On June 7th the students, together with Fhon, Suruj, and a fish, set out to Madison for the IceCube software boot camp. Boot camp is a week long intense introduction to IceCube, Neutrino Astrophysics, python, C++, and the IceCube software and data files framework. It’s designed to get new ‘cubers up to speed on all aspects of IceCube physics, simulation, and analysis software. The boot camp organizers at 222 spent a lot of time preparing lectures and exercises for the campers, and a lot of resources were provided that could be used as references and templates when the campers returned to their home institutions. At boot camp one gets a good feel for the scope and impact of IceCube on the particle astrophysics community, and an appreciation of how amazingly helpful everyone in IceCube is to those just starting with IceCube.
There was no shortage of good snacks and drinks during the breaks! The sessions ran from 9 am to 6 pm each day and the boot camp leaders managed to keep everyone engaged all the time ( a testament to their good work in preparing the material for the camp and the general geeky and nerdy nature of the ‘campers themselves).
On the last day of the boot camp, teams worked on projects and made presentations at the end of the day.
Students had earlier spent all morning and part of the afternoon working on their projects, with one IceCube expert assigned to each team.
Editors Note: Laura’s and Kelsey’s first week in Germany was in the first week of June
Kelsey and I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Deutschland and spend 10 weeks continuing our work with the IceCube project. I can’t believe that we’ve already been here for a week, so much has happened so far!
The flight overseas was 8 hours long. We flew into Düsseldorf on Thursday morning and then had a 45 minute car ride back to Bochum. It’s beautiful here! We met Sebastian, one of the grad students who we will be working with. He showed us around campus and helped us figure out where we were going. On Friday we met everyone else who we would be working with. It was the university’s 50th anniversary celebration that weekend, so no work was being done. Saturday was the “Blau Pause”. They closed the entire University Street for 5 km so that pedestrians and cyclists could wander amongst all of the tables, tents, and stands.
Come Monday, we had our first official day of work. Fabian and Sebastian, two grad students who we will work with told us a little about each of their projects and we were able to choose which one we preferred. Sebastian and Kelsey are working on neutrino propagation in the Earth and Fabian and I are working on the Sun shadow analysis.
So far, we’ve just been adjusting to life here in Germany and getting used to our projects. We’ve done a little exploring around Bochum. It’s a lovely city and much larger than I first thought. The weather has also been beautiful, which makes it even better. This was just our first week, so I’m excited to see what amazing adventures the next 9 weeks have in store for us!
It’s summer again and thirteen students are here for astrophysics research. Six of them are NSF REU students, and with the others they will work on projects on IceCube and the neutron monitors at McMurdo and Antarctica. Two from this large summer group will go to Antarctica this year. Week 1 was spent at UWRF where students got a quick fire introduction to computer programming, neutrino astrophysics, and neutron monitors. This summer we have a visiting faculty, Dr. Waraporn “Fhon” Nuntiyakul, from Chandrakasem Rajabhat University in Thailand. Fhon’s research is on neutron monitors. Each Monday students will participate in professional development workshops with other summer scholars on campus. This week we also got some lead and polyethylene from Delaware, which we will use with the neutron monitors. Here are some photos from the first week. Next week is Boot Camp in Madison!