This was a very good week at CERN. We made some progress on identifying clear physics topics of exploration in the context of Run 2 physics involving H → bb decays. It was the week of the US ATLAS Meeting. Oh, and our new summer grad students arrived on Saturday. I only have 2 weeks left at CERN, so I am trying to make the absolute most of them because the privilege of being able to focus just on physics is going away in 13 days.
It was a really beautiful week on the French/Swiss border – the weather has been excellent and many a long run has been had by yours truly. I’ve been avoiding weighing myself this summer, but just based on how my clothes are hanging on me I’d say my summer goal of dropping 5-10 pounds is coming to be a reality. If I can maintain that when the semester starts, as I had maintained my previous weight during the semesters, life will be very good.
It has been an exciting couple of weeks since arriving at CERN. I have been bouncing from hotel to hostel, but mostly getting some physics done. I even found time to take a weekend in Barcelona and visit an old friend of mine. But, the work continues. Meantime, here are some highlights from the last couple of weeks. The first real data for first physics studies arrived on disk from the LHC; ATLAS has one of its “ATLAS Weeks,” the first since data-taking started; I went to Barcelona for the very first time and had my first restful weekend in weeks; some of our contributions to the beginning of Run 2 ATLAS physics have been making the rounds inside the collaboration; we have started to hammer ManeFrame, the SMU computing cluster, to see if it can handle physics analysis in Run 2. Oh, and I have been putting together my part of the new 3-year physics proposal to the US Department of Energy.
It’s been a busy month, and the only reason I am pausing to jot all this down is because I have a cold, and I don’t feel like doing much of anything else. So, let’s do it! The month of May brought with it the end of teaching, graduation, family travel, terrible rains that ended the drought and drowned Texas, and travel to Israel and France that extended into June. Oh, and I was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure!