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In this issue:
McCallum-Turner Review Moving Ahead
77 Square Feet of Science
Extra! Extra! Get Your symmetry Cover Today
The Sun Shines on SPEAR

SLAC Today

Monday - September 17, 2007

McCallum-Turner Review Moving Ahead

Ken Brog (left), Bob McCallum (center) and Kyle Turner discuss SLAC management and operations.

This week, the McCallum-Turner team is busy meeting with hundreds of employees and users to better learn how lab management and operations systems work and to consider improvements. Eleven team members arrived on site last week, and seven more joined the team today.

"We're getting tremendous access to lab staff and receiving very forthcoming responses from everybody we speak to," said Bob McCallum. "It's very evident that people here care about the laboratory—they have very insightful perspectives and thoughts on how to make things better."

In addition to speaking with managers, employees and customers related to each focus area, the team is also interviewing many of those who offered suggestions through the McCallum-Turner phone line (926-6200) and e-mail address.

"We feel very confident that we're getting the information we need and that we are understanding how management and operations works at SLAC," said Kyle Turner. "We're beginning to get a very good idea about the kind of recommendations we'll make. It is clear that SLAC Management is both committed to and involved in making this process a success for the laboratory."

The review process will continue over the next several weeks, with recommendations made later this year. SLAC staff are encouraged to visit the Sharepoint website for the McCallum and Turner review as more information is becoming available daily about the process and its evolution. In particular, the site lists the SLAC points of contact with the McCallum-Turner team and the members of the SLAC staff who comprise the core teams that assist them.

77 Square Feet
of Science

SLAC Systems Software Developer Yemi Adesanya demonstrates four screens acting as one. The actual set-up at SC07 will use 25 screens.

When SLAC scientists join forces with Stanford University personnel at the 2007 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC07), they'll arrive with an ace up their sleeve. Apple will loan 25 cinema display screens—measuring 30-inches each—that will be arranged to create one giant screen 11 feet wide and 7 feet tall. But tall isn't the right word because the screen will lie on the floor, covered by a Plexiglas shield, allowing visitors to walk directly over it.

"The idea is to show highlight reels to attract people to the booths for more in-depth information," said Project Leader Alf Wachsmann of SLAC's Scientific Computing and Computing Services (SCCS) Group.

The screen synchronization system was demonstrated in the Computing Building last Thursday to a group of SC07 presenters. The demonstration highlighted movies and images already prepared by SLAC and Stanford presenters. Although the demo only used four screens, exhibiting already impressive results, the system still requires more work.

"We're still working on synchronizing the screens to display movies," said SCCS Systems Software Engineer Yemi Adesanya. "We're also working to increase the frame rate without making the movies jerky. It's all a part of ironing out the bumps."

SLAC's presentations will highlight how computing is used at the lab to achieve scientific goals in photon science, particle physics and particle astrophysics. Read more...

Extra! Extra! Get Your symmetry Cover Today

The cover of symmetry magazine featuring a Roz Chast cartoon was so popular that it's now available as a large poster. If you would like to decorate your office, lab, home or even your child's classroom, stop by Communications (Building 267) and pick one up from David Harris. We have about 100 to give away—first come, first served.

The Sun Shines on SPEAR

Click on image for larger version.

Of all the things you'd least expect to find inside a synchrotron tunnel, the rarest may be sunlight. Last week, a very brief summer of sorts came to an end for SPEAR as crews replaced shielding blocks that had been removed for a few days to clear the way for hardware that needed to be moved.

One of the maintenance tasks scheduled for the annual shutdown period involved relocating Beamline 4 and its wiggler magnet insertion device. The wiggler, which weighs several thousand pounds, had to be lifted from the tunnel using a crane.

This move makes way for future seismic upgrades to be completed in what is one of the older sections of the SPEAR tunnel. Beamline 4 is also the last major upgrade remaining in the quest to run SPEAR at 500 mA, although many other tasks remain before the synchrotron can be operated at the higher current.

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