2014 Annual Report - Purdue University Calumet

Purdue University Calumet QuarkNet Center
2014 Annual Report
This summer was the inaugural year for the Purdue University Calumet QuarkNet Center. Dr. Neeti Parashar, Professor of Physics and leader of the High Energy Physics Program serves as the faculty mentor for the QuarkNet. In following with the structure laid out by the QuarkNet management, Purdue Calumet Center took off on June 9, 2014, for a 8-week program with the hiring of two lead high school teachers from the local region in Northwest Indiana.
Larry Hautzinger has been teaching for 23 years. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Master’s degree from University of Central Florida. He has been teaching physics, chemistry and biology at Munster High School, Munster, Indiana since 2001.
Adam Erler is a new teacher just entering the profession. He is a graduate of Southern Illinois University with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. He has taken a teaching position at Hammond Academy of Science and Technology (HAST) School in Hammond, Indiana.
The 8-week program was divided into two weeks of training in Particle Physics at Purdue Calumet campus in Hammond, Indiana and 6 weeks of research at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. The first week included Introduction to Particle Physics lectures given by Dr. Sudhir Malik, Dr. John Stupak and Dr Neeti Parashar. In the second week they worked on the Cosmic Ray Detector lent to Purdue Calumet by University of Notre Dame. This detector is a very fundamental experiment encompassing basic principles of physics, including particle physics. From assembling to taking measurements, to analyzing data, Larry and Adam single handedly performed all the operations, with minimal to no supervision. This was very impressive. Parashar visited the Purdue West Lafayette QuarkNet program to learn about their activities. Mr. Ken Cecire from the University of Notre Dame and the QuarkNet Coordinator came for a visit to Purdue Calumet to observe the progress of the program.
After 2 weeks, Larry and Adam joined Parashar and her team, Dr. John Stupak, the post-doctoral research associate, Michael Carter, Computer Science Master’s student and physics undergraduate student Xuan Chen at Fermilab for a 6 week internship at Fermilab. The proximity of the University to Fermilab has facilitated this collaboration immensely. During this 6-week period they worked on two projects - the CMS Forward Pixel Detector and data analysis to prepare for their 2015 Masterclasses.
Purdue Calumet has historically contributed to the construction, operation, and software development of the CMS Forward Pixel Detector (FPIX). Given that much of the work on the FPIX upgrade is being performed at Fermilab’s Silicon Detector Facility (SiDet), it offers a very unique opportunity for the Purdue Calumet group to be involved in. The upgrade of the LHC luminosity will present experimental as well as technological challenges in terms of large particle fluxes and high radiation levels. This would require a replacement of the current pixel detector, designed for an increased luminosity of 2 x 1034 cm-2s-1, in the first phase of the upgrade, called Super LHC Phase 1. The new Phase I pixel detector with four barrel layers and three endcap disks is being designed to minimize the material budget and increases the tracking points, and the development of a fast digital readout architecture, which ensures readout efficiency even at high rate. Preparations for a test stand have already begun. Stupak, based at Fermilab, is one of the responsibles in the development of testing protocols for readout chips and production modules. Larry and Adam contributed significantly to this effort at Fermilab, parts of which were shipped to CERN to be incorporated into the current detector for a pilot testing effort. Mr. Cecire visited SiDet to observe their progress.
The second activity that the lead teachers were involved in was to analyze and interpret the Masterclass data from previous years. They attended a Masterclass at Fermilab, where Parashar was a mentor to 3 international groups from Australia and one from University of Notre Dame. This provided a very valuable experience in terms of learning how scientist look at large data sets and make sense out of it. We shall all be working toward a 2015 Masterclass to be 
conducted at Purdue Calumet for Munster High School and HAST students. Adam also attended the 5-day Data Camp at Fermilab that involved other QuarkNet teachers from all around the country.
This was a very enriching experience for Larry and Adam since they worked at a world-class laboratory facility and interacted with brilliant scientists from all around the world, while enjoying a very diverse culture at the lab. On their won, they also built a table top Cloud Chamber.
Both Adam and Larry are very excited to be involved with QuarkNet and take their students to a Masterclass experience. They also look forward to next year in working to bring more teachers into the fold. The plan for summer 2015 is to host a QuarkNet teachers workshop at Purdue Calumet with Larry and Adam as the lead teachers.
From left: Larry Hautzinger, Xuan Chen and Adam Erler, testing CMS FPIX Modules at Fermilab’s SiDet, Summer 2014.
From left: Xuan Chen, Adam Erler, Larry Hautzinger, Neeti Parashar in the MINOS tunnel at Fermilab, 2014.
From left: Adam Erler, Larry Hautzinger and Ken Cecire at Purdue University Calumet, 2014.
From left: Larry Hautzinger, Adam Erler working on the Cosmic Ray Detector at Purdue University Calumet, 2014
  From left: Adam Erler, Larry Hautzinger, Dean William Law, Xuan Chen, John Stupak and Neeti Parashar at Fermilab’s clean room
  where the Purdue Calumet team works on CMS FPIX, 2014.
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