• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Ken Bloom | USLHC | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

The conga line

During the debate over health insurance reform in the House of Representatives this past March, I was taken by the description of a couple hundred representatives delaying the passage of the bill as a “conga line.” We’re seeing a similar conga line develop in CMS right now, but it is more about getting results out than delaying them. With the close of the 2010 dataset, the effort is on to complete measurements that can be done with this data. Within the collaboration there are hundreds of people working on tens of analyses across a wide range of physics topics. For all of these results to be released by the collaboration and subsequently published in journals, they have to go through a multi-layered approval process. It’s a huge effort on the part of the people doing the analyses and the people who do internal reviews of the analyses, but that’s how we ensure that our public results are of the highest quality. (Just how high is the quality? I intend to comment on this in a future posting.)

As part of the review process, an analysis has to be presented several times in different forums in the experiment, to allow for a wide range of people to engage in discussion with the analysis proponents. But there are only so many hours in a day and so many of those hours that you can fill with meetings, and lots of people who want to talk at those meetings. Hence the conga lines; meeting agendas are filling up quickly as people race to complete their analyses and get them out as quickly as possible.

I’m currently serving on CMS’s Publications Committee, which is the last stop for a paper that gets green-lighted for submission to a journal. Needless to say, the workload is increasing and it doesn’t look to be getting smaller anytime soon. This is ultimately good news, because we’re going to be learning so much physics…unless you are on the committee. Our committee chair recently observed to me, “The wave is about to become a tsunami.” Let’s hope the conga line doesn’t get washed away by it.

(Gee, can we let the entry end with an oddly mixed metaphor?)

Share

Tags: , , ,