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In this issue:
Remote Participation Moves Forward
Profile: Battling for Knowledge
Juneteenth Celebration This Friday
St. Lawrence String Quartet to Perform at Stanford

SLAC Today

Wednesday - June 13, 2007

Mark Woodley interacts remotely with the KEK control room. (Click on image for larger version.)

Remote Participation Moves Forward

Earlier this month, a group of SLAC scientists took a step into the future of international collaboration when they launched a remote participation session that connected SLAC with the control room of KEK's Accelerator Test Facility (ATF).

Though 5,300 miles apart, two SLAC teams—one at SLAC and one at KEK in Japan—were able to work simultaneously through remote participation, thanks to the ingenious use of available software, namely WebEx and Skype.

To make this state-of-the-art connection work, one desktop in the PEP Control Room was connected to a server in the ATF control room via WebEx conferencing. This allowed the group in California to view the live desktop in Japan. It also allowed researchers at SLAC to share their desktop images with those in Japan when interesting results were discovered.  Read more...

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Battling for Knowledge

(Photo - Alexandre Telnov)
BaBar Physicist Alexandre Telnov at the What? Where? When? studios. (Click on image for larger version.)

What? A Russian quiz show. Where? Played all around the world. When? Since 1975.

What? Where? When? is a television program that challenges a team of six to solve riddles and puzzles using high school level knowledge and logic in 60 second brainstorming sessions. In addition to the television show, a competitive version is played by over 10,000 teams throughout the world. In the television show, the audience battles a single team, trying to stump the players with questions submitted on the internet, while in the competitive version, many teams compete to answer the most questions correctly.

Once a year, teams from countries including Russia, Germany, the United States, and Canada meet for the Nations' Cup, an international tournament of the competitive version, played in front of a television audience numbering in the tens of millions. And for the past two years, BaBar Physicist Alexandre Telnov has been one of the six American players on the team.

"One reason the show is so popular is because of the spirit of freedom that permeates the game," said Telnov. The quiz show was the first television program to be aired live in Russia—no small feat in a country that, at the time, had communist-controlled airwaves and only two television stations.

Because Telnov plays on one of the best teams in America, he has been hand-picked for the U.S. National team for the past three years. The national team competes every year in the Nations' Cup, a week-long extravaganza including an all-expense paid trip across the globe to a four-star hotel. The competition attracts more television cameras than teams and the competitors become local celebrities.

But Telnov has not let all this go to his head. Rather than accept an invitation to join this year's team, he will focus on his research.

"It's not my reason for living," said Telnov. More important to him is his recently accepted-for-publication work on charge parity violations and his participation on the SLAC Users Organization's executive committee, for which he lobbies in Washington, D.C., to gain research funding.

But Telnov does appreciate the time spent playing What? Where? When?, saying that in addition to being fun, his participation in the quiz show has helped him gain basic life skills. "Gaining experience working in a team of six, brainstorming solutions in less than 60 seconds has great real world applications," said Telnov.

More information on What? Where? When? is available at Wikipedia.

Juneteenth Celebration Takes Place This Friday

(Photo - Juneteenth 06)
Juneteenth 2006.
(Image courtesy of Diana Rogers.)

Juneteenth, a celebration of the end of slavery, comes to SLAC this Friday. Everyone is invited to join in the carnival atmosphere, listen to great music and eat traditional Southern food from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. on the lawn west of the Research Office Building (ROB).

This year's event will include the live music of The Rick Baker Blues Band and food ranging from barbeque ribs and Cajun coleslaw to sweet potato pie and peach cobbler.

Although tickets ($12) will be available for sale at the event, Juneteenth organizers encourage everyone to purchase their tickets in advance from one of the following SLAC employees: Wanda Elliott, Mattie Pace, Herb McIntye, Sharon Oden, Al Baker, George Maclin, Michelle Smith, Claudia Ransom, and Pauline Wethington.

For more information, please contact Michelle Smith.

Noon Concert Series Features the Saint Lawrence String Quartet

Join the Grammy-nominated St. Lawrence String Quartet, Stanford's Ensemble-in-Residence, for three extraordinary lunch hours next week. As part of their annual Chamber Music Seminar, the Quartet will perform great works with internationally renowned guests (and seminar adjunct faculty), Nina Lee (cello), Todd Palmer (clarinet), Jamie Parker (piano), and Stephen Prutsman (piano).

Join the Quartet on Monday, June 25, Wednesday, June 27 and Friday, June 29 at 12:15 p.m. in Stanford's Dinkelspiel Auditorium. The one-hour performances are free and will feature different material each day.

"Last year the hall was filled to the rafters all three days, and [the quartet] brought down the house!" said event organizer Barbara Greenwood. "Folks should arrive early to get a seat."

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