An update from Landon:
Even though we got more sleep than the last few days, I woke up feeling more tired than ever. Physics, especially when it’s new physics, can be quite enervating. This morning, instead of going to the talks, we all worked on finishing up our presentations.
I started off with a practice talk in front of Professor Sekula and Matthew. It went well, and I felt comfortable with my knowledge of the information. After this, all that was left was to wait for 11 AM; however, the session was, of course, delayed.
I was the second talk, and after Sekula introduced the topic, I went up to the front of the room and described my part of the project. Although not quite as smooth as the practice talk, everything went fine. I didn’t blank and only barely fumbled my words. A little nerves were natural as I spoke to an audience of different nationalities as well as the BaBar project leader!
A little after Sekula finished the conclusion on our talk, Matthew went and blew the audience away with his detector imaging. Everyone was really excited after that.
After coming back from lunch, Matthew and I started to wind down from the physics focus and get back to our SMU states of mind. Instead of going to the plenary talks in the afternoon, we both sat in the hallway and did homework to try to make up for the time we had lost over the weekend.
Finally, we got back to SMU around 10:30 PM, with thankfully a less eventful drive from the airport than we had to the airport. Looking back, this weekend has been a great experience. We were accepted into the professional physics atmosphere with open arms and very few kid-jokes, and at our presentations, it seemed like we were taken seriously. We also made quite a few acquaintances within the BaBar community.
I’d like to give my utmost appreciation to Professor Sekula for taking me under his wing and leading me through the theoretical and experimental aspects of my research project.