250 Kane and DuPage county high school students and 200 parents attended the Feb. 20 STEM Career Expo in Wilson Hall. Visitors spoke to representatives from more than 30 businesses and organizations and 12 colleges. Students also attended separate panel discussions on engineering and science careers.

Fermilab ecologist Rod Walton speaks to a student during the STEM Career Expo on Feb. 20.

Career fields represented included astrophysics and physics, environmental science, civil and mechanical engineering, computing and mathematics. Students also got advice on how to prepare for specific jobs, such as laboratory technician, pathologist or physicist.

CDF physicist Susan Burke was one of 14 Fermilab scientists who spoke to students about their research and career paths.

"There was always someone at our table," Burke said, estimating that she spoke to 20-30 students during the three-hour event. "Some students asked detailed questions about our research, others wanted to know what to major in, how to get internships and when to decide on a major."

Fermilab's Education Office hopes to hold the event again next year.

--Rhianna Wisniewski


Promotions for nine scientists

On Feb. 5, Fermilab Director Pier Oddone announced the promotion of nine Fermilab scientists: Greg Bock, Josh Frieman, Dave McGinnis, Peter Garbincius, Paul Mackenzie, Nikolai Mokhov, Sergei Nagaitsev, Gina Rameika and Jeff Spalding. They were promoted to Scientist III. Their job promotion citations highlight their contributions to various laboratory experiments and projects. Promotion to Scientist III marks a significant step in the life of a Fermilab scientist, and recognizes valuable scientific contributions and potential.

Fermilab Today congratulates these scientists.

Images of recipients


Fermilab to host Family Outdoor Activity Fair April 27

Fermilab will host a Family Outdoor Activity Fair from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the laboratory's Lederman Science Center.

The free event will provide hands-on, outdoor activities for all ages. Activities include bug catching, a birds of prey display, a demonstration on how to look for life in a log, a look at the buffalo herd and a chance to net pond critters.

Space is limited, so registration is required by calling Nancy Lanning at (630) 840-5588 or e-mail.

The Fermilab Education Office and SPARKS hosts the event, which will take place rain or shine.

In the News

Better beams give more big bang for buck

From Scientific American,
Feb. 25, 2008

Particle beams traveling at almost the speed of light get lined up after information going even faster tells devices to straighten things out. The result may provide information about the Big Bang. Cynthia Graber reports.

Physicists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory have been able to send information ahead of particle beams racing at nearly the speed of light. And the message to the beams is: Get in line. This technique has been developed at other labs but never used before with particle beams traveling in discrete bunches. These bunches are important in recreating that singular moment, the Big Bang.

Read the rest of the text from the 60-second science podcast


Les Robertson: six years at the head of the LCG

Les Robertson in 2001, "just before it [the LCG project] started," and in 1974, when he first arrived at CERN. Images courtesy of Les Robertson

In this special feature, iSGTW chats to CERN's Les Robertson, who recently stepped down after six years at the head of the Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid.

In the beginning

Les Robertson arrived at CERN in 1974 to fix a problem. The European physics research laboratory had just purchased a new supercomputer. The problem, says Robertson, was that it didn't work.

"At that time customers fixed their own operating systems," he explains. "I arrived as an operating systems expert and stayed on."

Twenty-seven years later, Robertson began work on an entirely different problem: Preparations for the Large Hadron Collider were well underway, but the computing resources required to handle LHC data had been left behind.

A hole in the funding bucket

"Computing wasn't included in the original costs of the LHC," Robertson explains. "The story was that you wouldn't be able to estimate the costs involved, although the estimates we made at the time have proven to be more or less correct." This decision left a big hole in funding for IT crucial to the ultimate success of the LHC.

"We clearly required computing," says Robertson, "but the original idea was that it could be handled by other people."

Read more

--Cristy Burne

Letter to the Editor

Time for reflection

I spent some of my first furlough reminiscing about my early days at the laboratory and ran across a few pictures from my first visits in the summer and fall of 1977. The small herd of Scottish Highland cattle are long gone, but the tranquility of the setting remains. More photos can be viewed online or you can e-mail me at tnicol@fnal.gov.

-- Tom Nicol, Technical Division


Have a safe day!

Apple Leopard presentation March 4
A presentation from Apple titled "Leopard for the Scientist" will be held on March 4, from 8-11 a.m. in Wilson Hall One West. The presentation will include the latest UNIX features and demonstrations in Leopard, Leopard tools for writing and optimizing code, Intel compiler and innovative solutions for scientists from Apple, developers and scientists. Apple Open Source's Ernie Prabhakar, Intel's Steve Lionel, and Ron Ustach and Tim White from the Apple Government Team will present. More information

DreamWeaver CS3: Advanced
An advanced course on DreamWeaver CS3 is offered. This course is targeted to Web site developers, Web site designers, marketing managers, Web graphic artists and Web site administrators. Learn more and enroll

U of C Tuition Remission program deadline March 10
The deadline for applying for the tuition remission program at The University of Chicago for the Spring 2008 quarter is March 10. See the Web site for more information, or contact Karen Karlix, x4365 with questions.

IDES representative on-site Friday
An IDES representative will be on-site in the Wilson Hall Atrium Dining Room (SW corner) Fridays through the end of March. Small group meetings will occur every 30 minutes, beginning at 11 a.m. and ending with a final meeting at 1 p.m. If you are beginning your furlough week, please fill out a benefit application on-site. You may also apply for benefits online or at your local IDES office the week you are on furlough. Please contact Heather Sidman x3326 or Jeannelle Smith x4367 with questions.

Excel 2003 Intermediate
An intermediate class on Excel 2003 is offered. Learn how to create templates, sort and filter data, import and export data, analyze data and work with Excel on the Web. Learn more and enroll

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