STAR Council information

Welcome to the STAR council page.

Chairperson: Jana Bielcikova



Advisory Board

General information

Agenda and minutes



Charter for STAR's advisory board

  1. Membership

    The STAR Advisory Board will consist of up to 14 STAR members, including the Spokesperson, Deputy Spokespersons, Council Chair, Deputy Council Chair, Physics Analysis Coordinator, Software & Computing Leader, and Operations Coordinator. The Council will chose the other members. The Council shall elect six members: three from the collaboration at large, one from the STAR Operations Group and two from the ranks of the Physics Working Group Convenors. The latter six elected members of the Advisory Board shall serve staggered two-year terms. In the steady state, the Council shall elect three members each year. It is intended that members of the Advisory Board be chosen for their collective broad scientific judgment, technical expertise and realistic knowledge of the status, capabilities and available resources of the experiment and of the Collaboration, not as representatives of any particular institution or detector subsystem.


  2. Function

    Advisory Board shall provide advice to the Spokesperson and the Council based on in-depth study of issues of major importance to the Collaboration that are placed on the Board's agenda. These issues may include scientific priorities of the experiment, beam use requests and other STAR input to RHIC scheduling considerations, STAR budget and manpower allocations, urgent decisions regarding announcement of scientific results, and priority choices among upgrade paths, among others. The Advisory Board may appoint review committees and task forces to provide input and analysis on technical, scientific and technological decisions, as needed.


  3. Meetings

    Meetings of the Advisory Board shall be held at least once every two months and shall be called by and chaired by the Spokesperson, or by his or her designated representative. The agenda for regularly scheduled meetings shall be determined by the Spokesperson in consultation with the Council Chair. This agenda will be made available to Board members and to the Collaboration at least a week before the meeting. Other meetings to address specific issues may be called, as needed, by the Spokesperson or by the Council Chair. Summary minutes of the Advisory Board shall be made available to collaboration members on the STAR web pages.


  4. Council Review of Advisory Board

    The operation and utility of the Board will be reviewed by the Council after its first year of operation. A positive Council vote following this review will be needed to continue the Board's existence.



Advisory polls and election information are provided as sub-documents.

Voting are council based.

Meeting Minutes

All minutes will be posted in PDF or html format.




First meeting, May 6, 2002

Perserverance Hall, LBNL

Recorded by T. Hallman

The opening discussion focused on the nature of the Advisory Board, and the fact that it is advisory to the Spokesperson. The suggestion was made and accepted that sessions would be open to the collaboration membership, with the understanding that if sensitive issues arose, the Board could at any time move to go into executive (closed) session. Discussions known a priori to be in this category would be noted as such on the agenda. It was further discussed that for this initial meeting the agenda had been put together jointly by the Spokesperson and the Council Chair. That would also be the case for future meetings, but the Advisory Board members would also be solicited for agenda items before each meeting.

A report was given by Bill Christie concerning ongoing repairs to the SVT hardware by David Lynn, Bill Leonhardt, et al. Helen Caines presented the status of the software and analysis effort for the SVT. The conclusions were that the ongoing hardware repairs appeared to be in hand in terms of readying the SVT for operation in the coming run. The software effort was noted to also have made great strides, and it was stated that the manpower situation was looking somewhat brighter with the addition of Richard Witt from BERN/Yale. It was stated that more effort on software/analysis/calibration was needed, and that the Spokesperson should encourage groups whose physics interests are tied to the SVT to become involved in this software effort. It is hoped that the SVT will become a standard component of the DAQ and production chains for the coming run.

The continuing difficult situation with the productivity and environment in E-By-E was discussed. There was discussion concerning the impression from the status talk at the Analysis Meeting that the paper in preparation on non-statistical fluctuations in mean pt would not follow the recommendations of the committee chaired by Mike Lisa. It was commented that although the talk went beyond the discussion of the status of the paper, and one could get this impression, the writing team was in fact working to address various concerns about possible systematics, which was one of the main recommendations of the report. It was commented that when the text is ready, it will be returned to the Lisa Committee prior to going into GPC to verify that it reflects the conclusions of the committee's report. It was noted that the Lisa report is taken to represent the consensus view of the Collaboration and will be used as the blueprint to get this paper out. With regard to the future, the question of how to improve the general environment in E-By-E was discussed. No firm conclusion was reached, although it was discussed that because the difficulty appeared to be irreconcilable, and revolved around the dynamic between several individuals, some separatation of the principals might be necessary. This was noted not to be a complete solution, but one which would perhaps provide a better environment locally within the physics working groups, allowing young people in particular to work productively in a colleagial atmosphere.

A brief status report was given on a planned MRPC TOF proposal by Geary Eppley. The plan is to submit a proposal in May for consideration at the next Collaboration meeting, in anticipation of consideration by the BNL PAC next August.

A brief status report on the ongoing shutdown activities was given by Bill Christie. It was stated that at present, there was no need for the Advisory Board to give guidance on prioritization of the ongoing or planned activities, although it could happen later in the year that this would become necessary.


July 13, 2002

Subatech, Nantes, France

Recorded by J. Nelson and T. Hallman


P. Jacobs, S. Vigdor, J. Dunlop, J. Thomas, W. Christie, G. Eppley, T. Hallman(Chair), M. Kaplan, J. Marx, H-G. Ritter

  1. FPD Proposal

    Discussion began with focus on the proposal for a new forward pi zero detector. This detector is thought to be essential for polarized proton running in order to tune the spin rotators for STAR, to make measurements of left-right asymmetries for forward pi zeros produced by transversely polarized protons, and to take a first look at the gluon distribution in dAu collisions.

    A minimal initial configuration would include four detectors (two East and West), whereas to realize the complete reach of the proposal, 4 detectors on each side would be required.

    The initial findings of the review panel chaired by J. Symons were discussed. The panel judged the physics merit to be high, and the need for this detector for polarimetry to be essential. They also expressed concern however about the possibility the inclusive pi zero asymmetry might be zero (although first results seemed to indicate this was not the case), and that the debris in the Au direction in dAu collisions might prevent some of the proposed physics from being accomplished.

    It was noted that for a minimal configuration to be available in the coming run funds for PMTs would be needed soon.

    S.Vigdor indicated he would investigate whether it might be possible to loan PMTs (but bases are not available) from IUCF, provided a future purchase could replace them soon.

    It was also noted that funds would be needed immediately for some mechanical construction.

    Several simulations had yet to be done (e.g. the background in the gold direction in dAu collisions) and should be done as soon as possible.

    Advice to spokesman: the group should be encouraged to try to make progress towards the implementation of at least a minimal configuration for the next run. In particular they should start mechanical work, and accomplish simulations to finalize detector requirements. Full approval should wait until next meeting when it was expected that further analysis of the data in hand as well as simulations would be available.


  2. MRPC ToF

    The status of the TOF proposal and first comments from the review panel were discussed. The panel felt that the physics case could be strengthened, as well as some practical aspects of the proposed construction project. Further simulations and figures concerning expected gains in scientific reach for STAR were noted to be needed.

    It was commented that this proposal is not tied directly to a possible proposed micro vertex detector. It was also noted that the strongest arguments presently made concerned e-by-e and charm physics topics.

    T. Hallman suggested a workshop in September to get a broad participation from the Collaboration focused on improving the proposal, and doing further simulations. He indicated he would get together a group to organize the workshop. It was noted that this was needed right away.

    The Advisory Board supported this suggestion.


  3. Beam use request

    There was a discussion concerning Tim Hallman's strawman BUR proposal presented at the collaboration meeting. Concern was expressed about the 6 weeks needed (5 setup 1 week of AuAu) to calibrate the EMC and a question was raised whether or not this work could be accomplished with dAu. The question was also raised whether RHIC might startup with AuAu anyway as a way to start up efficiently; if so, the calorimeter could be calibrated during this period. W.Christie was asked to investigate both these questions.

    The Advisory Board concurred that dAu and polarized pp should have high priority in the BUR.


  4. ExE working group

    There was a discussion which centered on how to improve efficient physics analysis and a good physics working group environment in the area of e-by-e physics. Suggestions were made concerning a possible person to co-convene with Gary Westfall for the existing ExE group as well as the establishment of a new Event Structure working group under the convenorship of L.Ray. Tim Hallman indicated that for the existing e-by-e convenor consideration the members of the group would be solicited for their opinions according to the standard agreed upon procedure.

