SUSY06 Goes Hi-Tech

By cjohnson | June 15, 2006 8:16 pm

Just a quick note to point out the growing volume of video and stills of the SUSY06 conference that is being produced at an incredible rate by the Cosmic Variance commenter who calls himself “chimpanzee”. He has a handheld device that launches video and stills to the web seconds after recording it. All very splendid, if you like that sort of thing.

He wisely got authorisation from the organizers of the conference to attend in this capacity, and now he’s got more bold and is sitting right up front in some of the sessions and even doing interviews! For example, here are some with physicists Raman Sundrum, and Angela Olinto (she says “hi” to Sean in the interview, by the way).

The links to the video blogs are here:
(stills+video) (stills+video)
and at iTunes Music Store as the “SUSY ’06″ video-podcast.

(The Cosmic Variance blog is not responsible for any content found there.)

The pictures and interviews are actually a nice window into physics and physicists even if you’re not an expert, and I’m doing this post because it would be a shame if they went unnoticed.

I’ve got to say that chimpanzee did this all without my help or encouragement, so I can take no credit for this resource! In fact, I was doubtful and declined to help. He just took the initiative anyway and went through the proper channels himself to get it all authorized….. and the results are great!

Well done…..


  • JoAnne

    “Chimpanzee” was here at SUSY06 all day today, at the panel discussion this evening (I will blog about it soon), and even in the bar with us tonight! I’m scheduled for an interview with him tomorrow. Everyone here has definitely noticed his presence! Thanks for getting a photo of him, Clifford.

  • Cynthia

    “Chimpanzee”: A Hat Tip to You!
    However,with all that metro-gear strapped to your back, one might be led to believe that you are on some sort of survivalist’s mission in the thickets of an urban forest. 😉

  • chimpanzee

    Thanks for the feedback, Motivation via positive-enforcement always works for me..

    Needs & Solutions:

    Tell me what you want, & I will do it.

    If anyone wants an interview (or pic) of a particular away here (or private email). I’ll be online all day. I don’t know this field, so I simply don’t have the Local Knowledge. I knew of A Olinto (thru Sean’s CV entry a while back, where they did a public outreach thing together..that Chicago radio station thing). So, that’s why I did the interview with her, & asked her to comment about Sean. That’s simply “good Journalist” (or Science) gotta know your subject-material (doing your homework). Of course I heard about Randall-Sundrum model, so I ran into him purely by ACCIDENT at the COSMO parallel session on Thu. Like A Olinto, he was very generous with his time, talkative..obviously very smart.

    I did a followup interview with Dr. Sundrumm on HD video, so expect that up later (I could get it up within 15-30 min after taking the footage, the high-speed connectivity of the “Web umbrella”, makes this possible). On video-iPod, so researchers can study/transcribe it. These “mobile media devices” are not only a Media-Exposure tool (you can bypass the Conventional can do your OWN science-journalism), but a tool to aid professional Research. That LHC evening sessoin dealt with Experimantalist-Theorist collaboration. Well, do it via Website, email..& now video-iPod (syndication of a video-blog, over iTunes Music Store).

    It can also do outreach to High School students (they all have video-iPods). They could check out some pic/video material (iPods can do pictures & sound, as well), & say:

    “Wow, that’s cool. I like that so-and-so researcher, & his field. I want to become a scientist”

    There you go.. What’s that..3 uses for this video-iPod “jewel in the test-tube”?

    Get a’s pricey, but it may be the best $300 (or $400, if you go 60G version) you spent. You probably can get that cost back, by getting your Dept going on this new MultiMedia tool.

  • chimpanzee

    [ I’m bloggin from Fashion Island, during lunch break ]

    Joanne, I will goto to the “Alternatives” afternoon-session to look you up & do the interview. I was looking for you at the morning session coffee break..too many people to filter through.

