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In this issue:
SLAC Laboratory Director to be Announced
People Today: Of Dogs and Digits: Sylvia Rupilius
BaBar Collaboration Meeting This Week
Stanford in Top 1% in Space Science Citations
Conservation Tip of the Week

SLAC Today

Wednesday - December 5, 2007

SLAC Laboratory Director to be Announced

(Image - Director Search)
Image courtesy of SLAC InfoMedia.

Stanford University President John Hennessy will come to SLAC tomorrow to announce the outcome of the SLAC Director search.

President Hennessy will announce and introduce the new Director at a SLAC-wide event at 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, December 6. The announcement will take place in Panofsky Auditorium with telecasts to the Orange Room, Auditorium Breezeway and Lobby. There will be several speakers, but the event should last no more than 30 minutes. After the announcement, light refreshments will be available and staff will have the opportunity to mingle with the new Director.

Everyone at SLAC is invited, and supervisors are encouraged to allow their staff to attend.

(Weekly Column - Profile)

Of Dogs and Digits: Sylvia Rupilius


Sylvia Rupilius and her dog Chip.

SLAC is a genuinely international laboratory, and that's true not just of the research scientists but of the staff as a whole. One of SLAC's newest faces, Sylvia Rupilius, typifies that reality.

A native German, Rupilius worked as an internal auditor at Stanford for four years before recently joining SLAC as a business process analyst in the Operations Department. But Rupilius's talents run much deeper than a knack for numbers. She is fluent in three languages—German, English and Spanish—with a working knowledge of French and Italian.

"Next I'd like to learn Portuguese," she says, "because I have friends there."

Add to that list yet another "language"—Rupilius is an animal lover who has what seems a special fluency communicating with dogs. Although her beagle Chip no doubt resides at the top of her favorites list, Rupilius says recently she's found herself rescuing animals that have escaped their owners and become lost.

"Perhaps I should have been an animal control officer... that would have been a good job for me."

In the last month, she says, she's rescued four lost dogs, although a recent run in with a neighbor's bull mastiff left her in need of rescuing herself. While bringing in empty garbage cans one afternoon, she found herself the object of the mastiff's aggression, but managed to fend off the animal with the trash cans long enough to call 911 on her cell phone.

"The operator kept asking me all sorts of questions, and I finally had to insist that I needed help right away—I was in a very bad position."

Five police officers, three animal control workers, a cheese sandwich and one tranquilizer dart later, Rupilius says that even while protecting herself, she managed to cajole the snarling animal into her gated front yard for its own safety.

"I didn't want it running around in the street," she says. "But it was the first time I was ever afraid of a dog, because there was no way to communicate with him. I tried staring, I tried looking away, I tried speaking forcefully. Finally they had to tranquilize him."

Despite this harrowing brush with the ill-tempered guard dog, her enthusiasm for animals—and for living in California—remains intact. Having traveled and lived all over the world, Rupilius originally intended to stay in the United States for only a few years. Five years later, however, she says those plans have changed.

"The thing I like about California is that everyone's from somewhere else," she says. "I find that a lot of fun to be around. I feel like California is home to me now."

BaBar Collaboration Meeting This Week


Attendees of this week's BaBar collaboration meeting enjoy a coffee break.

Last Sunday marked the start of an eventful week for the BaBar collaboration. From Sunday through Thursday, about 250 BaBarians are meeting at SLAC for several days of intensive review, discussion, and planning.

"The collaboration is very excited about the physics prospects of Run 7 and the physics that we hope to harvest from the existing data," said BaBar Spokesman Hassan Jawahery.

For collaboration members, the week will be busy with plenary sessions covering topics of broad interest to collaborators, parallel sessions to allow detailed review and discussion of everything from hardware operations to physics working groups, and additional meetings related to the management and organization of the collaboration.

Stanford in Top 1% in Space Science Citations

Stanford University has entered the top 1% in terms of total citations in the field of Space Science, thanks in part to the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC).

Stanford's current record in this field includes 913 papers cited a total of 12,909 times. In an interview published on the Thompson In-Cites website, Emeritus Stanford Professor Robert Wagoner and some of his colleagues discuss the university's work in this field. Read the interview...

Conservation Tip
of the Week


Electric blankets are not inherently evil. They can actually save energy by allowing you to turn your thermostat down a lot farther than you otherwise would. Get one with a timer control that turns off automatically. Pile another blanket or comforter over the electric blanket to hold more heat in your bed.


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