    The Board encouraged the spokesman to pursue these possibilities in the broader interests of the collaboration.


  5. Priorities for final installation/commissionig

    There was a brief discussion of the fact that it may be necessary due to finite time and resources to establish priorities for final installation and commissioning of detectors in the fall in preparation for the next run. The consensus was that this may be necessary but that it was too soon to have a detailed discussion and this would be visited later depending on the need.

    There was a brief discussion of the Endcap EMC construction and the tight schedule for the part of that detector scheduled to be installed before the next run. There was a consensus that all efforts should be made to install the EEMC under the assumption that the radiator sheet repairs could be completed on the time scale presented to the collaboration.


  6. Piorities for end of year funds

    There was brief discussion concerning which project should have priority for any end of year funds that might be available. Projects considered were the FPD, the EEMC, and R&D for the Barrel TOF electronics. In view of the urgency of getting started on the FPD construction, and statements that the EEMC and TOF electronics R&D projects did not have needs as urgent on the time scale of a few months, it was decided the FPD would have priority for any end of year funds that might be availble to try to get started on installing a minimal implementation for the next run.



October 25, 2002

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Recorded by J. Nelson and T. Hallman


T. Hallman (Chair) J.Dunlop, S.Vigdor, W.Christie, G.Eppley, J.Nelson, T. Ludlam, J. Lauret, P.Jacobs, R. Brown, J.Thomas Video Link:

J.Marx, H-G. Ritter, H.Wieman Phone Link:

R. Bellwied, M.Kaplan, C. Whitten

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting were reviewed and it was confirmed that those items which required actions, had been concluded.
  2. ITTF: R. Bellwied presented the report of the September Review Committee. However, the recommendation of the Committee was that the ITTF should be deployed as soon as possible. The ITTF was not yet ready for deployment and further work is urgently required if the tracker is to be reviewed in December for use in January. If it is not ready for January, then a slippage of 6 months is inevitable. R. Bellwied considered that the use of ITTF for AuAu in year 4 was an absolute necessity. There is both a short- and long- term problem. In the short term, there is an immediate need to retain the present team until the end of December. An additional FTE on the project as soon as possible would be a strong signal that the ITTF is getting active support.

    Advice: it was agreed that the spokesman should consult the groups from Yale, Kent State, Wayne State, and BNL with a view to encouraging the current team to continue. The Spokesperson should also approach the collaboration for extra manpower.

    In the longer term, the use of ITTF as STAR's principal tracker requires a commitment either from a national laboratory (for continuity) and/or a consortium of Universities to provide support.

    Concern was expressed about a changeover in January. It is important to run the old and new in parallel in order to establish that bias was not being introduced in the analysis.

    The report of the Review Committee was accepted.


  3. FPD: L. Bland introduced simulations to investigate background in the Au beam direction that had been carried out following the previous Advisory Board meeting. These showed reconstruction of the pizero mass in the Au direction. There is a clear indication of signal but more work is necessary. In reply to a question, TH reported that funding for the FPD could be obtained in principle from BNL capital funds. The overall list of capital equipment needs will come to the Advisory Board for prioritization.

    The report of the FPD Review Committee was approved.


  4. Resource priorities for FPD, PMD and EEC. R. Brown's paper showing tasks in hand and those without allocated resources, was introduced. The baseline detector was defined as Magnet, TPC, FTPC, CTB, TOFp,BEMC, BBC, SVT, DAQ and TRG. The outer layer of the BBC was dependent on certain priorities being set for production at Fermi Lab.

    PMD: T.Nayak presented a scenario in which the PMD would be mainly checked out as an engineering run. It was not anticipated that it would be used in dedicated physics run.

    EEMC: S. Vigdor: the tower readout will be ready for trigger this year. This would largely be an engineering run so that by the time of the pp run it would be ready for high pt physics. It provides a much improved acceptance. A requirement would be that the pole-tip remains out for as long as possible. This means a late mounting for the BBC.

    FPD: L. Bland: Pizero spectra would be obtained from E and W sides. In the pp run, it would be used for vertical polarization measurements and, importantly, to tune the spin rotation magnets. The present plan is to instrument the complete FPD on the east side, plus single (N or S) calorimeter on west side.

    It was agreed that the priority for resources available beyond those to ready the baseline from R. Brown would be: FPD, EEC and PMD in that order.

    Funding of the FPD would be sought from capital equipment funds which STAR may have at its discretion.


  5. R&D proposal and Upgrades Discussion: T. Ludlam introduced a discussion on the STAR Upgrades proposal for FY2003 to FY2005. This sets a picture for STAR's future: TOF, �VTX, Daq+Trg, new TPC. Is this the way forward? If luminosity increased as planned eventually a new TPC will be required. Priorities will have to be set once it is known what level of funds will be available. There may be some projects for which the R&D can be jointly undertaken with other experiments.

    It is important to ready the physics case for the upgrade of STAR/RHIC to be ready for the 19/20 December meeting so that BNL and DOE management are properly informed about what is being planned. T. Hallman was asked to present update the Advisory Boatd on progress in this area in 2-3 weeks.

    A STAR R&D proposal based on technical considerations has already been submitted. A corresponding physics supplement is urgently required.


  6. EMC: T. Ludlam presented a summary of the recent EMC review. The full half barrel is in place and should be ready for the run. There is, however, a problem with PM readout where half of the tubes showed a gain instability leading to double peaks. This was due to a problem with the PMT bases. The problem bases have been replaced but there is concern the remaining half might develop the same symptoms. Further investigation is needed.

    Outcome of the review: the goal is to have all modules completed in FY04. A funding advance will be needed to forward fund some work earlier in FY03 to accomplish this. The review went well in general.


  7. General:
    1. agreed to request one some type of regularly scheduled Maintenance Shift per week; the proposal being considered by the four collaborations is 1 shift per week through December, and 1 shift every two weeks for the period of the run following December.


    2. release of data: based on the conclusions from the convenors' meeting, it was agreed that if STAR data appearing in published conference proceedings were requested by non-STAR physicists, the standard procedure would be to honor the request and release the data. People making such request would be asked to maintain the "STAR preliminary data" designation if the data were so designated in the proceedings.


    Advice: T. Hallman was requested to contact PRL concerning STAR preliminary data being published by a non-STAR physicist. Would this prejudice against future publication of this data in PRL by STAR?


  8. MRPC TOF update: J.Marx requested information on improvements to the report as requested by the July meeting of the Advisory Board. Since the latest report has not yet been released, T. Hallman presented a brief outline. The case for full acceptance rests mainly on ExE correlations. The Board considered that a stronger case is required with a broader physics base. The views of theorists should be in incorporated into the report. The funding requirement is quite substantial and a broad physics case is needed for successful approval.


  9. Shifts: It was agreed that 4 people will constitute a single shift crew and that a full sign-up of shifts will be required as soon as shift list is opened.


  10. It was agreed that an attempt would be made to schedule major STAR meetings (Analysis meeting, Collaboration meetings) as far in advance as possible.



February 26, 2003

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Compiled by Bill Christie / Edited by T. Hallman

Present: T. Hallman (Chair), S. Vigdor, J. Thomas, H. Wieman, H.G. Ritter, D. Majka, J. Dunlop, P. Jacobs, G. Eppley, B. Christie, M. Kaplan, D. Keane

Phone Link: J. Marx

Time of Flight Proposal Report and Discussion

Dick Majka summarized the report of the STAR Committee that had reviewed the TOF proposal. The committee had two recommendations regarding the content of the TOF proposal:


  1. There should be a rapid check to confirm that there are no technical integration issues for the TOF that could be "Show Stoppers".


  2. A rough estimate of the budgetary impact of the integration issues should be compiled.


The Advisory Board was polled with the result that the Board strongly supported the TOF proposal for STAR, and believed it should move forward to the next step in the approval process, carrying out the above items quickly in parallel.

Report by the STAR Talks Committee Chair

Declan Keane gave a presentation to the Board on some current STAR Talks Committee policies. Various options were discussed on how to deal with various sorts of requests for STAR talks at conferences. One topic discussed was how invited talks should be dealt with. At present, everyone who is invited to give a talk on STAR results is expected to inform the Talks Committee of the invitation, but individuals are not expected to get approval before accepting the invitation.