    I put a video of Dr. Polesello’s talk (LHC session last night), & you’re on it. All available on “SUSY ’06” video-podcast (42 million “eyeballs” out there for Outreach..huge potential), just goto iTunes Music Store & do a search on “susy” or “sus06” or “supersymmetry” (I think the search term “cosmicvariance” will also work). Subscribe to it, & download it in iTunes. Plug in your video-iPod, & take it around (like the dinner cruise) & show it to friends, researchers. You definitely want to do some nice videos at SLAC (“beautiful green pastures”), to promote your Research & personality. Most of the female researchers have interesting personalities. Great for Science, just like Auto Racing is using Danica Patrick (IRL) & Katherine Legge (Champcar). KL won 3 races last year (1st time a woman won a major open-wheel race!), & got promoted this year.

    Are you going to the dinner-cruise? Man, I am looking forward to THAT! Some great photo ops, from a cruise ship @evening. I will bring my QTVR gear, & do that. Anything you want..head shots, fill-flash with orangish sunset against seawaves. If any of your colleagues want that (for their websites), just tell them I’m available. I wonder if we’ll see any sea-life? They have ships to go out for whale-watching.

    A couple of these millionaire Offroad Racers (the original target Market for my Technology) have boats in Newport Harbor. One is a race-boat, & another is a SHIP: it has a landing space for a helicopter (!). That’s the kind of wealth we’re talking about, one of them just emailed me about “traveling the world” (Bangkok, Red Sea, London Heathrow, Mediterranean, etc). They’re related to XXX, an entity there funded Linus Pauling’s joint Biology/Chemistry thing @Caltech decades ago..Horse Racing (sport of the ultra wealthy), LP did something in that area. Philantrophy fueled Science Research in the 1800’s & is making a comeback recently (Paul Allen is funding SETI & SpaceShipOne)

  • chimpanzee

    Another visual-technology I’ve been playing with is QTVR. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my CF card reader (USB), so I couldn’t get the QTVR pano raw files (32mb total) I shot uploaded. I’ll do that by tomorrow, when I return home. In the meantime, here’s a pano that was shot @Caltech (inspired by CVJ’s post on “purple flowers”). [ NOTE: the caption is in error ] Yep, that’s a 2nd thing CVJ has stimulated me to do! (via CV blog). We seem to be “feeding off each other’s vibes”.

  • Clifford

    Comment from Chimpanzee moved from another thread (where it did not belong):

    CVJ, I plan on video-Blogging the entire “Naturalness” session, so the entire video will be available to the Physics community..over your video-iPod (or Sony PSPv, or Archos AV500..the latter is a French-based portable video-player solution)

    [ i.e., you can carry it around & watch it at your leisure..the whole VoD/”Video on Demand” revolution: “Watch video WHEN want, WHERE you want” As researchers (Academia & Industry, time-management is a real issue ]

    You’re right, it’s good to see/hear the audience response, presentation/exposition by the speakers (facial expressions, intonations & emphasis). Text transcripts misses the “emotion” of the presentation. This is the power of video-blogging.

    I also had a digital audio-recorder, which I NEVER used. If I had the presence of mind, I could have audio-TAPED the session & had it availalbe as an audio-podcast! I do that already for my target Market (Offroad Racing), in the form of audio race-traffic. So, I could have had the ENTIRE “Naturalness” session ONLINE by now (audio files are way smaller than video) & available as an iPod audio-podcast. Researchers all over the world can listen to it while commuting to work on the Bus (like you do). I can extract the audio from my video, & make an audio-podcast, so all is not lost.

    I’m blogging from a Taco Bell (Fountain Valley, just up the freeway from Newport Beach), after discussing my SUSY ’06 project with a friend (senior lecturer in Physics, Cal State Long Beach). He’s involved with remote-reaching & Mutlimedia @CSLB, CCC (Coast Community College), & another junior-college. He’s collaborated with Wendy Freedman/Carnegie Observatories (determining Hubble Constant), for his online course. We went to dinner, & discussed my Multimedia project at length until 11pm.

