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DZERO Workshop Redux August 18, 2008

Posted by gordonwatts in D0, life, travel.

IMG_4573Well, if there is one thing to be said about the DZERO workshop, it is that the recent breaking of the Higgs SM limit line by CDF and DZERO has certainly injected excitement into the experiment. On the other hand, the LHC startup is right around the corner (officially, Sept. 10). Many of the talks given were infused with both of these themes. The theme of the workshop isn’t hard to guess: the Tevatron is schedule to give another 4 fb-1 of data or so — doubling our current dataset — is the experiment ready to absorb that? Especially as people drain away from the Tevatron experiments to the LHC experiments.

On one hand, many of the future talks would split the physics they discussed into physics that only the Tevatron could do vs physics that both the Tevatron and the LHC could do. The implication being, of course, that the LHC would quickly produce better results once it was up and running.

For the Higgs searches, it was the opposite — there is a small window of opportunity that must be grabbed while the grabbing is good. Indeed, I think it is safe to say that most of the experiment is focused on getting the Higgs signal.

At the last minute I was asked to give a talk on my daqAI work. This is artificial intelligence for the data acquisition system at DZERO. Actually, there is nothing “AI” about it – it is just a bunch of if-then-else statements that recognize a problem and either tell the shifter or attempt to fix it themselves. The up shot is better up time. Actually, DZERO’s data taking efficiency is amazing. Above 90%. When we hit 80% we claim we’ve had a bad week. Our competition, CDF, is not doing so well. While I’d like to think that daqAI helps towards this (and I suppose it does a bit) the real reason is the people we have working on this. CDF – if the Tevatron is going to say anything about the Higgs then you guys need every drop of data… Get to work! 😉

Another really interesting session I went to was the b-tagging one. I used to co-run the b-tagging group at DZERO. It was especially satisfying to see some large projects that I attempted to get going while I was the co-convener actually completed. They weren’t completed because they continued using myself – people mostly started from scratch – bit still… And the fact that ex-students of mine had a hand in getting those things done. Very cool! And, of course, there is all the ongoing work – some of it rather interesting.

Lots of other interesting stuff, but I can’t talk about it of course.

Finally, our Prague hosts did a great job. That picture above is Julia dancing to traditional Czech music. 🙂

I’m on vacation now, in Cyprus. My wife was full time Mom last week while I was attending the DZERO workshop. This week it is her turn – she gets to keynote at the physics education conference here in Cyprus while I’m a full time Dad. After that we will be busy moving back to the USA. In this hotel they charge 20 euros a day for internet… so I’m not sure if my blog will be updated much! But we’ll see…



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