There was discussion around the point that this policy should perhaps be changed so that in addition to informing the committee, an individual should wait to respond to the invitation until the STC gives its approval. It was noted that this is the way some other collaborations (specifically PHENIX) approach this question. It was discussed that in the vast majority of cases, the person invited to give the talk would likely be approved to to accept the invitation. The sense of the Board was that STAR should consider adopting such a policy regarding invited talks.

It was noted that Carl Gagliardi was scheduled to give a presentation to the STAR Council on Policy Issues regarding STAR talks, that this issue might be one that he and the Talks Policy Committee had already discussed. If not, the Talks Policy Committee should be asked to consider addressing this issue.

Discussion of whether to extend the Charter of the Advisory Board

The discussion centered on the fact that when the STAR Council set up the STAR Advisory Board it was explicitly stated that the utility of the Advisory Board must be revisited after one year, and that a positive vote of the STAR Council would be required to extend its charter. There was some discussion that perhaps the makeup of the Advisory should be revisited.

The point was made that the Advisoryy Board was set up to advise the STAR Spokesperson and Council Chair in carrying out their duties. Both Tim and Jay indicated that they'd found the discussions with, and advice from, the Advisory Board very useful, and that they both wanted to see it continue.

Brief discussion of any forseen issues with the FY03 Shutdown plan

The primary points raised in this discussion were:


  • Jim Thomas will inquire what the SSD group's priorities and plans are


  • The upper EEMC lifting fixture is a critical path item


  • There may be an issue with the clear fiber production schedule for the BEMC


Discussion of new responsibilities of the Deputy Spokespersons

This was an informational item for the Advisory Board. Tim Hallman discussed that he had asked Jim Thomas to take responsibility for tracking the progress of new detector sub-system projects. This includes tracking projects through the design, construction, installation, and initial commissioning stages. In this role Jim will also be a point of contact for BNL Management and DOE if they have questions on the progress of ongoing STAR upgrades.

Tim also discussed that he had asked Steve Vigdor and Dick Majka to help guide the efforts within STAR related to further development of STAR's future upgrade plans. This effort involves building on the work by the Upgrades Steering Committee, Chaired by Tom Ludlam, and performing simulation studies and R&D to further define and refine the physics issues to be addressed in the future, as well as the ability of proposed detector technologies to extract this physics.

Discussion of FY03 Capital Equipment and R&D funds

  • STAR received a recent disbursement of about 250 k$ for FY03 capital equipment. These were used largely for the construction of the Forward Pi Zero Detector. In addition, RCF funding allocated for STAR use was increased by approximately $150k, allowing for the purchase of a number of additional tape drives for STAR to allow synching and analyzing data at the same time efficiently.


  • An additional 250 k$ has been requested as part of a revised FY03 request to the DOE. We should know more about these possible additional funds within a few weeks.


  • It is also expected that information regarding the amount of R&D funds available to STAR should be known in a few weeks.



June 5, 2003

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Present: T. Hallman (Chair), B. Christie, J. Dunlop, G. Eppley, H. Huang, P. Jacobs, T. Ljubicic, D. Majka, J. Marx, H.G. Ritter, J. Thomas, H. Wieman


  1. Discussion of nominations for new STAR Talks Committee members to replace the people due to rotate off the panel.

    The Board discussed some of the considerations for the makeup of the STC (e.g. international representation, confidence in the Board's balance and fairness, etc.) as well as possible candidates. The Board will give input and select two people from those nominated by email after the meeting.


  2. Draft Upgrades Outline/Direction for Response to Tom Kirk

    There was a brief discussion concerning the decadal (upgrades) plan solicited by Tom Kirk for discussion at the upcoming PAC meeting in September. The plan is to have a draft ready for the collaboration to read and comment on by mid-July. A final draft would be sent to the Advisory Board and the Council towards the end of that month, for review, and discussion/conclusion during their meetings at the Collaboration meeting in August.

    The Beam Use Request will be similar. It is due to Tom Kirk by August 29th.


  3. Discussion of possible funding profiles/priorities for initial upgrade construction projects as a function of fiscal year (possible MRPC TOF Barrel, Micro-Vertex Tracker Scenarios from 2004-2007)

    There was some discussion of the near-term prospectus for STAR upgrades. It is hoped that the DOE supported Major Item of Equipment (MIE) construction project for the MRPC Barrel Time Of Flight detector could begin in FY2005. It would continue through FY2006 in the proposal that has been submitted to BNL Management. It was also discussed that the proposal for a micro-vertex detector should be ready for review by the Collaboration in December of this year, so that (assuming it is approved) it can be included in the BNL Field Work Proposal next February for a possible construction start in FY2006 (starting the project at this time is not guaranteed; but for this to be possible at all, it must be included in the BNL field work proposal submitted in February of 2004).


  4. A report on STAR's future requirements for computational capabilities -- hardware (CPU, storage, networking, etc.) and software for the next 5 years and how development plans for RCF, PDSF, etc. map onto these plans....e.g. what is our strategic plan for computing?

    Due the rigors of the ittf review, there was not a presentation or detailed discussion on this point. A general consensus though was that we need to examine our future needs for computing with input from different interests/segments of the Collaboration and have some detailed discussion of this at the Collaboration meeting in August.


  5. Initial thoughts/discussion on next year's Beam Use Request.

    There was a brief discussion that the working assumption for cryo operation of RHIC in the next run is 27 weeks; subtracting approximately 3 weeks for machine needs (cool down, warm up, etc.) and 5 weeks of setup for each configuration, it would be very challenging to run two configurations (which would leave a total of 14 weeks for physics data taking, best case). The concern was whether we could reasonably have both an ion run and a spin run in the same year as we did this year, or there should be two more or less dedicated runs (one for ions, one for spin) in consecutive years. Support was expressed for some time (a few weeks) at a minimum for spin physics machine development to insure important questions could be answered, and the momentum of the program could be maintained. No firm conclusion was reached; it was stated we need input from the collider people as well to know what makes sense.


Item that came up from the floor:

Discussion of the upcoming colloquium and press release. There was discussion surrounding this event, and a recommendation that the Spokesperson insure to the extent possible that the language of the press release reflect STAR's viewpoint.


August 12, 2003

Michigan State University

Recorded by T. Hallman


Attending: J. Lauret (invited), R. Majka, M. Kaplan (Observer), J. Dunlop, H. Huang, G. Eppley, J. Thomas, T. Hallman, H. Wieman, B. Christie, T. Ljubicic

The following topics were discussed:


  1. Beam Use Request:

    The discussion began with general considerations regarding the BUR: that it will be important coming up to the Long Range Plan that the heavy ion part of the program gets good grades concerning the effort to search for the QGP; that to realize the spin program that has been envisioned there needs to be steady yearly progress and a lot of integrated luminosity; that whatever BUR is developed we have to insure that it does not put us in the position of doing everything uniformly poorly.

    It was reiterated that a clear statement in the BUR submitted would be that a nominal running period of 27 weeks is not sufficient to carry out the heavy ion and spin physics programs without significantly delaying and/or damaging the spin program, the heavy ion program, or both.

    The scenarios planned to be discussed at the open session at the Collaboration meeting, (previously sent to the Collaboration in email) and their implications were discussed.

    The consensus was that a plan which came as close as possible to optimizing the use of the time given all of the goals and constraints was a plan with several performance based goals:


    1. start with full energy AuAu running with the goal of integrating 30 million central events useful for open charm, and > 50 million min bias for elliptic flow studies, running 50% live to accomodate rare triggers (high pt, upsilon, etc.) Other strangeness, HBT, UPC, e x e goals would be accomodated in this data set as well.


    2. work to achieve very high efficiency of data collection; if the above goals achieved quickly enough request 2 weeks at roots_NN = 63 GeV for high pt and soft physics comparison data.


    3. dedicate 5 weeks to spin physics machine development. If machine performance is good, request 3 additional weeks for spin physics data taking.



  2. Decadal Plan

    There was a discussion of the existing draft Decadal Plan document. It was discussed that there needed to be a section included on computing. Also that Dick Majka was going to set a deadline for final comments of August 22.


  3. Other Topics and Action Items


    1. T. Hallman indicated that he was going to oversee the writing of a 1-2 page executive summary for the Decadal Plan.


    2. J. Lauret indicated he would add a section to the Decadal Plan on the outlook for STAR computing in the future


    3. T. Hallman indicated that he was going to propose to the STAR Council that the STAR Software and Computing Leader be officially included as a member of the Advisory Board


    4. There was discussion concerning the need to be more comprehensive about identifying, listing, and tracking service work for students.


