This US-Egypt collaborative research project will create a network to promote the scientific collaboration and training of young scientists in particle physics in different universities and academic institutions in the USA and Egypt. The collaborators will analyze experimental data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in CERN and also perform Monte Carlo simulations that involve other fields, such as medical physics, space science and astrophysics. The US team, lead by Dr. Nural Akchurin at Texas Tech University, plans to collaborate with Dr. Amr Radi at Ain Shams University (AU) and with researchers at Helwan University (HU) and the British University in Egypt (BUE) to establish the first Egyptian Grid network in Particle Physics (EGNPP).

Intellectual merit. This cooperative effort between the physicists and computer scientists of the US and Egypt will promote a strong scientific collaboration centered on the CMS experiment at LHC/CERN. With the re-start of the LHC, the team expects to collect excellent data for many years to come. The anticipation of discoveries and challenges posed by detector construction and computing (data analyses) is what brings the team together. The PI considers this project a strong paradigm for disseminating the kind of scientific wealth and opportunity that will build a wider and more diverse scientific community. High energy particle physics has always led the way in large and effective international collaborations, and the PI maintains that the LHC project should be no different. This collaboration will engage US and Egyptian scientists into the data analyses, event generation, and computing structure of the experiment.

Broader impacts. Texas Tech University has been a long and active participant in the CMS experiment, and the particle physics group has established a successful grid computing environment on campus. Texas Tech facilities have not only served as models to other scientific disciplines on campus but also provided a stable computer and storage environment to CMS. The team intends to organize seminars and concentrated courses, delivered by senior physicists from the participating institutions. And, the PI plans to hold monthly videoconferences with the computing and analyses CMS groups at CERN, the Egyptians, and the TTU group using the EVO videoconferencing system.

This award is being supported by the Office of International Science and Engineering's Africa, Near East, and South Asia Program.

Project Report

The cooperative research efforts of the US and Egypt to establish a computational grid structure for particle physics started in 2010 between Texas Tech and Ain Shams Universities. Cairo, Helwan, and British University in Egypt were also partners. The European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland played a central role in this partnership, and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment at CERN provided the scientific and technical core for which the US and Egyptian project members were participants. The main objective of this project was to identify and train junior scientists from Egypt to work towards building scientific computing tools (clusters, networks, and software systems) in Egypt, performing analyses using the proton-proton collision data from the CMS detector, and generating the Monte Carlo event samples needed to study particular event topologies. One junior faculty member from Egypt travelled to CERN to work and exercise grid tools in January-February 2011. The beginning of 2011 also witnessed the Egyptian revolution. A master’s thesis student joined the junior faculty in July-August 2011 at CERN to form a team and to continue developing the skills needed for the analyses of collision data from the CMS experiment using grid services. During their stay at CERN, the members of the TTU group worked closely with these Egyptian participants and established a productive environment. Several presentations were given about the status of their analyses, in particular W+jets studies, to the members of the CMS experiment. Both members of the Egyptian team returned to their home institutions in the fall of 2011 and eventually discontinued working on this project. The disruptions of civil life that inevitably followed the revolution had the effect of stalling this project in 2012. In 2013, we started to work with a junior scientist at CERN towards the same goals as previously. The project was successful in establishing contacts in Egyptian higher education and research institutions and in training three junior scientists in the grid computing tools needed for the analyses of collision data from the CMS experiment at CERN.

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Texas Tech University
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