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In this issue:
Survey Sheds Light on Information Resources in HEP
Science Today: Last Call for Accelerator School Applications
SLAC Hosts Meeting for Stanford Strategic Administration Planning

SLAC Today

Thursday - May 15, 2008

Survey Sheds Light on Information Resources in HEP

SPIRES Database Manager Travis Brooks wants to know what the HEP community would like to see in information systems.

High energy physics is demonstrating the power of community. The results of a survey taken among high energy physicists show that community-based information systems—online databases or collections of databases that organize and give access to scientific literature—are used almost exclusively compared to commercial ones. The survey also asked users what system features they value most and what they would like to see added. SPIRES Database Manager Travis Brooks, who helped construct and analyze the survey, says the answers give a clear mandate about what improvements need to be made to existing systems.

"The HEP community is somewhat unique in that it has community-based information systems which specifically collect and organize HEP literature, making it making it readily accessible to researchers," said Brooks. "In the field of HEP, this survey tells us what services are useful to the community."

More than 2,000 high energy physicists participated in the survey and over 90 percent said they used the community-based information systems arXiv (an open website where authors can post their own work) and SPIRES (Stanford Public Information Retrieval System) as their primary sources of scientific literature. Eight percent say they use Google, and less than one percent chose to write in the name of a commercial system.  Read more...

(Daily Column - Science Today)

Last Call for Accelerator School Applications

(Photo - School Poster)The deadline to apply for the Third International Accelerator School for Linear Colliders is today. Jointly organized by the International Linear Collider (ILC) Global Design Effort, the ILC Steering Committee and the International Committee for Future Accelerators (ICFA) Beam Dynamics Panel, the school will take place October 19-29 in Oak Brook, Illinois. Fermilab will host the school.

The school accepts applications from graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, junior researchers and physicists considering a career change from experimental to accelerator physics. The 70 accepted students will receive financial aid to cover expenses, including airfare, lodging, meals, local transportation and school supplies.

The focus of the school will be on TeV-scale linear colliders including the ILC and the Compact Linear Collider (CLIC). Students attending this lecture-style school will learn about linear collider basics, warm and superconducting radiofrequency technology, beam dynamics of collider linac and damping rings, as well as other detectors and physics. A course on muon colliders will also take place.

Visit the school website to apply or for more information.

SLAC Hosts Meeting for Stanford Strategic Administration Planning

(Photo - Meeting Room)
Strategic Planning for Administration facilitator Frank Topper (far right) leads discussion in last Thursday's meeting. (Click on image for larger version.)

Last Thursday, a dozen senior academic and administrative leaders from all of Stanford's schools and major central organizations met in SLAC's Redwood Meeting Rooms to take part in a day-long session to discuss common administrative activities across the university campus (including SLAC). In this, the fifth Strategic Planning for Administration meeting, the group focused on how Stanford can better recruit and retain staff, and improve interdisciplinary research and education—to mention only two of the group's many goals.

"Far too often, interdisciplinary projects involving SLAC and Stanford result in one-off solutions," said Elizabeth Caplun-Cochrane, who serves as SLAC's representative on the committee and also heads the SLAC Improvement Initiative. "This planning is vital for us to facilitate science through efficient administration."

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