    BTW, I had my satellite-DSL available in my 4×4 van in the Marriott parking lot. I have a special directional wireless antenna (w/1-watt amp) to “beam” a WiFi signal into the conference rooms

    [ Note: the WiFi networks was only available to hotel guests, so I never had access to it..had to use my wireless card w/laptop ]

    Yes, if I had an *assistant* to use this 2nd access-point (continuous uploading), I could have had the entire Naturalness session available over iPod/ NOW. (note that UCI grad students were filling in doing some photography @SUSY ’06). (I simply couldn’t “Multitask like Mad” effectively, with all these devices, shooting video, doing LIVE frame-grabs/videos.) Something to think about for future SUSY conferences, a timely iPod video available. Missed opportunity here for SUSY ’06, but given the last-minute nature of my project that’s OK. SUSY ’06 was a great learning-experience, the next SUSY will be done right..

  • Clifford

    My comment to Chimpanzee’s above remarks:

    You don’t seem to be aware that our field has been routinely broadcasting video of talks for about a decade now. Check out the ITP’s website in Santa Barbara, for example. What you brought to the party is not that feature, per se, but more immediacy of uploading via your various web tools and the ability for people to treat it as another blog, adding comments, pingbacks, etc. All good things, of course, and very welcome.

    But the idea of making video of talks available is not new.

    What I hope your work here will do is simply help future conference organisers to realize how relatively simple it is to do at relatively low cost, and so begin to routinely build it into their plans.



  • chimpanzee

    CVJ, by “streaming” do you mean it was done live or as an archive? I’ve listened to Caltech lectures via “live streaming”. Yes, that’s established Technology, but it’s expensive. Lots of bandwidth.

    You’re right, the new mobile devices (“smaller, cheaper, faster” are creating this new horizon of cost-effective “mobile media solutions”. The term “citizen journalist” is generating a LOT of excitement in the Video-blogging community, they are really anti-Establishment (mainstream Media sucks, scientists know this all-too-well..they generally mess-up Science reporting). It’s the “Distributed Architecture” model (“an army of insects..citizen journalists”) VS “Centralized” Architecture (a few large conglomerate media organizations). Just like Insects are the Dominant life-form on Earth (numbers x weight = superiority), the mobile-blogging video-blogging (mobile sense, & near real-time) are giving the Power of Journalism to ANYONE. Just like the Mac revolutionized Desktop Publishing (“anyone can be a publisher”, from their apartment), Desktop Video (Mac is a force), Desktop Computer Animation (Mac & PC rendering-farms) are all trends that are delivering Computing Power to the Individual.

    “He who controls the media controls our mind and controls our truth.”
    “He who controls the media, controls the people.”

    With blogging-scientists (text blogs), & now my “demo/prototype” of near-LIVE photo/video blogging at SUSY ’06, I expect that the “insect drones” of Scientists will take this tool & conquer Public Igorance. Report Science as it really IS, & make some powerful moves in Public Outreach.

    Could be a new-dawn in Science Funding, if the Marketing/Public-Relations is done RIGHT. “The Planetary Soceity” (Dr. Bruce Murray/Caltech/JPL & Carl Sagan & others) was the old-fashioned way: a snail-mail delivery of information (as part of the Content/Distribution model). An organzation, solicitation of public funding, bumper stickers, etc. Something like the Sierra Club (environmentalist advocates), they do it really well.

    With the Web/Internet & mobile device solutions I demonstrated, there is a “Agile, Mobile, Hostile” solution that is revolutionzing the way people Network & News is delivered. Check out Tim Berners-Lee (more here), whose Web revolution was based on a CERN initiative. I seem to be following his steps. BTW, my former boss (UIUC) was Mark Andreesen’s boss (NCSA Mosaic, of Netscape fame). Internet Explorer came about indirectly thru a startup company called Spyglass (Scientific Visualization, an NCSA topic), so UIUC had a hand in 2 of the major web-browsers for the WWW.

    [Chimpanzee stuff appended from another place: -cvj]

    (doesn’t have to be the 5G iPod, i.e. w/video can be a Nano, or any earlier generation iPod) to download the audio-clip. Then, listen to it at your leisure (on the bus commute, like CVJ does). This is the beauty of the podcast (Video or Audio on listen to it WHEN you want, WHERE you want), you can listen to it during “dead time”: bus, airplane (killing time @airport), at the park w/your kids, etc. T. Plehn pulled out his Nano iPod, & told me “I never leave home without it”. A. Olinto had to fly to a Neutrinos conference (right after her Thu morning talk, she told me her daughter has a video iPod), so she technically could have used her air-travel time productively. F. Wilczek told us about the tiresome nature of extensive travel (R. Sundrum told me about jet-lag, & missing the end of the “Naturalness” panel..had to goto bed). Well, with podcast (audio & video) he really didn’t miss anything! He could have caught up with the sessions on the way back to Johns Hopkins on airplane..via podcast.

    I think this new “mobile media solution” could be a key-factor, in bridging the gap between the Theorists & Experimentalists. One could do a “Point” & “Counterpoint” audio podcast, which is an argument for each camp. I got the distinct feeling (from the conference & above exchanges..”you’re missing the point”, each side said) that there is a Communication gap..people still don’t understand the opposing viewpoint. You can save a LOT of posts on blogs (“repetition of arguments”).

    By LHC coming online next year, I expect these New Mediums (“mobile media solutions”) to be in full-force as a Research Tool. Also, as a way of delivering News (“citizen Journalist”), where Scientists can bypass the mainstream-Media (“Science challenged”) & do their own reporting & Public Outreach.

    Remember, Tim Berners-Lee (inventor of “http” protocol, now at CSAIL MIT) was hired by CERN to bridge the communication gap between groups within CERN. BTW, my PhD research was in this area (Computational Theory of Vision). There is an interesting analog between this area (classic ill-conditioned problem, where constraints like “Smoothness” were has a strange similarity to “Naturalness”) to the issues above. Astronomy & Geophysics have the same issues above where data is hard-to-get, & are using MLE (Maximum Likelihood Estimators) like MED (Maximum Entropy Deconvolution) & Lucy-Richardson algorithm: it’s based on apriori assumptions (“throw in a constraint”), & invoke Bayes famous theorem (involving conditional probablity). I will make a post later in this thread about it.

  • Thomas Dent

    I have nothing against the use of video, but I found the continual flash photography during plenary sessions extremely distracting and annoying. If Prof. Feng thought that was a good thing for the conference I have to disagree.

    And unlike video, I don’t think stills of physicists standing next to podiums usually give much idea of what they are trying to communicate.

    One further mystery, if now we have practically full video coverage of the conference and the parallel talks are archived as pdf, what is the use of proceedings?


  • chimpanzee

    My “project” was a test of various visual-technologies:

    1) real-time WebCasting (digital SLR..some were flash pics, some weren’t, mobile devices w/pic & video capability)

    2) mobile devices w/camera & video), video-delivery (video-blogging..the base for video-pocasting)

    There was no set program (so don’t fault Dr. Feng)..I was doing a *test*, the next attempt will be done better. I will note your feedback on “flash photography” distraction. Note that there were UCI grad students who were also doing flash-photography. Some speakers were incredibly hard to photograph well (constantly moving, hard to catch a neutral or smiling face), I had to keep doing the flash-photography until I got a pleasing shot. Sorry, about any annoyance. It’s possible to do non-flash photography, but the pics don’t look as good.

    There are always some kind of “exposition type” photos for conference: speaker head shots, speaker next to podium, even a group shot (what amazed me that wasn’t arranged for SUSY ’06). I think mobile video-clips of Q&A (uploaded within a few minutes) are useful for outside web viewers. I tested 3 different mobile video devices (15-30 min turnaround to a video-clip on a video-podcast), & I isolated the best one.

