Hello Quantum Diaries. My Name is John Felde, and I am a new blogger. I am a Graduate Student at the University of California, Davis studying neutrino oscillations. Since these blogs are meant to reflect the daily life of particle physicists I thought I would introduce UC Davis in my first post. It is my impression that outside of Northern California, UC Davis is not really all that well known by the general public, mostly since we don’t have a good football team. In the physics community we are more well known given our involvement in CDF at Fermilab, and CMS at the LHC. Here is a little bit about my town, and university.
UC Davis was founded in 1905 as an extension of UC Berkeley offering farming and agricultural related degrees. In 1959 UC Davis was formally established as an independent campus of the University of California system. Now, the university if made up of 4 colleges and 6 professional schools offering 102 undergraduate majors, and 82 graduate programs. In 2009 the student enrollment reached 32,153. Fortunately, UC Davis has the largest campus of the UC’s with 5,300 acres (1 acre ~ 4,000 m^2).
The city of Davis has a population of ~65,000. It has never been clear to me how, or if, students are counted, but it goes without saying that the University is an integral part of the community. Davis is well know for being bicycle friendly, and was names the best cycling town in 2006 by Bicycling Magazine. In 2009 Davis was chosen to host the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. The college town aspect of Davis makes it unique among neighboring cities. Residents boast the highest level of education in California with greater than 60% having completed a four-year degree.
I also very much enjoy the location of Davis. We are situated at the northern end of the Central Valley of California, within about 2 hours of both San Fransisco, and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This makes our area special in that at certain times of the year one could actually ski in the morning, and surf in the afternoon, if they were so inclined.
Well, there is a little bit about where I do my work. There is some exciting news the Double Chooz and LBNE collaborations which I look forward to sharing with you all in the near future.