QuarkNet an der Elbe: Tales of 2 Weeks and 2 Cities

The past two weeks have been more full than a(n) [insert something that eats] in a nest full of [what it eats]. Congratulations, you've made a metaphor.

Tom McCauley, our QN-ND-CMS-IT guy at CERN, came to TU Dresden last Thursday to give the final weekly seminar of the semester here at the Institute. Tom talked about CMS Open Data and how people are learning to use it. The talk was really interesting and the discussion after was great. There is a lot that can be done with this new open data portal and we've only started. Take a look. Top prize to the first QuarkNet member who can devise a QN-publishable student activity using the open data portal. (Maybe a cool souvenir from Dresden?)

Meawhile, the good CMS education and outreach folks at CERN came up with the brainstorm of having a completely online CMS masterclass with the American International School in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AIS-R). Students there had already been on a successful CMS virtual visit and were looking for more. So I was tapped to help organize the experiment, which explores a new direction for the masterclass concept. After some electronic handshakes, the CERN folks, the rather capable AIS-R faculty members, and one guy in Dresden made a plan. We were joined by two excellent CMS physicists, Andre David and Salvador Carillo, as the online mentors.

Meanwhile, we were gearing up for International Muon Week here at IKTP. Monique, the amazing TU Dresden physics student, and I had a sort of double job to prepare our detector and to help teacher Tom Altman and his students at Pestalozzi Gymnasium, who also signed up for IMW.  Here at the Institute, we got the Raspberry Pi and the detector running at a nice rate with eminently blessable data and we also prepared a detector for Tom and his crew. Since they have no GPS (or cosmic ray e-Lab experience), we had to figure out, at least in concept, how to create a flux plot from data in the Netzwerk Teilchenwelt "muonic" data-taking program that runs on their Ubuntu netbook. Well, we have the concept down and we found a way to get the DS lines muonic writes out every 5 minutes into a spreadsheet. Open Office is our friend. We brought the detector to the school last Friday, when I should have been writing QuarkNet an der Elbe.*

That was last week. This is this week. 

This week, we had a teacher orientation (online) for AIS-R and an introduction to the CMS masterclass (online) for the students. In the latter, Andre gave a wonderful talk (online) to explain particle physics research and the Standard Model - even with being under the weather. I gave the usual CMS WZH measurement intro (online) but this time explaining how to use CIMA (online). We have a Q&A with the students next week (online) and wrap things up on March 4. I'll be back at Notre Dame then, so maybe the students in Riyadh will be able to meet Dan Karmgard's dog Odie. Online.

Also this week, the Pestalozzi crew came to the Institute for a 2 hour program. Thomas Wester here at the Institute gave a great talk on cosmic rays and then we had a Skype chat with DESY Zeuthen and discussed the work the two groups were doing for IMW. Monique gave the students an overview of how we plan to get the Pestalozzi data IMW-ready. Carmen Leuschel, who works with outreach here, organized everything.

Also also this week - and last week - final preparations are at a fever pitch for masterclasses. They start from CERN on February 25 and from Fermilab on March 6. CIMA - nearly ready. iSpy - ready. Documentation - a few more slight modifications. Moderators - mostly in place and ready to be oriented. Indico pages - 50%. FTL - jump coordinates loaded. New WebGL iSpy - in final prep. DVD - DVD - working on it. The last pieces are falling - or being pushed - into place. 

Stay tuned for muon data, masterclasses, and more. Online. Some of it.

Pestalozzi Gymnasium - nice school.
Odie - nice dog.

*That is my flimsy excuse for not submitting an article last week and I am sticking to it until I think of a better one.