Fermilab Today Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Have a safe day!

Wednesday, April 7
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Fermilab Colloquium - One West
Speaker: Erich Poppitz, University of Toronto
Title: The Wonders of Supersymmetry: From Quantum Mechanics, Topology, and Noise, to (maybe) the LHC

Thursday, April 8
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Erich Poppitz, University of Toronto
Title: Monopoles, Bions, and Other Oddballs in Confinement and Conformality
3:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
Accelerator Physics and Technology Seminar - One West
Speaker: Srivani Sirisha Motamarri, University of Illinois, Chicago
Title: Mechatronics in Embedded Motion Control Systems

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Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, April 7
- English muffin sandwich
- Smart Cuisine: Cajun style lentil soup
- Cajun chicken ranch
- Braised pork chops
- Chicken parmesan
- Smoked turkey panini pesto mayo
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Chicken Alfredo fettuccine

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesday, April 7
- Spiced pork tenderloin w/bourbon reduction sauce
- Whole wheat couscous
- Steamed broccoli
- Banana cream puff w/chocolate sauce

Thursday, April 8
- Closed

Chez Leon Menu
Call x3524 to make your reservation.


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One software package to fit all

The LArSoft project aims to create new software to analyze detailed data from neutrino interactions, such as this one, a neutral current neutrino interaction in ArgoNeuT producing a neutral pion.

Particle detectors tend to be one-of-a-kind creations, full of complex, customized parts.

So, designing one software package to use with three different experiments – and possibly more – is a rare occupation at a particle physics laboratory.

A growing group of about 15 physicists, graduate students and postdocs at Fermilab and other institutions are working to do just that – design the United States’ first fully automated particle reconstruction and simulation software that will work with any liquid argon time-projection chamber, including ArgoNeuT, MicroBooNE and LBNE.

“I didn’t want to write a software package for ArgoNeuT, then two years later write another for MicroBooNE, then five years later write one for LBNE,” said Brian Rebel, a Wilson fellow at Fermilab and co-coordinator of the project, called LArSoft.

Put simply, the multiple-kiloton liquid argon detector at LBNE should be a larger, more complex version of the multiple ton MicroBooNE detector, which will be a larger, more complex version of 170-liter ArgoNeuT. Many of those working on LArSoft participate in two or all three of the experiments.

Liquid argon TPCs collect an unprecedented amount of detail about neutrino interactions, of which ArgoNeuT has already collected more than 10,000.

“To go through them by hand would be very time consuming,” Rebel said. “To do it by computer is very challenging.”Still, the group feels up to the task.

“The lion’s share of the software implementation has been pioneered by a wonderful army of graduate students who are very innovative,” said Sam Zeller, Fermilab physicist and LArSoft co-coordinator.

The students – who hail from Yale, Michigan State, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia – came into the design process with fresh eyes, Zeller said.

“We all have prebuilt conceptions of what you need to do to reconstruct an event,” she said. “But the students are using some new concepts from industry. They’re certainly adapting some clever tools.”

-- Kathryn Grim


Lab leadership takes center stage

From the Univesity of Chicago,
March 2010

When Mark Peters participates in strategic planning at Argonne National Laboratory, he often draws on an exercise from the Strategic Laboratory Leadership Program (SLLP) he took three years ago. The exercise called on participants to think of leadership as performance art.

"It made you think about how you see yourself-and how others see you-as a leader," says the Deputy for Programs. "Which of your qualities and characteristics should you, as a leader, employ 'center stage' and which are best used 'backstage.' The exercise really clicked for me."

So did the whole program, which Peters credits for helping him progress from mid-level to senior-level manager.

SLLP is a non-degree, executive education program developed by the University of Chicago's Office of the Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories, Booth School of Business Executive Education, Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. The program is part of the University's Lab management contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy. Its main objective is to expose scientists and professional staff to best in-practice tools and theories for effective leadership, strategic thinking, change and innovation.

Read more

Special Announcement

Service Desk online request system down 6-8 a.m. April 8

The Service Desk's ticket-submission and request system, the Remedy Requester Console, will be inacessible between 6-8 a.m. on Thursday, April 8.

Individuals who log onto the Fermilab network or have Fermilab computers use the online Remedy Requester Console to submit incidents and requests for service. The console will be down to apply operating system and database patches and to complete some network upgrades.

Although the console will be inaccessible, Fermilab employees and users can still make requests for service and incident submissions can still be made during the downtime by contacting the Service Desk at x2345.

