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In this issue:
Two SLAC Scientists Receive a Total of $5 Million in Early Career Research Grants
Work on Cooling Tower 101 Begins Today
Saint Lawrence String Quartet Is Here!
Haiti Earthquake Relief Bake Sale Today
Colloquium Today: Taking Measure—Evolution of a Tools Maker

SLAC Today

Monday - February 8, 2010

Two SLAC Scientists Receive a Total of $5 Million in Early Career Research Grants

Chosen from 1750 applicants nationwide, SLAC scientists Yuantao Ding and Ariel Schwartzman have been awarded five-year grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. Ding and Schwartzman will each receive at least $500,000 a year to cover salary and research expenses.

In all, 69 young scientists will share $85 million as part of the Early Career Research Program. The awardees are tenure-track assistant professors at U.S. academic institutions, or national laboratory scientists who received their doctorates within the past 10 years. 

"This investment reflects the Administration's strong commitment to creating jobs and new industries through scientific innovation," said Secretary of Energy Steven Chu in the DOE news release. "Strong support of scientists in the early career years is crucial to renewing America's scientific workforce and ensuring U.S. leadership in discovery and innovation for many years to come."

(Photo - Yuantao Ding)
(Photo by Brad Plummer.)

Yuantao Ding

Yuantao Ding is a physicist with SLAC's Accelerator Research Division. His experimental, theoretical and computational project revolves around SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source, a unique laser that offers scientists a glimpse at some of the fastest and smallest things in the universe. Ding and his coworkers are figuring out how to produce X-ray pulses that could potentially enable scientists to track electrons zipping around in atoms. At the same time, they will explore new methods to characterize these ultra-short X-ray pulses. The work has widespread applications in physics, chemistry and biology.

"Receiving the award was really a surprise," Ding said. "It's fantastic. I feel very honored being selected."

Ding's project is titled "Generation and Characterization of Ultra-short electron beams for X-ray free-electron lasers."

(Photo - Ariel Schwartzman)
(Photo courtesy Ariel Schwartzman.)

Ariel Schwartzman

Ariel Schwartzman is a physicist with SLAC's Particle Physics and Astrophysics Directorate. Schwartzman is searching for new physics at the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, using the ATLAS particle physics experiment. Schwartzman's work will help shed light on key mysteries in physics: the origin of dark matter, the Higgs boson and the hierarchy problem.

"I am honored to receive this award, which would not have been possible without the work and incredible dedication of my group of students and postdocs for the past two and a half years," Schwartzman wrote in an e-mail. "This is a wonderful opportunity for me and the whole SLAC ATLAS program."

Schwartzman's project is titled "Enhancing the LHC Discovery Potential with Jets, Missing ET, and b/t-tagging Physics Signature Reconstruction in ATLAS."

Work on Cooling Tower 101 Begins Today

(Photo - Cooling Tower 101)
Cooling Tower 101 has served SLAC for more than 40 years. (Photo by Shawne Workman.)

Cooling Tower 101 is a SLAC original, serving the lab since the 1960s, and it's due for an earthquake retrofit and upgrade. Subcontractors begin the replacement of Cooling Tower 101 today. Cranes and other heavy equipment for the project will occasionally require closures at the intersection of Loop Road, and the sidewalk between Cooling Tower 101 and the Building 40 parking lot. Closure notices will be posted in SLAC Today whenever possible, and signage will be in place.

The construction site itself will be fenced off; access requires full PPE and prior permission from the project manager, Craig Ferguson, or Field Construction Manager Richard Maggi. Please take care walking and driving by the intersection of Loop Road and Pep Ring Road and comply with signage in the area during the project, which is scheduled for completion at the third week of May. Staff members with concerns and questions about the cooling tower project can also by e-mail Javier SevillaRead more...

(Photo - The St. Lawrence String Quartet)
The Saint Lawrence String Quartet. (Photo by Anthony Parmelee.)

Saint Lawrence String Quartet Is Here!

All are invited to Kavli Auditorium at noon today for a concert by the Saint Lawrence String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at Stanford University. They have performed in venues across the country as well as abroad. They will perform two string quartets of Beethoven, Opus 14 and Opus 130. The "Opus 14" is an arrangement of the Piano Sonata Opus 14, Number 1 for string quartet. Please join us! 

Haiti Earthquake Relief Bake Sale Today

Don't forget to come by the Kavli Auditorium patio today between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a bake sale fund raiser for the victims of last month's devastating earthquake in Haiti. You can purchase home-baked treats, or give tax-deductible check or cash donations at the event. The donations and proceeds from the bake sale will be given to the International American Red Cross Haiti Relief Funds.

Please contact Ziba Mahdavi (x2846) with any questions.

Colloquium Today: Taking Measure—Evolution of a Tools Maker

(Image - SLAC Colloquium banner)

Hewlett-Packard, or HP, emerged from the Stanford Electrical Engineering labs as a tools maker for engineers and technicians involved with AM radio in the late 1930s. This "measurement" bent served them well, through an amazing evolution—to FM, VHF, TV and microwave communications, and then to tools for chemists, biologists, physicists and doctors, not to mention key tools for oceanography, astronomy and civil engineering. It was almost a byproduct that led them into computing, printing and imaging—and divesting the "old HP" into a new company named Agilent. This odyssey had lots of twists and turns, in fact, it was wildly improbable for both the path and the impact.

Astonishingly, there has been little written about this evolution, or the people who did it and why they did so. Chuck House worked at HP for thirty years, and with his co-author Ray Price, conducted several hundred in-depth interviews to compile a comprehensive strategic history of the company. The book, recently published by Stanford University Press, has enjoyed solid reviews, and House brings an entertaining speaking style to our event.

House, a Research Scholar in Stanford's H-STAR Advanced Research Institute, is the Executive Director of Media X at Wallenberg Hall, now in his fourth year. He spent many years in industry, including executive roles at Intel, Dialogic, Veritas Software and Informix Software, following his lengthy HP career. He is an IEEE and ACM Fellow, one of America's "200 Wizards of Computing" (Smithsonian), and named one of the Top Fifty Contributors in Electronics for the 20th century by a national vote conducted by Electronic Design magazine in 2002 for his innovation leadership with logic analyzers for computer designers. HP named an annual award after him—the Chuck House Productivity Award. He was the first recipient in 1990. A Medal of Defiance preceded, given to him by David Packard in 1982—the only such award in HP history. House holds a BS in Physics from Caltech, an MSEE from Stanford, a History of Science MA from the University of Colorado and an MBA in Strategic Studies from UC San Diego.

Please note updated venue: House's talk will begin at 4:15 p.m. today in Kavli Auditorium. The colloquium is free and open to all.

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