Carter, Maria, Joao, and Michael January 15, 2007Posted by dorigo in personal, physics, social life, travel.
I am at CERN since yesterday evening. I come here infrequently, and whenever I do I run into some friend I have not seen in a while. The amusing thing this time is that in a day I stumbled into four of my former colleagues in the Harvard HEP group!
I was not surprised to find Joao Guimaraes just outside building 40 – the headquarters of the CMS and ATLAS experiments. Joao is a faculty member of the Harvard HEP group, but he was a post-doc for HU right when I also had a fellowship with the group. Joao is a very nice and skilled person, and CDF has lost something with his departure… Now he works for the ATLAS experiment, so we are competitors now.
Minutes later, I passed in front of a unknown office inside Bldg 40, and was called back by a loud voice. Maria Spiropulu, who is now permanently at CERN, greeted me from her office with a broad smile and kissed my cheeks. Maria was a undergraduate at Harvard in the years I was working in the group. I was happy to see she is as beautiful as in the old days, and even more charming now. I had not seen her in three years, but we are always good friends – and maybe we’ll have time for a coffee before I go back this Thursday!
By another turn of chance, I exchanged e-mails with Carter Hall today, maybe four years after having lost track of him. Carter was a brilliant graduate student when I worked for Harvard, and he is now a professor at University of Maryland, where he is quite busy with very interesting experiments in double beta decay. He is getting married with a surgeon in May – all the best to him!
And finally, I stumbled in Michael Schmitt in the canteen. Michael is the professor who hired me at Harvard nine years ago. He was a true inspiration for me back then with his unextinguishable enthusiasm and encouragement, when we put together the extension of the CMX system for CDF II – arch sectors made of layers of drift chambers sandwiched between scintillation counters. Michael moved to Northwestern University, and now he works in CMS too.
Now let’s see… There’s a few more ex-Harvard people still in HEP… I guess I have a chance to meet a few more of them tomorrow!