Fermilab Today Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008

Wednesday, Nov. 5
3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 6
1 p.m.
Physics and Detector Seminar - West Wing, WH-10NW
Speakers: Marcel Stanitzki, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Norman Graf, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Title: Reports from the CLIC08 Workshop
2:30 p.m.
Theoretical Physics Seminar - Curia II
Speaker: Gabe Shaughnessy, Northwestern University/Argonne National Laboratory
Title: The Search for Dark Matter
3:30 p.m.

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




Extended Forecast
Weather at Fermilab

Current Security Status

Secon Level 3

Wilson Hall Cafe

Wednesday, Nov. 5
- Beef barley
- Cowboy burger
- Smart cuisine: Caribbean grilled salmon
- Liver w/onions
- Beef & cheddar panini w/sauteed onions
- Assorted sliced pizza
- Cavatappi pasta w/Italian sausage & tomato Ragu

Wilson Hall Cafe Menu

Chez Leon

Wednesdsay, Nov. 5
- Chicken Marsala
- Carrots with garlic and rosemary
- Rum pecan cake

Thursday, Nov. 6
- Corn chowder
- Mahi mahi
- Island rice
- Sautéed pea pods
- Key lime pie

Chez Leon Menu
Call x4598 to make your reservation.


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Special Announcement

Fermilab hosts 600 physicists and students Nov. 7-8

On Friday and Saturday, about 600 physicists and physics undergraduates will attend at Fermilab the 2008 Quadrennial Congress of the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma and the Society of Physics Students. Employees planning to eat in the cafeteria on Friday, Nov. 7, should have lunch early and aim to leave the lunch area by 12:45 p.m.

Although most participants will arrive by bus from their hotels, parking near Wilson Hall will be difficult to find after 8 a.m., and parking in the horseshoe will be blocked off to accommodate bus traffic. Please allow for extra time if you need to go to Wilson Hall on Friday.

Also on Friday, congress attendees will tour select locations on the Fermilab site by bus and in groups of 20, led by Fermilab docents and scientists. Participants will have lunch from 12:45 to 2:00 p.m. in the Fermilab cafeteria, Kuhn barn and the Users' Center.

On Saturday, the Fermilab cafeteria will only provide a limited menu for non-attendees as it will provide services for congress participants.

Fermilab physicists and users are welcome to attend the Sigma Pi Sigma plenary talks and workshops on both Friday and Saturday. Other events are for registered participants only. The congress program is available online.

Photo of the Day

Future CERN Director General Rolf Heuer speaks at Fermilab

Rolf-Dieter Heuer, the director general designate of CERN, spoke at a town hall meeting in Fermilab's Ramsey Auditorium on Oct. 28.

Special message

From Director Pier Oddone:
Focus Groups

You may soon receive an invitation from me to participate in a focus group. As part of our ongoing effort to develop a more inclusive and respectful workplace for all Fermilab employees and users, we will hold a series of professionally facilitated focus groups to take an in-depth look at the working environment in every area of the laboratory. We will use the results to re-evaluate our policies and procedures and to make changes where they are called for.

We have identified about 20 representative groups of employees and users. To ensure balanced and unbiased input, we will randomly select 15 employees from within each group to participate in the focus groups. If you receive an invitation, I hope you will say yes, because we need your help to make this process work. Supervisors, if your employees are selected, please encourage them to participate as part of their regular work day. Each group will meet once for about three hours.

To keep things confidential, an outside consultant, The Perspectives Group, will handle the entire focus group process, including the invitations. So don't be surprised if a message with the subject line "An Invitation from Pier Oddone" arrives in your mailbox from a Perspectives Group address. (If you have any doubts about the authenticity of the message, please call Barb Kronkow in the Fermilab Office of Communication at 630-840-3351.) Thank you for your participation.

In the News

Never too young to get into science

From Beacon News, Nov. 2, 2008

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, PBS will air a documentary called "The Atom Smashers." I recommend this film to everyone, because it's pretty darn good. I should know; I've seen it twice already. Why twice? Well, that's a story that involves the wonder of science, impressionable children and even a slice or two of pizza.

"The Atom Smashers" is a scientific documentary produced by a company named 137 Films. Over a five-year period, the producers filmed scientists at work from nearby Fermilab. The focus of the documentary was their efforts to discover the so-called "holy grail" of physics, an unimaginably tiny particle called the Higgs Boson. While this may sound like a very dry and uninteresting subject, the producers made it anything but that.

Read more

From the Finance Section

Vendor currency

Cindy Conger, chief financial officer and head of the Finance Section, wrote this week's column.

Cindy Conger

For the Finance Section's Management Information Systems group, vendor currency doesn't have anything to do with cash. It means keeping up-to-date on the newest versions of commercial software and remaining eligible for customer support.

A few weeks ago, the MIS group made a major upgrade to our PeopleSoft suite of applications. The upgrade included changing the hardware, operating system and databases, and was done over a long weekend. Even if you are a Fermilab employee, you probably didn't notice: No paychecks were late or went missing.

To achieve a clean upgrade like this requires strong partnership and coordination with our customers to test rigorously the new version and try to catch anything that could go wrong before it goes live. Many groups around the laboratory helped MIS in its testing efforts. My colleagues and I thank WDRS and Payroll in particular for the success of this upgrade.

For the past 15 years, the MIS group has pursued a strategy of implementing commercial off-the-shelf software from major industry vendors for Fermilab's core business systems rather than developing custom software ourselves. The laboratory's core application suite for running payroll and maintaining all of our employee information is Oracle's PeopleSoft. Our core application suite for other financial operations-such as procurement and accounts payable, inventory and stockroom, project accounting, general ledger, accounts receivable and billing-is Oracle's E-Business Suite. More than 250 employees across the laboratory depend on these systems to carry out their day-to-day work.

One advantage of using software from a major vendor is that the vendor has thousands of software developers and receives feedback from many thousands of customers who routinely point out new and innovative ways to enhance the software. This helps to produce software products that are robust in features and functionality, highly reliable and updated with regularity. Another advantage is that the vendor supports the software on a round-the-clock basis with its team of experts should something ever go wrong.

To capitalize on these advantages, we are required to maintain vendor currency. If we meet this requirement, we remain eligible for vendor support and the vendor provides us with the latest product enhancements offered by the company. While we don't have to upgrade immediately to the most recent version available to maintain our support, we can't fall too far behind.

Maybe maintaining vendor currency does have something to do with cash after all-it saves the laboratory a load of it in the long run by minimizing our risk and maximizing our functionality and flexibility.


Have a safe day!

NALWO Thanksgiving feast Nov. 17
NALWO, Fermilab's women's organization, will host "Thanksgiving Across America," a thanksgiving feast on Monday, Nov. 17, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Chez Leon in the Users' Center. NALWO members will prepare food and chefs will describe how to prepare traditional dishes. Contact the Housing Office at x3777 or Rose Moore at (630) 208-9309. Photo identification is required to enter the laboratory.

FileMaker Pro course Nov. 19
A FileMaker Pro 8.0 Level 1 course will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 19. Attendees can learn to create and use databases to store and organize information so that it is available for efficient retrieval. Learn more and enroll

Exciting Explorations! child care program offered
Exciting Explorations!, a child care program for children ages 7-12, will take place Nov. 24, 25 and 26, depending on interest. A summer-camp counselor will lead the program, Two snacks and beverages are provided. Please send a sack lunch. Program cost is $25 a day and payment is due upon reservation. Reservations are due Nov. 19. To register or for more information, contact Mary or Patti in the Children's Center at x3762 or e-mail daycare@fnal.gov.

Additional Activities

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