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People: Rena Katz Takes SLAC Experience to School
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SLAC Today

Wednesday - November 4, 2009

Rena Katz Takes SLAC Experience to School

Rena Katz visits Ghirardelli Square during her summer stay in the Bay Area. (Photo courtesy Rena Katz.)

Rena Katz is still deciding which major she will declare in the spring: mechanical engineering or physics. The second-year student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology spent last summer interning with SLAC's Advanced Computations Department. While her experience didn't settle her choice of major, it did give her a glimpse of post-collegiate options at a physics research facility, including roles in Web site design, computer modeling and outreach efforts to help increase youth interest in science.

During her internship, Katz worked closely with her SLAC advisors Kwok Ko and Zenghai Li to help rebuild the Advanced Computations Department's Web site and learned how to build a numerical model for an accelerator. As part of the accelerator modeling project, Katz ran computer simulations on one specific section of the linac, working to optimize the performance of her specific part. "The original design probably wouldn't have worked," Katz said. After receiving the basic design, Katz repeatedly modified measurements and ran the program to gradually improve the performance of the model. "I didn't have time to do the last little step, but it was definitely better."

Ko said he was impressed with both the quality and quantity that Katz took on during her three month internship. "She helped us with multiple projects and wrote a short paper on her effort in improving the accelerator model," he said. "I think that's a lot for a first-year student."

On top of her duties in the Advanced Computations Department, Katz also helped out with The 2009 Kid's Day Monster Muscles workshop. "Rena was just great," said SLAC physicist Dian Yeremian who led the workshop. "She helped with all four stations at the workshop and the kids loved her." 

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Your Feedback Counts for the SLAC Safety and Security Briefing

And you could win a $10 Starbucks Card

Deputy Director for ES&H Brian Sherin addresses a full house in Panofsky Auditorium during last Thursday's Safety and Security Briefing. (Photo by Shawne Workman.)

Last weeks' Safety and Security Briefing sessions were well attended, with many hundreds of SLAC staff coming to Panofsky Auditorium for talks on safety, health, computer security and more, and giveaways including SLAC calendars and flashlights. Video of the presentations is now online and accessible from within the SLAC intranet.

SLAC's Environment, Safety and Health Division wants your feedback on the event, to help with planning for next year. Please fill out the online evaluation to let ES&H know what worked and where you can suggest improvemesnts.

The ES&H Division will be awarding five $10.00 Starbucks gift certificates in a random drawing to five lucky winners who complete the survey. Please complete it soon; winners will be announced this Thursday, November 5.


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