    5. There was discussion of comments made at the STAR critique meeting concerning staffing of shifts, training, etc. Two important conclusions (others are under conisderation and may be forthcoming) were that to be optimally efficient, there should be 2 detector operators on each shift in addition to the shift leader. (The precise makeup of the remainder of the shift staff TBD.) Also, that it was critical that people were conscientious about staying for the overlap day and insuring a robust transfer of knowledge and training to the oncoming shift.




Affliation - Date Elected Representative E-mail Phone #
Council Chair Hank Crawford 510-486-6962
Spokesperson Nu Xu 510-495-2951
Deputy Spokesperson Jamie Dunlop 631-344-7781
Deputy Spokesperson Olga Barannikova 312-996-4313
Deputy Spokesperson Bernd Surrow 617-325-1522
Physics Analysis Coordinator Bedanga Mohanty 631-344-
Computer Coordinator Jerome Lauret 637-344-2450
Operations Coordinator Bill Christie 631-344-7137
Operations Group Seat - 4/08 Stephen Trentalange 310-794-4259
PWG Convenor Seat - 4/06 Declan Keane 330-672-00089
PWG Convenor Sear - 5/07      
At Large Seat - 6/08 Carl Gagliardi 979-845-1411
At Large Seat - 6/08 Mike Lisa lisa@mps.ohio-state-edu 614-292-8524
At Large Seat - 6/08 Ernst Sichtermann 510-486-5401
At Large Seat - 5/07 Thomas Ullrich 631-344-3922
At Large Seat - 5/07 Peter Jones 44-121-414-4677



This page will archive reports submitted for consideration to the advisory board.


Authors and Shift accounting

This page will hold a collection of shift and author accounting for the council's information only.
They are usually provided as attachments at the bottom of this page.

Committees reports

Committee on dispute over submission of ISMD09 Proceedings - Kettler

Committee members: Declan Keane, Jerome Lauret, Saskia Mioduszewski

Report from the committee

A STAR Notes was created holding the fianl report. See PSN0521 : Report from the council commitee on the "ISMD proceedings" for details.

List of email correspondence:

Jetcorr list, October 2009:

Original posting of proceedings: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler (D. Kettler) 27 Oct 2009

Responses and follow-ups (Thread 411):

1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Oct 27, 14:40
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Oct 27, 18:58
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Oct 31, 22:14
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Lanny Ray, Oct 27, 19:18
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Oct 28, 16:58
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Oct 28, 21:52
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Joern Putschke, Oct 29, 16:22
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Nov 02, 17:04
3. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Bedanga Mohanty, Oct 28, 20:26
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Oct 29, 20:08
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Bedanga Mohanty, Oct 29, 20:34
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Oct 30, 20:00
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Bedanga Mohanty, Oct 30, 22:40
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Bedanga Mohanty, Oct 31, 22:46
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by James Dunlop, Nov 02, 21:04
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Anthony R. Timmins, Nov 02, 15:36
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Nov 02, 20:52
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Nov 02, 22:42
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Anthony R. Timmins, Nov 03, 10:14

Thread 413: Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler (Tom Trainor) Nov 01, 13:44

1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 02, 15:04
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 02, 15:38
1. None systematic errors for 2D fits by Tom Trainor, Nov 02, 20:32
1. None Re: systematic errors for 2D fits by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 03, 10:42
(_ None Re: systematic errors for 2D fits by Tom Trainor, Nov 03, 14:16
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 03, 10:18
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 03, 14:02
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 04, 09:58
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 04, 12:42
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 04, 13:44
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 04, 14:00
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Evan Finch, Nov 04, 10:04
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 04, 11:38
3. None systematic errors for 1D fits by Tom Trainor, Nov 03, 13:08
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 05, 15:24
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 05, 18:00
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 06, 10:44
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 06, 11:58
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 06, 16:10

 Thread 414:Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler (Tom Trainor) 01 Nov 2009

1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 01, 17:26

Thread 418:  Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler (Bedanga Mohanty) 03 Nov 2009

Thread 420: Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler (Bedanga Mohanty) 05 Nov 2009

1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 04, 21:44
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Nov 04, 22:06
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 06, 16:58
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Dave Kettler, Nov 13, 21:04
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 16, 09:38
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Lanny Ray, Nov 17, 15:36
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 17, 16:20
2. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Lanny Ray, Nov 05, 12:18
1. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 05, 13:28
(_ None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Lanny Ray, Nov 06, 10:12
3. None Re: ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler by Tom Trainor, Nov 05, 13:46


Davids ISMD Proceedings (Joern Putschke)

1. None Re: Davids ISMD Proceedings by Dave Kettler, Nov 17, 18:44
(_ None Re: Davids ISMD Proceedings by Joern Putschke, Nov 18, 08:56
(_ None Re: Davids ISMD Proceedings by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 18, 12:06
(_ None Re: Davids ISMD Proceedings by Tom Trainor, Nov 18, 15:18
(_ None Re: Davids ISMD Proceedings by Dave Kettler, Nov 18, 15:32


Recommendation to publish David Kettler's ISMD09 proceedings (Lanny Ray) 23 Nov 2009

1. None Re: Recommendation to publish David Kettler's ISMD09 proceedings by Fuqiang Wang, Nov 23, 19:40
2. None Re: Recommendation to publish David Kettler's ISMD09 proceedings by Nu Xu, Nov 24, 11:28


[Fwd: Re: David Kettler's ISMD09 proceedings] (Lanny Ray) 14 Dec 2009


status of David Kettler's ISMD proceedings (Tom Trainor) 31 Jan 2010


Bulkcorr list, December 2009:

Posting of proceedings: ISMD2009 proceedings - David Kettler (Dave Kettler) 04 Dec 2009


STAR-papers list:

October 2009:

[Starpapers-l] ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler   D. Kettler

[Starpapers-l] ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler   Lanny Ray

December 2009:

[Starpapers-l] ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler   Lanny Ray

[Starpapers-l] ISMD 2009 Proceedings - Kettler   Sudhir Raniwala


Private Emails Forwarded to the Committee:

Hank Crawford

Nu Xu

Bedanga Mohanty

Joern Putschke

Fuqiang Wang

Tom Trainor



Council business

All matters will be posted in PDF or html format.

Meetings and Minutes

All minutes will be posted in PDF or html format.

Those documents are not available to the public. You must authenticate to Drupal to see this page and beyond.



Minutes of the STAR Council Meeting on January 11, 2001

T. Hallman, recording

John Harris opened the meeting with a comment that it was very nice to see all the physics being produced, but that it also made it very challenging to organize the latest results (still changing) for the Quark Matter plenary talk.

There was a brief discussion of the agenda, and of the fact that the closed discussion without STAR Management would be after lunch, led by Steve Vigdor. It was agreed this was fine.

A short discussion of the STAR Long Range Plan followed. John Harris spoke briefly on the basic approach, and upon the fact that the group that had developed the plan was chaired by Rene Bellwied. He also mentioned that the Management felt the Council should vote on acceptance of the document at some point.

It was commented that the existing document needed additional text on the STAR spin physics program, and upon the need for higher luminosity. It was stated that Les Bland and Geary Eppley would be approached to help with that. Jack Sandweiss indicated he felt that a key point which should be emphasized in the executive summary was the need to increase the ability to take data faster.

Hans Georg Ritter raised a point about the language in the document regarding the need to replace the TPC in the future. It was commented that the main point in the document was that studies need to be made to see what tracking performance will be required by the machine and the physics in the future and that it should be emphasized that R&D funds will be needed at some point to carry this out. There was a comment that the need for R&D should also be emphasized in the executive summary.

There was a comment by Mike LeVine, that he and Matthias Messer felt the discussion of how we increase the data rate should be revised, and that they would propose different wording for that.

The discussion moved on to the Graduate Student Thesis Policy Report.

There was a discussion that the definition of what is counted as community service by students was not clear (particularly as it relates to what a student might do for his/her thesis). There was also discussion that students in Europe have a limited time to get their degree, and that specific times or percentages required for community service should be removed from the document. In the end, it was felt that the enforcement of this policy was really a matter for the Institutional Representatives, and that this policy would give the Spokesman and the Council leverage but not a proscription in cases where it was felt the policy was not being respected.

