The first GraWIToN School at EGO*
by Michele Punturo (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Perugia)
The 1st GraWIToN School was held at EGO from the 20th of April to the 8th of May. If we describe the school by “numbers”, the depicted scenario is quite impressive. Besides the 12 GraWIToN ESRs another 13 students participated at the school. 24 teachers from all over Europe contributed with about 100 hours of lessons distributed over the three weeks of the school. The spectrum of the subjects presented during the school was very wide. The basic notions of gravitational wave (GW) research, elements of general relativity and astrophysics, basic concepts of optics and laser technology, a first approach to the simulation environments in GW research, notions of digital signal processing and science communications tools. Team building was a self-organised activity by having the students share their spare time during the school (and the idea of hosting them in the same hotel in Pisa was quite positive). Among the most “sparkling” sessions were the science communication lessons and the activities with the Arduino micro-controller during the digital signal processing session, where the students had to play with hardware, software and algorithms.
The comments of the GraWIToN students have new been collected to evaluate the quality of the school and improve the next school, which will be hosted in November 2015 by the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI, L’Aquila) and will focus on astrophysics and data analysis.
In parallel to the school other events were organised: the LIGO-Virgo electromagnetic follow-up meeting, with the participation of dozens of Astrophysicists and astronomers coming mainly (but not exclusively) from around Europe and the Virgo Week (the periodic meeting of the Virgo collaboration). This overlap exposed the students to an international environment and demonstrated the good capacity of the EGO infrastructures and services to support international events.
A special thank should be given to the persons that made all that possible: Erika Morucci, who anticipated or solved all the administration, organisation and logistic problems; Elena Cuoco, who was the main builder of the scientific content and structure of the school; the entire EGO computing department, in particular Andrea Matteini and Giuseppe di Biase, who supported the school and its needs during these three long weeks.
*This text has been published also in h-The Gravitational Voice, n.28