CERN Accelerating science

Arpon Paul

I had previously visited other countries, but never before stayed for more than a week. So two months in a continent where I have never been before is going to be a versatile experience for me, I knew from the very beginning. And, the lovely people, the welcoming environment - all made my stay at CERN a special one.

First let's talk about my work experience. I did not expect such a friendly work environment! My supervisors, Gokhan Unel and Sezen Sekmen were always there to help me and motivate me. On my last day, they took me to farewell dinner. On our way to the restaurant, I asked them how they evaluate my work in the last two months. And they said, I was always hungry to learn new things, and they liked this in me. To receive some comments like this after two months of work really touched me.

At CERN, I worked on an Analysis Description Language called CutLang. In layman's term, this is nothing but a human readable language for the data analysis of the Large Hadron Collider. Though I am doing my major in Physics, it was fun to work on a project which basically requires programming skills. And the interesting part is, I am continuing to work with my supervisor on some other project where I am actually using this language (as an experimental physicist!) for a feasibility study for searching heavy BSM quarks!

Now come to the fun part! I had never been a regular cook, but during my stay at CERN, I behaved as a 'professional cook' (not me, my friends said so!). And you know what, the kitchen was not only a place for cooking, it was the place to meet people. Even if I went to the kitchen just to make a cup of coffee, I couldn't but spend at least two hours chatting with my friends. In one weekend, we cooked together some chicken tandoori, and yes, it tasted really good. And cooking is no longer a hassle when you have your friends around you. I should also mention Frederik, a friendly guy working as Research Fellow at CERN. He loved to interact with the summer students and guide us during site tours. In one evening, he brought his musical keyboard, and we sang songs together. Another interesting experience was to meet K S Narain, a pioneer in String Compactification, whose lectures I had watched before. I never expected that I am going to meet him in person at CERN. Perhaps, I should add that my professor, Arshad Momen, was his student at ICTP and interestingly enough, he was also at CERN at that time. Imagine my enthusiasm to have lunch together with these two inspiring physicists and figures in my life. 

During my stay at CERN, I had the chance to visit Annecy, Lyon and Lauterbrunnen. I must admit that the experience at Lauterbrunnen was the best. The waterfalls, mountains, cable cars - everything made this trip extraordinary. I am definitely going to miss the barbecue party, the bicycle trips and most importantly the wonderful people whom I met during these days. Thank you all for making this happen.