A vote was taken, and the policy was unanimously accepted. A list of students and their projects will be put on the web. Students will be asked to check the list and verify its accuracy.

A discussion of our procedures and policies regarding papers ensued.

There was a comment by Mike LeVine that in general the process for papers seemed to be working well, but that we should never compress the STAR discussion of a draft paper to less than 2 weeks.

John Harris commented that the official BNL policy regarding the release of papers had changed; now collaborations only need to make the title and the abstract of the paper available to the BNL Management and the community 1 week before submmitting it for publication--not the paper itself. There was consenus in the discussion that STAR felt there was value added in continuing to make the paper itself available to the public one week prior to submission, and that STAR would continue to follow that policy.

John Harris reviewed the general time frame for papers; after being reviewed and approved by the Godfather committee, papers will be reviewed within STAR for a period of 2 weeks. Then in principle, they are released to the general community for comment for a period of one week prior to submission. BNL management and the other experiments are notified at that time, and during this 1 week period a talk on the paper is given at BNL. There was a comment that an additional step should be taken: that before release to the general community, the paper should go back to the godfather committee to insure all issues identified in the 2 week period have been adequately addressed. This has been the case in practice for both papers that have been submitted for publication by STAR.

The discussion turned to authorship rules; John Harris indicated he was very pleased with the response of the Council members in reviewing the list of people eligible for authorship from the institutions, and that people were taking this seriously.

There was a discussion of whether the "one year of service prior to authorship eligibility" requirement was too restrictive both in one special case, and in general for post docs.

It was not clear from the documents in hand, whether this was indeed a real STAR requirement or just the sense of the Collaboration. A number of people felt they had seen this in email, and it was indeed a requirement. The conclusion of the discussion was that the documents should be reviewed to determine precisely what the present policy is. Also that if the requirement is 1 year, this should be reviewed to see if this is too restrictive, especially for post docs, who may only be at one institution for 2 years. It was stated that this review should be performed very quickly in the interest of post docs presently on STAR who stand to miss out on a fairly large number of papers right away. It was stated a committee would be appointed to review this.

There was a specific question regarding eligibility of some people from Nantes and IReS. Specifically, a question was raised concerning whether engineers should be authors on papers. It was commented that in the U.S. we have not done that, certainly for scientific papers. There was concern however that in Europe the convention might be different. John Harris indicated he would discuss this with the concerned parties.John Harris said he would talk to those institutional reps off-line and come to a conclusion.

There was a discussion concerning authorlists on publications and how things should be handled when someone leaves STAR, but is still listed as an author for a period of 1 year, according to STAR authorship policies.

It was concluded that the institution which the person was at when the STAR work was done would be the institution "of record" listed on the paper; it was concluded further that it was logistically not possible to put everyone's present address in this or similar instances, and that we would not attempt to do this.

Next, there was a brief report on the work of the Talks Committee by Jack Sandweiss, followed by a discussion of how this has been going.

One comment was that a significant problem had been that Council Members had not been energetic enough in giving input to the Committee on who should be considered to give talks. Two suggestions to improve this situation were to solicit input from the physics working group convenors, and to create a standing, dynamic list of people in STAR who should be considered to give talks. There was a comment that the mechanics of how this worked were not clear; Jack Sandweiss commented that a message was sent to the Collaboration, but that he would revise it incorporating any possible changes, and send it again.

A question was raised as to whether institutional priorities for receiving talks should be set in advance. John Harris commented from the publication policies, that it was one of the tasks of the Spokesman to insure "an equitable distribution of talks to institutions and people..." It was commented and agreed that when we look retrospectively over a given period of time, qualitatively there should be equity in the selection of speakers from various institutions.

There was an additional comment that it might be better if, for example, in the case of meetings like Quark Matter, every abstract and speaker suggestion were passed on by the Talks Committee to the Spokesman and possibly to the organizing committee. Jack Sandweiss commented that this was really the main task of the Talks Committee--to review the candidate talks and speakers, and make a recommendation to the Spokesperson on what should be submitted.

Peter Jones asked how invited talks were to be handled. It was stated that people invited to give talks should notify the Spokesman, and he would determine whether it was appropriate to refer this to the Talks Committee or to simply tell the invitee to proceed. Contributed talks were noted to be outside the purview of the Talks Committee. The Committee should be made aware of them so they can be 'logged' but they would not get involved in consideration of contributed talks.

A question was raised whether the Talks Committee would be concerned e.g. for talks submitted to CHEP. The response was that technical talks would proceed through a sub-system leader or project leader, and were not within the purview of the Talks Committee.

A status update on the Photon Multiplicity Detector followed. The proposed addition has been approved by STAR, and John Harris is awaiting an updated technical proposal before writing to Tom Kirk officially requesting permission for this upgrade to be added to STAR.

A discussion followed in consideration of the Indian Groups joining STAR. It was commented the Indian team had six collaborating institutions, and the question arose of how they should be represented on the Council. The sense of the discussion was that each institution should have 1 seat, and that the voting members would be whoever was in attendance at the Council meetings filling those seats (i.e., votes would not be counted for Institutional reps who were absent). Because one of the institutions only appears to have 1 person, it may be that there will be only 5 new seats for the Indian institutions. John commented that he had committed some travel support for the Indian team during a two year period when installation and commissioning of the PMD will take place. This is at the level of $40k/year. After that, requests from Indian collaborators will compete like requests from elsewhere in the Collaboration. A question was also raised concerning whether there was an issue with Bikash Sinha being the overal team leader for the Indians since he is a theorist. John indicated he would speak to Sinha about this issue at Quark Matter.

The question was raised whether there were any junior member issues. The answer was that no issues had been identified. It was commented that the authorship requirements clearly affect junior members. The junior Council members commented that they were happy about the representation of junior members at Quark Matter.

Peter Jones asked about the status of the move to 1005. Tim Hallman commented that for the moment the move was on hold; we will stay in 902, and try to improve services there. John Harris and Tim Hallman will work towards an ultimate goal of finding a solution with everyone in the same location.

There was a presentation by Barbara Erazmus of the status of the SSD, including recommendations from a top level review of the project by a committee commissioned by in2p3. It was found that all of the technical hurdles have been passed, and the electronics are ready to go into full production. It was stated by the in2p3 committee that it was essential the remaining funds be found quickly to complete the project to avoid a stoppage in the production part way through. The shortfall at present is about 3 million french francs ($400k). It was commented by John Harris that it would not be possible to address this problem with FY01 capital equipment funds from BNL as there are things necessary for the next run which have a high priority.

There was a brief discussion of an initiative under Matthias Messer commissioned to develop a next generation integrated tracking software for STAR. Claude Pruneau from Wayne State is leading this effort. John Harris indicated he is concerned that the manpower on this effort is very sub-critical, and that he would appreciate it if Council members would encourage those who might have an interest to get involved.

There was a comment by John Harris that Spencer Klein has stepped down as the Working Group Convenor for peripheral collisions. Janet Seger will take on those responsibilities. It was commented that John understood from Hans Georg, that LBNL would continue to support this effort. It was commented further that this group expects to get a lot of data in the coming year. They could really use additional manpower, and anyone who is interested is encouraged to get involved.

There was a comment from Mike LeVine that it would be useful during the next run for senior level management to stand shifts, to underscore the value of this kind of effort to the general Collaboration membership. It was noted that Senior Management had been present in the control room much of the time. The value of standing shifts to underscore the value of shiftwork was recognized. There was further discussion that in the coming run, several of the detector systems (e.g. SVT, FTPC) would probably still be using detector experts heavily, and that the plan to have 2 detector operators on each shift might be overkill.

John Harris commented that he felt it was useful to have Collaboration meetings like this one relatively infrequently, with more single focus analysis meetings interspersed in between. It was discussed that the next Collaboration meeting would be in the summer, and that the date would be decided by March 1.

A proposal was made by Barbara Erazmus to hold a collaboration meeting in Nantes at Ecole des Mines in proximity to QM2002. The sense of the Council was that there was great interest in doing this, and that we should make a firm decision not later than the next Collaboration meeting.

Meeting adjourned.



See the PDF attached.


The minutes in PDF are attached below.


The minutes are attached as PDF below.


Minutes are in PDF format and attached below.


Minutes of STAR Council meeting July 15, 2002 at SUBATECH are attached as PDF below.


Minutes of STAR Council Meeting
February 27,  2003

Convened:   6:05 p.m.
Adjourned:    10:45 p.m.

