Title IX in the Sciences

During the Senate debate on the nominee for Secretary of Education, Senator Wyman of Oregon called on the Federal Government to enforce title IX (famous for its application to college sports programs) in the sciences to correct the balance of men and women represented at increasing levels of authority in science and academia.

I don’t know anything about Title IX, so I went to the Web and found a “resource that gives the full text of Title IX”:http://www.dol.gov/oasam/regs/statutes/titleix.htm. I figure the only way to understand whether applying such a law actually fixes the core problem (or problems) is to understand the law.

Symmetry Magazine features BaBar Data and Event Display

Symmetry Magazine, a joint publication of Fermilab and SLAC, presented its third issue today. The “centerfold” of the issue features a BaBar event containing the Ds*(2317)+ particle, “discovered at BaBar in 2003”:http://www.arxiv.org/abs/hep-ex/0304021. Thanks to Dr. Antimo Palano, who harvested the particle candidates from BaBar’s immense data set, I was able to produce an event display image that showed the striking isolation of the decaying DsJ*(2317)+ in the detector. This image was the central feature of the article, which is a description of the detector information and the detectable particles from the decay.

“Deconstruction: Event Display”:http://www.symmetrymag.org/cms/?pid=1000057

A flurry of flurries

Well, I suppose it’s not exactly **rocking** the Northeast, but it’s definitely snowing again. From inside the house, it didn’t look like very formidable snow. However, after a thorough cleaning of the sidewalks and the car, a single intervening half-hour was all that was required to covere everything in snow again.

Traffic wasn’t all that bad this morning; getting to the Alewife train station took a reasonable period of time, given the weather. Now that I’m nestled in an office here at MIT, all that lazy snow drifting lazily from the sky is a very lovely sight.

All right, enough commentary on the weather! After quite a bit of progress on my work yesterday, I’m hoping to tie some loose ends this morning and really hammer on the physics of my simulations this afternoon. If I have some cool pictures of the simulation, I’ll likely stick them here later.

Back in Boston, Despite the Weather

Despite the bad winter storm that dumped upwards of 35 inches of snow in New England, I was able to get back to Boston yesterday with few flight delays. After an uneventful first leg of the trip from San Fran to Chicago (Midway), we were delayed by a half-hour. We made that up pretty easily in the air, thanks to a strong tailwind.

The fun really began in Boston. We sat on the runway for quite a bit until a gate opened. After that, it was a long wait at the curb for the 22 bus, which runs from the B terminal to the Blue Line train station. The most entertaining part of this episode was surely the interaction between the illegally parked cars picking up passengers and the State Trooper.

There were easily 10-12 cars parked in the curb space reserved for rental car shuttles, courtesy vans, and public buses. This behavior forced the buses to stop in the middle of the road, unable to pull up to the curb. Travelers the had to wade through ankle-deep slush and mud to get across the road to their waiting bus.

Then comes the State Cop. He pulls up in an SUV, lights twirling and siren honking and whooping. Then he gets on the PA and starts asking — nicely, for someone who didn’t have to be nice — people to get out of that area as they were illegally parked. There was one guy, also in an SUV, who just refused to move. So the trooper pulls up along side him, flashes the lights and whoops the siren a few times. He barks on the loudspeaker. Finally, the guy pulls away from where he was blocking the courtesy van curb, moves up about 75 feet, and parks in the public bus curb.

Well, that was the end of it for the trooper. He cuts the guy off, hits the lights, and storms out of his vehicle. He barks the man out of the SUV, walks him around the back of the car (where we all have a clear view of him) and chews him out right in front of everybody. If we could have applauded through all our luggage and mittens, we would have!

After a set of long changes between trains, I finally arrived at Alewife station (north end of the Red Line). Gabriella’s husband, Masahiro, picked me up at the station and we headed back to their house for dinner.

Today, it’s going to be a nice, long, full day of neutrino veto simulation development!!!!