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Master’s Thesis Defence

August 4, 2010

Taylor and the HALO Detector at SNOLAB

 For the last three years I have been working toward completing my Master’s degree in Physics. I have been working of a galactic supernova neutrino detector called HALO. This detector is located 2 km underground in a cleanroom facility in an active mine.  All of my research was compiled into a ~155 page document. Today I defended my research over a 45 minutes public presentation and 75 minute closed ‘interrogation’ from my examination committee consisting of 4 professors.  The presentation went well – I was nervous at the beginning and supposedly talked quite fast but then I calmed down and talked at a regular pace. I finished at 45 minutes on-the-dot which was fan-friggin-tastic because I had practiced a few times during the last week and was way over every time. Nervousness = talking fast = time management skills! Who knew? In the end I was granted a successful completion with ‘minor revisions’ (Typos, small clarifications, references, etc.).

Afterward a few people from the physics department went out for dinner at the favourite physics pub.   Originally I ordered a water (to save on calories) until someone reminded me that I should be celebrating. Oh yeah… 

Looking back over the last three years I have gotten a little sentimental. In fact I got a little choked up when I got to the acknowledgement slide of my presentation. I am such a girl. Since September 2007 I have made new friends, lost loved ones and met and married my husband. The end of my Master’s degree closes another chapter of my life. I’m wondering what the next stage has to bring…

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