Cadman, Cebra, Cherney, Kollegger, Christie, Crawford, X. Deng, Eckardt, Eppley, Gagliardi, Hallman, Heppelmann, Hoffmann, Huang, Kaplan, Keane, Kisiel, Koetke, Lednicky, Nayak, Nelson, Lopez-Noriega, Martin, Panebratsev, Ritter, Sandweiss, Schweda, Sowinski, Thomas, Trainor, F. Wang, Westfall, Z. Xu.
Guest: Majka

The meeting was chaired by Deputy Council Chair Mort Kaplan. John Nelson was called away early in the meeting to work on a DAQ problem at the experiment.



1) Election of New Deputy Council Chair

This person will serve as Deputy Chair for the coming 12 month period, then serve as Chair for two years, and thereafter serve as Deputy Chair for one further year.

The nominating committee (chaired by Gary Westfall) had earlier circulated candidate statements via e-mail. The two nominees who agreed to stand are Mike Cherney and Bill Christie. Several members of the Council expressed disappointment that a relatively large number of nominees had declined to stand. The election took place by secret ballot and Bill Christie was elected.

2) Extension of Advisory Board Charter

The Advisory Board was established a year ago on a trial basis. Tim Hallman reported that he greatly appreciated the input of the Advisory Board on matters of policy and personnel, such as the appointment of Convenors, and was fully supportive of making the board a permanent part of STAR management. Council Chair Jay Marx (who could not be present) also conveyed his support for continuing the board.

Motion (Trainor/Gagliardi): That the Advisory Board be continued for an indefinite period.
The motion passed with none opposed and two abstentions.

3) Spokesman's Report to Council

Tim Hallman's assessment of STAR identified some areas of current attention, where work remains in progress. These areas include

  • Making real advances in scientific understanding
  • Web infrastructure
  • User infrastructure at BNL
  • Management response time
  • Oversight of new detectors
  • Expanding STAR visibility and impact

In other areas, Tim's assessment was that the current status of STAR is quite healthy — these areas include

  • Scientific productivity (papers & other quantitative measures)
  • Installation of new detectors
  • Operations
  • Participation by STAR institutions
  • Distribution of talks
  • External reviews
  • Initiation of plan for future
  • Travel support for users
  • Vitality of STAR & interest from new institutions
  • Support of young scientists
  • General esprit de corps

4) Proposal for TOF Barrel based on MRPC Technology

Tim Hallman summarized the physics case for this device, as set out in the proposal. He also summarized the recommendations and comments from the internal STAR review committee chaired by Dick Majka. The Advisory Board has also given strong support to the proposal. Several technical concerns (not considered to be show stoppers) will be addressed by STAR management in parallel with the proposal going forward to BNL management.

Motion (Ritter/Trainor): That the Council supports proceeding with this proposal.
The motion passed unanimously.

5) Request by Cal Tech, NPI (Czech Rep.) & Zagreb Groups to join STAR

The necessary 75% of Council members were not present, and so no formal vote to admit was possible at this meeting. However, the consensus was that the Council should discuss each applicant group, take a straw poll, and follow-up with a formal vote via e-mail. The straw polls on all three applicant institutions indicated no opposing votes.

The Council also received an expression of intent from the U. of Bern to apply to become a STAR institution. The Bern group has been working on STAR under the umbrella of the Yale group. The sense of the Council was that the U. of Bern should be encouraged to formally apply.

Volker Eckardt announced that due to the impending retirement of Peter Seyboth and himself in summer 2004, the MPI-Munich group will no longer exist after that date, and a new group or institution will need to assume responsibility for the FTPC.

6) Report from Council Service Committee

Jerry Hoffmann, chair of this committee, summarized the status of efforts to match-up available manpower with unmanned or undermanned tasks. Extensive records generated in this connection are available on the web in the Council area. There was wide agreement that this effort has been very productive and successful.

7) Report from Council Publication & Talks Policy Committee

Carl Gagliardi, chair, summarized several Publication Policy changes recommended to the Council by this committee. These changes involve formalizing the procedure of early preview by the PWG Convenors of proposed papers, making referee reports and replies to same available to the collaboration, policy on single- or few-author papers based on preliminary STAR results, and policy on erroneous publications.

Motion (Crawford/Hoffmann): That the Council adopt the changes recommended by the Publication & Talks Policy Committee.
The motion passed with one opposed.

(The text of the adopted policies can be found on the STAR website under organization.)

Carl Gagliardi reported on some other publication policy issues considered by his committee, but which were not being addressed by any specific committee recommendation at this time. In this connection, it was the sense of the Council that the written Publication Policies did not need to include language about treatment and discussion of systematic errors in STAR papers.

Motion (Christie/Ritter): That we leave it to the discretion of the Spokesperson to decide case-by-case on co-authorship of STAR papers by individuals who are not STAR collaborators.
The motion passed with two opposed.

8) Report from Junior Members

Kai Schweda reported on some facts and concerns related to the junior members:

  • There are currently about 100 juniors
  • There have been 15 PhDs so far based on STAR
  • The 2nd STAR Junior Workshop was held on Monday February 24
  • Current concerns among the juniors members include
    • Lack of permanent position openings for those completing postdoc positions
    • Too few DHCP slots for visitors bringing laptops to BNL (Jim Thomas indicated that BNL ITD has a new head, and this issue is on his radar screen. Jim will follow up.)

9) Scheduling of Next Two Collaboration Meetings

It was agreed that the next STAR Collaboration Meeting will take place during the week of August 11, 2003 at Michigan State. The next meeting after that will likely be held during the first week of January 2004 (just before QM 04). The location of that meeting remains undecided, but it will not be too far distant from the Oakland, CA location of QM 04. Alternatively, a STAR Analysis Meeting may be scheduled in proximity to QM 04 and immediately preceding it, in which case the Collaboration Meeting may be deferred until Spring, 2004.


Minutes recorded by Declan Keane


Minutes for the STAR Council meeting at MSU are attached below as PDF.


Minutes are attached below as PDF.


The council meeting minutes are available as PDF attached below.


Meeting minutes are attached below as PDF.


Minutes are attached below as PDF.


Minutes of the STAR Council Meeting at BNL on 3 March 2006 are attached below as PDF.


The notes of STAR Council meeting at MIT 12 July 2006 are attached below as PDF.


The STAR Council meeting notes from Hefei, China are available below as PDF attachment.


The council meeting agenda and minutes are attached below as PDF.


The council meeting will be held in India.



junior's talk



The council meeting was held at BNL.


The council meeting was at LBNL.


Minutes of Last Meeting

Minutes of November 13, 2010 Meeting

STAR Council Agenda



STAR Council Meeting Agenda

STAR Council Minutes, Prague, May 18, 2011


STAR Council Meeting AGenda, 11-17-2012

STAR Council Meeting Minutes, 11-17-2011

STAR Council Meeting Minutes, 11-17-2011


STAR Council Meeting Agenda, 8-8-2012

STAR Council Meeting Minutes, 8-8-2012

 Added the revised version circulated to council












Below are links to files that will be part of the presentations.

AGENDA:  The draft minutes for this meeting are posted below.

The agenda for our meeting Thursday evening can be found below.


One of the first items on the agenda is the approval of the minutes from the 4 June 2015 meeting sponsored by SBU. You can find these minutes for your review before their approval at the meeting tomorrow as the last item on the page here:


We will take action on two applications for STAR Institutional Membership.  The application material that has been submitted by Prof. James Drachenberg (Lamar University) and by Prof. Evan Finch (Southern Connecticut State University) was sent out earlier to the council by email and is now posted below.  Your reading of these proposals before the meeting will be most helpful in informing the discussion and in expediting our action on each.


We will consider three proposed changes to the STAR bylaws.  These proposed changes along with accompanying rationale for each were sent to the council two weeks ago as a link to this blog page:

The files showing the specific proposed changes are accessible below.   If you have not already looked at these I encourage you to do so before the discussion at the meeting.


