QuarkNet an der Elbe: Actually, I've been to New York (but not Cologne)

First QuarkNet an der Elbe of the year! I know, it has been awhile, but, in my defense, I think I've been using the time well.

And a busy, exciting time it has been. We are now chin-deep into preparations for International Masterclasses, scheduling and facilitating orientations and orientation updates, finding videoconference moderators, and still making adjustments to the masterclass videoconference schedules. (Not scheduled yet? Please contact me.) I just got off a Vidyo chat with CMS people at CERN to talk about becoming a moderator there. 

Here is how things are rolling now: Yesterday, I was going to be in Düren, near Cologne, where students did a CMS masterclass using  (new CMS masterclass tool)  CIMA with our colleagues from Aachen. I was all set to go and then looked at my to-do list and realized I'd better stay right here in Dresden.*

The masterclass in Düren went very well. The students used CIMA seamlessly and had a good time . . . and our developers discovered a glitch that they could fix. (This is good thing, much better than not discovering it...or finding it too late.)  Most glitches are resolved, and there is a copy of CIMA working well on the i2u2 servers. Soon, it will be on a CERN server too. More servers hopefully means fewer bandwidth concerns and helpful redundancy. We have a really great development team from Aachen and QuarkNet. (Michael, Stefan, Edit, and Tom, I mean you. You too, Dan.)

And still, I was treated to more of the unique German way of doing things, even in a research institute. Lunchtime Tuesday was given over to a birthday celebration for the kind and indispensable adminisrator here, Kristin Walter. It featured a sing-along of popular songs like Ich war noch niemals in New York. IKTP Director and masterclass godfather Michael Kobel stroked the keys like a master. Yes, we have a piano in the Institute.

Did I mention that the cosmic ray detector came back? No, I didn't? Well, it did. It is now set up in a new arrangement, thanks to Monique, the amazing TU Dresden physics student who has been working with me. We reduced the count rate so it would play more nicely with the Raspberry Pi and it seems to be humming. Look for it in International Muon Week. (Register!)

Michael does his magic on the keyboard. Uta is there to turn pages while Kristin looks on. (Photo: Frank Siegert.)

Meanwhile, somewhere deep in Building 40 at CERN, Tom McCauley is working on a new version of iSPy-online. Here is a sneak preview.

* Also, ich war noch niemals in Köln.