    Proceedings (old-fashioned paper) is useful to me, I still can’t read a technical-paper (for my own research) over a PDF. I need to have pen&paper scribbing notes on white-paper (“Gutenberg” still lives on!). There’s an interesting Fellow at USC Annenberg, Bob Steinb. He’s advocating an electronic medium to replace books. Remember CVJ’s post on a meeting of USC profs to discuss “how to use Blogging Technology”..I don’t know if Bob Stein was in attendance. I met him way back in ’93 @AFI (American Film Institute) in Hollywood, where he was an invited speaker as Voyager founder (? CD was just beginning to start the multimedia revolution) founder. Back then, he was advocating the laptop as replacing the book.

    The video-podcast Technology I was demo’ing, could very well be *another* medium to replace books. Podcasting is VoD (“Video on Demand”), where you can watch (in this case a lecture) WHEN you want, WHERE you want. The niche time-splice is the “dead-time” during a typical day: commuting (bus, car travel), walking around, etc. They have audio-tapes, you play while you with iPod compatible car radios (Mercedes, Toyota, Ford..are all doing it), you can listen to the Naturalness panel-session while you drive-commute. The MIT Media Lab & NYU Media Lab have research programs into this area of “Immersive Technology”. I know people in both these labs, & have contacted them already.

    I need other people to chime-in on feedback, postive (“+”) or negative (“-“)..don’t be shy. The whole purpose of me being there, was to do a TEST. What works, & what doesn’t. I learned a LOT. I will be filing a report to Dr. Feng & Organizing Committee, so future SUSY conferences will have a comprehensive package of media-tools (to foster Collaborative/Cooperative Research & enhance web-delivery of conference talks).

  • chimpanzee

    I put up Frank Wilczek’s talk (Wed evening plenary-session) here. It’s also available as a clip on the “SUSY ’06” video-podcast.

    I have videos from LHC Thu evening plenary-session (3 different video-cameras). I need to prioritize the video uploads I’m doing, so I need some feedback on which videos you want to see 1st. “Naturalness” or LHC? I have Leonard Susskind’s talk on video. Unfortunately, it looks like I forgot to hit the record button for A. Linde & B. Richter’s talk!! (there is a chance I have the tape, & I’ve misplaced them).

  • damtp_dweller

    One further mystery, if now we have practically full video coverage of the conference and the parallel talks are archived as pdf, what is the use of proceedings?

    Proceedings are useful primarily because they often represent the canonical papers in the literature. Many of the important GR conferences from the 60s and 70s, for example, had results published in their proceedings which are difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere.

    There’s also the little matter of authors often being paid a healthy stipend for their contribution to the proceedings, but I digress.

  • JoAnne

    I found Chimpanzee’s coverage of the conference to be invigorating and thought that his enthusiam added energy and excitement to the meeting. I had no problems with his flash photography (others were doing it as well…) and have thoroughly enjoyed browsing through the still photos on his website. I know other attendees felt the same and wanted to meet him. All in all, I would say it was a job well-done and much appreciated! Thanks!

  • chimpanzee

    Leonard Susskind’s talk is now available here, & as a video-clip over the “SUSY ’06” video-podcast over iTunes Music Store. He has a very polished appearance, is a very polished speaker. Very profesisonal. Just like A. Linde & Burton Richter, they look & present themselves like scientists.

    Joanne, thanks for your feedback. I did at SUSY ’06 what I do at Offroad Races, which was stimulated by Steve McQueen’s attempt with his ill-fated movie “Lemans”:

    “We wanted to bring the atmosphere of auto racing [ in this case, a Science Conference ] to the Public”

    [ it was a critical box-office failure, BTW. It failed to “tell a story” a well known Hollywood director/producer (2-time Emmy Award winner) told me ]