The shift report will reference the following blog page:












 Council meeting page for remote meeting
The meeting agenda is on the LBL indico page link here
As there is still not access for everybody these pages will be updated after the meeting with the relevant information



Tuesday, March 9, 2021 (9 am BNL)

ZOOM connection details: password: prague2021

I.      Approval of Meeting Minutes from the last Council Meeting in September 2020
II.     Spokesperson Report (Lijuan Ruan)
III.    New applications to join STAR:
a)      Ramkrishna Mission Residency College, Narendrapur, Kolkata, India (Amal Sarkar)
b)      University of Calabria, Rende, Cosenza, Italy (Salvatore Fazio)
         NOTE: Salvatore teaches from 8:30am - 11:30am, his talk will have to take place after 11:30am.
IV.     The EIC Experimental Program – now is the time to join (Elke Aschenauer)
V.      Shift Report (Rosi Reed)
VI.     Talks Committee Report (Sevil Salur)
VII.    STAR Juniors Report (Maria Stefaniak)
VIII.   Council committees (Jana Bielcikova)
IX.     Next STAR Collaboration meeting/hosting (All)
X.      Management discussion
XI.     AOB


STAR COUNCIL MEETING (online from Rutgers)
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (9 am BNL)
I.  Approval of Meeting Minutes from the Council Meeting in March 2021
II. Spokesperson Report  (Helen Caines/Lijuan Ruan)
III. New application to join STAR:
a) South China Normal University (Shuai Yang)
b) Ball State University (Mike Skoby)
IV. Shift Report (Rosi Reed)
V.  Talks Committee Report (Sevil Salur)
VI. STAR Juniors Report (Dmitry Kalinkin)
VII. Proposals to modify STAR publication policy (Jana Bielcikova)
VIII. Discussion on results of processing and analysis of the data with the express chain (Ivan Kisel)
IX. Next STAR Collaboration meeting/hosting (All)
X. Management discussion

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STAR COUNCIL MEETING (online from BNL, ZOOM connection details are given below)
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 (9 am BNL)



I.  Approval of Meeting Minutes from the Council Meeting in September 2021
II. Spokesperson Report (Lijuan Ruan)
III. Talks Committee Report (Sevil Salur)
Shift Report (Rosi Reed)
V. STAR Juniors Report (Xiaoyu Liu)

VI. Dual membership: Statement of Principles (Jana Bielcikova)
VII. Next STAR Collaboration meeting/hosting (All)
VIII. Management discussion

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Topic: Informal meeting STAR Council on War in Ukraine
Time: Mar 21, 2022 01:30 PM Prague Bratislava

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STAR COUNCIL MEETING (online, ZOOM connection details are given below)
Thursday, April 21, 2022 (9 am BNL)



  1. Approval of the agenda
  2. Discussion regarding the reaction of the STAR Council to the war in Ukraine (including motions which were raised on the Council mailing list).
  3. Voting on motions which will result from the item #2.

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STAR COUNCIL MEETING (online, ZOOM connection details are given below)
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 (9 am BNL)
Recording is available at Jana's RCF account: /star/u/jbielcik/STAR_Council_17_5_video1090773927.mp4


1. Approval of meeting minutes from the extraordinary Council meeting on April 21, 2022

2. Continuation of discussion regarding the reaction of the STAR Council to the war in Ukraine
(aim: find an acceptable solution that will allow to reopen paper submission).

3. Establishing a nominating committee for Council Chair election

4. AOB


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STAR COUNCIL MEETING (BNL, hybrid mode, ZOOM connection details are given below)

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 (7 pm BNL, room 2-160)



I.  Approval of Meeting Minutes from the Council Meetings (regular: February 22, extraordinary: May 17)
II. Council Chair Election
III. Spokesperson Report (Lijuan/Helen)
IV. Modifications of STAR Bylaws regarding dual membership in STAR/sPHENIX (committee report/discussion/voting) (Donald Koetke)
V. Talks Committee Report (Sevil Salur)
VI.  Shift Report (Rosi Reed)
VII. STAR Juniors Report (Isaac Mooney)
VIII. Request for emeritus membership:
 Flemming Videbaek and Bill Christie  (Oleg Eyser)
 John Harris (Helen Caines)
IX. Spokesperson Election (planning, setting up the search committee)
X. Next STAR Collaboration meeting/hosting (All)
XI. Management discussion

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STAR COUNCIL MEETING (LBNL, room 50A-5132, hybrid mode, ZOOM connection details are given below)

Thursday, March 2, 2023 (6 pm PST (Berkeley) time)


I.  Approval of Meeting Minutes from the Council Meeting (September 14, 2022)
II. Spokesperson Election (voting)
III. Spokesperson Report (Lijuan/Helen)
IV. Modifications of STAR Bylaws regarding dual membership in STAR/sPHENIX (voting) (Donald Koetke)
V. Talks Committee Report (Fuqiang Wang)
VI.  Run23 shift preparations report (Daniel Cebra)
VII. STAR Juniors Report (Xiaoyu Liu)
VIII. Applications to join STAR (voting will follow after the meeting online)
Full membership:
a) SCNU (Shuai Yang)

Associate membership:
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) (Guannan Xie)
c) NIT Durgapur (Arghya Chatterjee)
d) Sejong University (Saehanseul Oh)
e) Wuhan University of Science and Technology
(Hanlin Li)
IX. Requests for emeritus membership (voting)
  Jim Thomas  (Nu Xu)
  Jan Pluta (Hanna Zbroszczyk)
Lanny Ray (Jana Bielcikova)
X. Next STAR Collaboration meeting/hosting (All)
XI. Management discussion

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Council Chair elections

This page will preserve the council chair related issues, including its election and statements.

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2005 election

All statements are posted below. The original statement are attached at te bottom of the page.

Hank Crawford

Candidates Statement: Hank Crawford

I would like to serve as chairman of the STAR council to help the council expedite its business crisply in a collegial atmosphere characterized by mutual respect. Among the issues I consider needing attention are a rewrite of the bylaws to eliminate ambiguous language and to close the current loophole in the election procedure for our spokesman. I personally advocate collaboration-wide election of the spokesman and would urge the council to adopt this procedure in the future, just as our junior members are elected by the junior members of STAR.
The current bylaws stipulate that "any member unable to attend a given meeting can name a substitute representing the same institution", yet our council meetings are typically attended by only 30 representatives of the more than 50 members. I would encourage each member to make certain his or her views are represented at each meeting. I would ask that a secretary be appointed to make sure that minutes are available to the whole collaboration promptly. I would ask that the council encourage presentation to the council by any member of STAR on any topic of general interest to the collaboration. The STAR council should take a proactive role in addressing work-load related and other concerns that are slowing our progress in understanding and disseminating our data. Finally, I would continue and improve our policy of encouraging younger members to take leadership roles in all aspects of the STAR experiment.

Carl Gagliardi

Dear Fellow STAR Council Members: Initially, I did not plan to run for Deputy Council Chair. However, after I was asked to do so, I thought about it and agreed to be considered.

The Council is the governing body of the Collaboration. But the Council has only a limited ability to respond to issues promptly. Thus, most decisions are made by STAR Management with input from the Advisory Board, the Physics Working Group Convenors, etc. On the whole, this has worked extremely well, as evidenced by the very productive STAR physics program over the past several years.

However, in any organization as large as STAR, conflicts are bound to occur - and they have. At those times, the Council becomes very important, both as a rule-making body and as a quasi-judicial organization. If elected as Deputy Council Chair, my primary goals for the next four years will be (a) to work together with STAR Management, other Council members, and the Collaboration as a whole to identify and -- hopefully -- resolve potential problem areas before they boil over and become issues for the Council, and (b) to work with the Council to resolve those that remain in a fair and impartial manner.

Beyond that, I believe the next four years will be a challenging time for STAR. We have a broad spectrum of upgrade plans on the table that are essential to maintain the productivity and competitiveness of STAR in the LHC era, but the funds for upgrade R&D and construction are woefully inadequate for the task. Furthermore, when the LHC turns on a number of groups are likely to redirect some or all of their efforts away from STAR. Addressing these challenges will require detailed planning and prioritizing within STAR, as well as advocacy for STAR and RHIC in the broader community. If elected, I will work to ensure that the Council has a significant role in these activities that are certain to have a major impact on the long-term health of the Collaboration.

