Running a CMS WZH-path Masterclass

This page is primarily for mentors as they design the masterclass for their institutes.

Go to: Masterclass Library Pages:
Project Map Orientation Classroom Prep Institute Videocon
  Data Workshops MC-in-School ATLAS Vidyo

First things: iSPy and spreadsheets

Each computer should have robust internet access (preferred) or the DVD version of the masterclass loaded. Two students should work together at each computer to complete 100 events of the 1900-event sample.


  • Students must have access to the event display program iSpy-online using the latest version of Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.
  • Students must have access to the online spreadsheet. These will be linked from the schedule of CMS videoconferences under Data Analysis below.
  • Students should have access to the CMS Masterclass website prior to the masterclass day.

Download versions:

  • iso file (event display and data for DVD)
  • zip file (compressed directory with event display and data in sub-directory)

Grab the data:

See Data Analysis, below.


Familiarize yourself:

Share these with students when appropriate!


Students arrive

This should occupy the first 30-60 min

  • Registration: please have students sign in (sample registration sheet)
  • Gateway experience: have a cloud chamber, e/m apparatus, or something similar to whet interest
  • Ice-breaker activity: students in small inhomogeneous groups create 1-2 good questions about particle physics, ATLAS, and/or LHC.

Shift training

Get students ready for their data analysis shift! This will take about 3 hours, though parts of it can be moved to other times of the day.

Mentor presentation, 30-60 min:

  • keep it interactive - ask questions about prior experience, shows of hands, wild guesses, etc.
  • give students something to touch, e.g. a wave-shifting fiber
  • connect to classroom prep
  • touch on standard model
  • talk about your research
  • template

Tour, 30-60 min:

  • adds much to the day - often most popular part
  • if you have an accelerator to show, great!
  • if not: any interesting labs, even if not particle physics, are still great
  • have enthusiastic grad students around to chat and explain

Analysis Prep (30-60 min):

  • Have a teacher lead this if practical.
  • Use/adapt the data analysis slides.
  • Important: go through "masterclass-samples" in iSpy-online on the projector with the students:
    • Show students how to navigate to a data file
    • Discuss how to use the tools in iSpy-online (or iSpy-dvd)
    • Discuss each event in terms of:
      • Particle tracks, missing energy, ECal deposits, etc.
      • Most likely parent particle (ask them what is what)
    • Show how to record results on sample spreadsheet.

Lunch with a Physicist (30-60 min):

  • This is also very popular and a great way for students to interact and get comfortable with scientists.


Data Analysis

This is the heart of the masterclass and takes 60-90 min. There should be 2 students at each computer, cooperating to get their data measured. Mentors, tutors, and teachers should circulate to help the students analyze the events and work out any problems they have. Don't give them answers. Help them figure things out and learn to see data as scientist does. Remind them that each event is a candidate Z, W, Higgs, or something else - not a definitively identified particle.

Online spreadsheets:

CERN Fermilab
  1. Wed 12 Feb and Thu 13 Feb (London, Geneve)
  2. Wed 12 Mar (Jerusalem, Firenze, Mons, Debrecen)
  3. Thu 13 Mar (Athens, Palaiseau, Roma, Santander, Bologna)
  4. Tue 18 Mar (Rehovot, Riverside, Zagreb, Geneve)
  5. Thu 20 Mar (Szekesfehervar, Lyon, Palaiseau, Aachen, Perugia)
  6. Sat 22 Mar (Antwerpen, Warsaw, Sao Paolo, Sao Paolo, Ghent)
  7. Tue 25 Mar (Madrid, Lyon, Rehovot, Perugia, Padova)
  8. Fri 28 Mar (Torino, Split, Zurich, Vienna, Sao Paolo)
  9. Wed 02 Apr (Budapest, Brussels, Firenze, Catania)
  10. Mon 07 Apr (Helsinki, Lyon, Trieste)
  11. Fri 11 Apr (Helsinki, Cyprus, Zagreb)
  1. Thu 13 Mar (Tallahasee, St. Louis)
  2. Fri 14 Mar (Shanghai, Honolulu)
  3. Sat 15 Mar (Boston, Agora, Buffalo)
  4. Sat 15 Mar (Minneapolis, Seattle, Mexico City)
  5. Thu 20 Mar (Alexandria, Notre Dame)
  6. Fri 21 Mar (Mona, Spearfish, Auckland)
  7. Sat 22 Mar (Beardstown, Mexico City)
  8. Sat 29 Mar (Piscataway, W Lafayette, Williamsburg, Baltimore)
  9. Sat 29 Mar (Spearfish)
  10. Fri 04 Apr (Rochester, Agora, Rio de Janeiro, Manhattan)
  11. Sat 05 Apr (Mayaguez, Quito, Bogotá)

What if the spreadsheet we are supposed to use is jammed?

Go the the Spreadsheet Trouble page!


Note: Spreadsheets are open to edit, not only for student data analysis but for mentors and tutors to repair any issues.



Sharing Results

This takes a little over one hour. Both parts are important.

Discussion (30-45 min):

  • Mentor leads, students interact
  • Look at combined mass plots for your institute in spreadsheet.
  • Help students point out peaks, bumps, significance; discuss results.
  • Each institute is assigned another institute to question: look at their data as well. Students should form questions and comments.

Videoconference (30-45 min):

Connecting to videoconferences:

CERN Fermilab

CMS masterclass institutes connecting to CERN will connect directly to Vidyo. 


This is the updated version as of 12th March 2014.


CMS masterclass institutes connecting to Fermllab will do so via the following Indico pages:

  1. Thu 13 Mar (Tallahasee, St. Louis)
  2. Fri 14 Mar (Shanghai, Honolulu)
  3. Sat 15 Mar (Boston, Agora, Buffalo, Detroit) deleted
  4. Sat 15 Mar (Minneapolis, Seattle, Mexico City) deleted
  5. Thu 20 Mar (Alexandria, Notre Dame)
  6. Fri 21 Mar (Spearfish, Mona, Auckland)
  7. Sat 22 Mar (Beardstown, Mexico City)
  8. Sat 29 Mar (Piscataway, W Lafayette, Williamsburg, Baltimore)
  9. Sat 29 Mar (Spearfish)
  10. Fri 04 Apr (Rochester, Agora, Rio de Janeiro, Manhattan)
  11. Sat 05 Apr (Mayaguez, Quito, Bogotá)

Course of a videoconference:

  • Connect to videoconference link or Indico page (see above).
  • Someone should log into the videoconference 15 min early to be sure the connection is established. See the Schedules page.
  • Follow the agenda on Indico:
    • Introductions and warm-up
    • Institute reports; questions from other institutes (assigned); questions by moderators
    • Discussion, Q&A, and wrap-up
  • It is good to have a student spokesperson but try to arrange so it is not too hard for another student to make a comment or ask a question.

After this, we have post-discussion and closeout. Have a nice day.


Go to Project Map