In the News

Particle physics INSPIREs information retrieval

From CERN Courier, March 31, 2010

Editor's note: Specialists at CERN, DESY, Fermilab and SLAC, working in close collaboration with arXiv, the Particle Data Group and publishers within the field of particle physics, have developed INSPIRE, a new service to provide state-of-the-art information management.

Particle physicists thrive on information. They first create information by performing experiments or elaborating theoretical conjectures. Then they convey it to their peers by writing papers that are disseminated in a preprint form long before publication. Keeping track of this information has long been the task of libraries at the larger laboratories, such as at CERN, DESY, Fermilab and SLAC, as well as being the focus of indispensable services including arXiv and those of the Particle Data Group.

Read more


What we've been up to

Kay Van Vreede, head of the Workforce Development and Resources Section, wrote this week's column.

Kay Van Vreede

A few months have passed since the last update I provided, and I'd like to tell you all what WDRS has been up to. To improve service to you, our customers, we've worked hard to implement a number of different initiatives:

  • Ask HR: We've completed our first round of Ask HR visits to various locations on site. In January and February, we brought Ask HR and our staff members to 10 locations throughout the laboratory. Many people took advantage of this outreach initiative, and the Benefits Department personnel learned that employees want retirement information sessions. So, beginning in late spring, we will host these sessions at different laboratory locations. This month, you can look for compensation, records and visas staff, who will visit a location near you during the second round of Ask HR visits. Watch for purple signs, check Fermilab Today's announcements or visit our Web site for dates.
  • New WDRS Web site: We are nearly finished with completely renovating our WDRS Web site. The new site features more information, Q&As, easy-to-use navigation and feedback opportunities. We hope to roll it out in early May.
  • Tell HR: In the next few months, we will launch a customer service survey accessible online or by hard copy. This is meant as a complement to the Ask HR initiative, and we hope you'll use it to give us feedback on individual interactions with HR staff.
  • Who Does What in HR brochure: This detailed brochure, which we will make available on the 15th floor, at Ask HR sessions and online, will provide information that will help you easily find the person you need to help you.

I hope that these initiatives have improved and will continue to improve our service to you. Some of these ideas came from chat sessions that I held with employees a few months ago. If you would like to participate in an informal chat session with me to kick around other ideas, please let me know via e-mail at vanvreed@fnal.gov.

From iSGTW

Campus grids secret to productive grid sites

Fostering a local campus grid may be the secret to running a super-productive grid site, according to Rob Gardner, integration coordinator for Open Science Grid.

"We noticed certain sites on Open Science Grid that were very productive relative to their peers," Gardner said. "The common denominator was that they were accessing resources beyond the scope of their research domain by accessing resources on their campus."

That realization prompted OSG to look more deeply into existing campus grids. The idea, Gardner said, was to find out what the sites were doing right, and to learn from them in three key areas: job management, data management, and identity management. The ultimate goal? To arrive at a set of best practices for establishing and running campus grids.

Read more

Safety Update

ES&H weekly report, April 6

This week's safety report, compiled by the Fermilab ES&H section, includes three injuries. Two of the injuries were first aid cases that involved an employee who was stung by a wasp and a second employee who sustained superficial lacerations on their hand while pulling cable. The third injury was a DART case that involved an employee who felt lower back pain when bending. Find the full report here.

Safety report archive


Latest Announcements

Garden Club to meet April 7

Free staff appreciation massage April 13 and 16

Retiree Club

Celebrate National Humor Month

Ask HR at CD/FCC-W Entry - April 7

Tartan Day party at Scottish dancing

Bulgarian dance workshop and live music party - April 8

Tai Chi for Health - April 8

Cross-step waltz workshop - April 11, Kuhn Village Barn

The Recipe Exchange potluck lunch - April 16

AutoCAD Intermediate classes - June 22 -24

AutoCaD Fundamentals class - June 6 - 8

FORE! The 2010 golf season is about to hit you

SciTech summer camps start June 14

Butts & Guts class - sign up now

Blackberry Oaks Monday night golf league

Employee discount at Batavia Rosati's

Country House discount for employees

Harlem Globetrotters special ticket price - April 15

Qi Gong, Mindfulness and Tai Chi Easy for Stress Reduction

Argentine Tango through April 28 - student discount available

Calling all softball players

Fermilab Management Practices Seminar classes begin in April

NALWO bus trip to The Museum of Science and Industry - April 24

ANSYS Mechanical Application classes in May

Intermediate /Advanced Python Programming - May 19-21

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