    I was using visual-content (pics, videos, QTVR) to give a viewer a *feeling* of what it’s like “to be a Scientist”. I see CV (for me at least) an insight to “A Day in the Life of Physicist”..pretty interesting. Just like you posted that pic of 3 women in a jam-session @SLAC (where a young girl commented “they must be working hard, since 1 of them is still in her pajamas”!), Science definitely has a Public Image/Perception problem. Like Offroad Racing, Science is a *niche market*, which lacks an effective PR/Marketing Program. If Particle Physics had a public *connection*, then possibly when the SSC was cancelled

    [ due to fiscal irresponsibility by the Fools in Washington, “there may be some countries who can do esoteri Research, but this country is not one of them”..said that women politician. Recall Carl Sagan’s comment on COSMOS when a Landsat image of Washington DC was shown: “No sign of Intelligent Life” ]

    a public-outcry MIGHT have brought it back. These mobile-media tools lets ANYBODY (incl scientist attendees) to give a “roving point-of-view” of a Science conference. The female scientists can play a leading role, since they generally have a flair in their personality. (Men can be boring, in general). I.e., it may be more attractive to the Public. A. Olinto’s talk was superb, especially when she seamlessly inserted humor (& reference to Brazilian soccer & World Cup). Joanne is a St. Louis baseball fan, & I just noticed S. Hossenfelder is a soccer-fan as well.

    I mean, who would think some brainy scientists (especially women) are rabid sports-fans? If this “story” is brought to the Public, then the “Gap between layman & Scientist” disappears. All of a sudden Scientists are no longer viewed as “their heads are in the clouds” (description of R. Feynman, when the Physics Dept considered him to start an Initiative in Undergraduate Teaching..which of course led to the famous Feynman Lecures on Physics), & are “brothers/sisters” that the Public can relate to. That can only mean good things for future Science Funding.

    “If you build it [ baseball Stadium], they [ masses ] will come”
    — Field of Dreams

  • chimpanzee

    A. Olinto’s talk is online here, & as a video-clip on the “SUSY ’06” video-podcast over iTunes Music Store. Her talk was great, excellent slides, excellent presentation (humor inserted seamlessly w/references to Brazilian soccer/World Cup). Very friendly & approachable afterwards, see here for more visual-content (“live stuff”).

    If I were a funding-agency, I would “throw money at her problem”. Very professional presentation & apparently a worthy project. The Mobile Media technology tools I have are looking for a “star”: someone who can maximize the visual nature of the medium. She is on my short-list, & there are other women at the conference who qualify (Rachel Bean/Cornell also had a similar killer presentation). I think this is where female-researchers can make a real contribution, to bridge the gap to the Public. Science needs a “face” the Public can relate to, just like Carl Sagan did it via the “Johnny Carson show”. Ironically, R. Feynman shunned it as idiotic. I heard some of C. Sagan’s colleague disapproved of his foray into “Entertainment”.

    2 words: “Entertainment Value”. Like it or not, that’s the Reality of the World. I think Sean has star quality: looks & outgoing personality (he’s worked with A. Olinto, & she gave him a good reference). If he’s coming to Caltech, then maybe I have a “male” entry to the list of “stars”. I was just at Caltech Public Relations Dept, & they have a good setup in that area.

  • chimpanzee

    There’s a couple of QTVR panoramas from SUSY ’06 here. The “coffee break” pano has CVJ in one of them (use the shift & control keys to zoom in & out). I can put this .mov as a video-blog entry here. & it will play the QTVR pano in iTunes. However, the video-iPod can’t play it..we hope to have that situation changed soon (a group of us, incl the guy who led the QTVR group @Apple). Since universities like Stanford & Duke (& others) are incorporating video-iPod into their teaching, the above “test” might induce Apple to allow QTVR playback in video-iPods. The next video-iPod (rumored to be later this year, after Apple Paris expo), will have a bigger screen (4″) & virtual UI (user-interface).

  • chimpanzee

    The LHC evening plenary-sesson (front video camera) is online here, also available over SUSY ’06 video-podcast on iTunes Music Store. It was available a couple weeks ago (see above post), thus delaying official blog-entry (because of another “issue” that came up).


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