Monday, May 4, 2015
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Lunch and Learn About Allergies - May 5

For the Life of the World video series starts May 5

National Day of Prayer Observance - May 7

Interpersonal Communication Skills on May 20

Interaction Management course (three days) scheduled for June 28, July 9, July 28

Prescription Safety Eyewear Form updated

Mac OS X security patches enabled

Fermilab Board Game Guild

Scottish country dancing Tuesday evenings at Kuhn Village Barn

International folk dancing Thursday evenings at Kuhn Barn


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First student receives Ph.D. under the Indian Institutions and Fermilab Collaboration

Richa Sharma, here standing by the MINOS detector, is the first student to receive her doctorate under the Indian Institutions and Fermilab Collaboration. Photo courtesy of Richa Sharma

Since 2003, Fermilab has been in talks with more than 18 Indian institutions about coming together to collaborate on particle physics experiments. Richa Sharma, a student from Panjab University in India, recently became the first to receive a Ph.D. under the Indian Institutions and Fermilab Collaboration.

The IIFC includes memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between Fermilab and Indian institutions that enable collaborative research on accelerator technologies and neutrino physics.

A major part of these MOUs involves students. The goal is for 20 graduate students from India to complete their thesis projects at Fermilab. Students began arriving at Fermilab in 2011 and have been involved mainly in neutrino experiments, including MINOS, MINOS+, MIPP and NOvA. In the future, they will also work on developing detector technologies for the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment once R&D and construction begins.

Sharma was at Fermilab from January 2010 to December 2013 working on MINOS, a long-baseline neutrino experiment. Her Ph.D. project involved looking for neutrino-to-antineutrino oscillations, a process that violates the Standard Model, currently the most widely accepted explanation of the fundamental building blocks of our universe. During her doctoral studies, she was supervised by Vipin Bhatnagar from Panjab University, Brajesh Choudhary from the University of Delhi and Robert Plunkett at Fermilab.

"A lot of Indian students want to work on particle physics experiments and get a chance to come to Fermilab. Now that we can gain experience working on the experiments, we can bring that knowledge back to India," said Sharma, who is now back in India and looking for a faculty position to teach and continue her research.

India has big ambitions for the future, such as the development of the India Based Neutrino Observatory. Researchers hope to achieve this through collaborations on international particle physics experiments where scientists can conduct high-energy physics research. The hope is that students participating in experiments at Fermilab under IIFC will return to India and take on faculty and research positions to help build this infrastructure.

"It's quite exciting to see the program supporting so many students," said Fermilab's Shekhar Mishra, who spearheaded the effort to develop this collaboration.

Diana Kwon

Photo of the Day

Coming up breeches

Dutchman's breeches grow in Big Woods. Photo: Leticia Shaddix, PPD
In the News

Fermilab director Nigel Lockyer to receive honorary NIU doctorate

From NIU Today, May 1, 2015

NIU will award an honorary doctoral degree next month to acclaimed physicist Nigel Lockyer, director of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

Lockyer will earn his honorary doctorate during the NIU Graduate School commencement ceremony scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 8, at the NIU Convocation Center.

Read more

Tip of the Week: Cybersecurity

The last line of defense is you

Hackers don't always use sophisticated methods to fish for information from your computer. Beware of phishing emails, suspicious attachments and links from unknown sources. Photo: Stomchak

I spent the last week at the DOE Cyber Security Training Conference, where many presentations from both national lab and federal employees focused on ways to combat cyber threats and operate securely. Attackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in the methods they use to break into computers and misappropriate data. However, even the most technically advanced attackers continue to rely on the simplest of vulnerabilities: careless actions by computer users.

Fermilab users have a good track record in sidestepping many standard Internet perils. But it is still appropriate to repeat oft-given advice since even a single careless action can compromise most of our sophisticated defenses. So even if you have heard this before, remember:

Don't trust email.
You can never be sure an email is coming from the person your email client shows as the sender. It is trivial to insert a fictitious or forged sender address. And since most of Fermilab's organization charts are public, it is easy for an attacker to determine which email addresses a particular individual would trust and tailor a phishing email accordingly. Be suspicious.

Don't click on links.
Since you can't trust where the email comes from, you should be extremely reluctant to click on a link in email since it might be specifically designed to infect your computer. Very occasionally we need to send links that are legitimate lab business, but this is unusual, and we try to warn lab users in advance when this occurs.

Don't open email attachments.
Even worse than links embedded in an email message are attachments. Try to post documents for review on some file-sharing service like FermiPoint instead of emailing files as attachments. And be wary of clicking on attachments unless you have some assurance that they are legitimate.

Use care when Web browsing.
Every link on a website may pose a danger. Be judicious in your surfing, especially when using any Web forms that ask you to input personal data.

Do not give up your passwords.
We all get regular spam messages telling us we must log on to correct some deficiency or take some action. These are attempts to get you to reveal a username-password combination. Never type your password into anything other than the recognizable lab services (FermiMail or Workday, for example) that you use regularly.

Be cautious about giving information over the phone.
There is no legitimate reason for a person to call you to verify your name, job title or email address. At best, this is some salesperson trying to create a contact list. But such social engineering is also a favorite tool of attackers gathering information that can be used to craft targeted spam or extract passwords.

Please continue to report any suspicious attempts to, which will allow us to block the sites from which attacks originate and protect other individuals who might not be as careful as you.

Irwin Gaines

In the News

Fermilab's bison herd grows

From Kane County Chronicle, April 30, 2015

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory's newest addition to its bison herd was staying close to its mother Wednesday afternoon.

The bison calf was born Saturday morning, but Cleo Garcia, senior groundskeeper at Fermilab, hopes it won't be the last one born this spring.

Read more