Huan Huang

Candidate Statement - Huan Zhong Huang

I will do my best to serve as a deputy council chair if elected. I believe these principles strongly and have greatly benefited by working with people who adhere to these principles from my previous experiences in experiments E864 and E896:

  1. We are in STAR for its science. The scientific creativity of people is the most valuable asset of the STAR. The STAR detector and its upgrade is our vehicle for discovery. I hope the council can work with the STAR management closely to further enhance STAR's scientific program and to pursue our detector upgrades. STAR can provide better training for young post-docs and students only if we are in an environment that is comfortable to ask tough questions to each other.
  2. I do not have to agree with what others say. But I should listen to what others try to say. It is very natural for a person to stay away from non-traditional and not-well-presented subjects. But if I truly listen to what others try to convey and think about the subject, often I come away with better appreciation of the subject and respect to the advocate.  A compromise can likely be reached if we have better understanding of each other's points of view.
  3. Broader perspectives will allow me make better decisions. But, I will take responsibility for whatever I decide to do. If elected, I am sure that there will be many things I have to do and learn at the same time. I am open minded and willing to work with everyone to push forward our scientific program in a pleasant environment.

Jay Marx

Candidate Statement- Jay Marx

The STAR Council is the governing body of the Collaboration and as such it plays important roles in supporting the Collaboration's efforts to do the best science possible.

In addition to electing the Spokesperson of the Collaboration, voting on membership requests of institutions who wish to join the collaboration, setting publications policy, and dealing with a host of issues involving the institutions in STAR, the Council can and should play an active part in assuring that
the Collaboration is well supported by the funding agencies, by Brookhaven Lab and by the institutions that make up the Collaboration.

The chair of the STAR Council plays a vital part in these activities. In addition to organizing effective Council meetings, the chair can support the Collaboration by working with the Spokesperson in the political arena, by keeping the Council active in ways that are constructive and by working with the Spokesperson to assure that the Council supports and doesn't impede the Spokesperson's efforts on behalf of the Collaboration.

I believe that STAR benefits most from having a Council chair who is fully aware and experienced with the sociological issues that impact large collaborations, who is politically effective and who is someone who will be listened to by the funding agencies, the Brookhaven management and the leaders of the institutions within the Collaboration.

There are many members of the Collaboration who meet these criteria and I'm pleased that a significant number of them are willing to put in the time and effort needed to effectively chair the Council.

In my own case, I believe that I would bring a significant amount of experience and good judgment to the position. After serving the Collaboration as Project Director during the construction of the experiment, I became a Deputy Spokesperson and then served as the first chair of the Council. I have many years of experience and success dealing with the DOE, NSF and I am well known and, I believe, trusted by Brookhaven management and the institutional leaders within STAR.

If chosen as Council chair I will devote my efforts to assuring that the Council best serves the needs and the goals of the Collaboration. I will energetically supporting the interests of the Collaboration as we seek to continue our strong record of scientific publication, secure funding in a timely way for our upgrades and look ahead to the longer term possibilities at RHIC II and/or the EIC.

James Sowinski

I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for STAR Council chairperson. I have been the Council representative from Indiana University for 3 years and a member of STAR for over 7. In this time I have come to see that, while the Council is not active in managing STAR on a day to day basis, it is nevertheless the key body in governing STAR. In particular, it decides the membership of STAR, the rules by which it is governed and chooses the leadership that does deal with the day to day details of managing and leading our success.
The latter is highlighted by the upcoming Spokesperson election. The Chair of the Council sets the agenda and runs the meetings, can call special meetings, nominates committees and sits on the Advisory Board. Thus the Chair becomes an important position in setting the tone for the functioning of the Council. If elected, I would be respectful of the time the Council devotes to the meetings in creating the agenda and running the meetings, while being proactive in making sure topics of concern to the group are addressed at the meetings. I view the election of our leaders as the most important function of the Council. As Council Chair I would work to ensure that these elections are collegial, fair and competitive events. I look forward to the bright future of the STAR collaboration and the small part I could play with this opportunity to be of service.

Gary Westfall

I am pleased to stand for election as Deputy Chair of the STAR Council. I feel that the major issues facing the STAR Council are
  • strengthening the publication process in STAR,
  • helping the Collaboration to deal with urgent needs (previously known as service),
  • helping STAR prepare for the future,
  • supporting and encouraging young Collaboration members.
I propose to form standing Council committees to deal with these issues. The STAR Council is a large, diverse group and these issues are difficult to deal with in the Council as a whole. As Deputy Chair, I propose to help the current Chair organize these committees. The Council meetings would then have more reports from committees concentrating in a specific topic, rather than long discussions with the Council as a whole. As Chair of the STAR Council, I would continue these committees.
I feel that I could effectively represent all institutions in STAR as Deputy Chair and later as Chair of the STAR Council.

2008 election

Please, find below the statements from the council chair candidates:

Hank Crawford

Hank Crawfod is from Space Sciences Laboratory University of California, Berkeley CA 94720

I would like to continue to serve as Chair of the STAR council to provide continuity through a spokesperson change and to complete the work begun in my first term. I believe that the Council will have to take a more active role in STAR operations, and we have begun this process with the adoption of detector subsystems by participating institutions. We are desperately short of experts for many subsystems and we need the Council members to take active roles in supporting the experiment. I am also very interested in completing the publication policy revisions undertaken by the Publications Committee. The institution review process should be tuned to concentrate on content rather than editorial issues, and the supporting document requirements should be completed to provide a clear, reproducible, paper trail. I believe we have an excellent future in forward and 4pi physics and I am optimistic that we will be able to continue our path of improving our physics capabilities with upgrades to the basic detector. I look forward working with our new Spokesperson as Council Chair as STAR continues its excellent work in probing the nature of the sQGP and discovering the underlying structures responsible for the spin of the proton.

Jim Sowinski

James Sowinski  is from Indiana Univ. Cyclotron Facility, Bloomington IN 47408  USA

I have now been a STAR collaborator for over 10 years.  Not being from the heavy ion community this has given me the opportunity to join a very vibrant group of physicists at a very exciting time for the field.  I have enjoyed working with new colleagues, developing new friendships and learning new physics in a large international effort. I have been very happy to see that STAR has operated as a true collaboration, recognizing that the spin and heavy ion program rely on each other for the strength of the overall program. A colleague asked me to run for Council Chair and I have agreed as an opportunity to further serve the full STAR community.  I am honored to see my name along side the respected collaborators on the ballot.

I now know many of the people in STAR to various degrees, but the members are constantly changing, especially our younger members.  So I should introduce myself.  I am a research scientist at Indiana University, and spent my first years with STAR constructing and installing the endcap electromagnetic calorimeter with my colleagues. I have been involved with spin physics essentially by whole career, but have always enjoyed the excitement ever present in the heavy ion community.  I have been Indiana's council rep. since 2002.  During that time I have served on a council committee to rewrite the bylaws and am currently serving on the spokesperson election committee.  I am one of the spin physics working group convenors and chair of the STAR talks committee. I have served many shifts in the Wide Angle Hall as detector expert, shift leader and most recently as period coordinator. I have been principle author on the two jet A_LL papers.

STAR and RHIC face a very challenging time. Budgets every year seem to provide hope and disappointment affecting running plans and schedules. Nevertheless planned upgrades present new physics opportunities even in the face of new competition, in physics and for our colleagues'  time, from the LHC.  STAR needs to address its manpower needs both for hardware, as evidenced by our "orphaned" subsystems and loss of experts, and computing and software.  There need to be additional opportunities for growth and recognition of experts to draw more participation of the collaboration to these activities vital to the strength of STAR.

However it is not the council chair's job to take on these issues directly.  The spokesperson is the frontline leader on these and other important issues. The council, led by the Chair, is now carrying out its most important task in choosing the new spokesperson. I see the Council chair's duties as to guide the council in working with the spokesperson on a common set of goals, remind the spokesperson of the collaborations concerns, and facilitate communication and consultation with the council necessary for the buy-in needed for the spokesperson
to be successful in addressing our challenges.

We will be moving forward with a new spokesperson and much of the early work of the council in the near term will be to work with them to form an effective management team.  Many of these appointments must be ratified by the council and this will need to happen in a timely manner with appropriate oversight.  There are details of the bylaws that we may need to consider altering to shape the team along with the spokesperson's and collaboration's needs.  After an appropriate period evaluation and feedback to the spokesperson on their progress will be an important role of the council to be organized by the Council chair. A number of years ago the Council established an advisory board to the Spokesperson.  This could be an effective tool for communication but has not met on the regular schedule originally envisioned.  by-laws. We need to make sure that the by-laws and practice agree with the desires of the Council and new spokesperson.

The council also has ongoing work, such as the publications policy, that need to addressed in a timely manner.  Such issues should not bridge multiple collaboration meetings.  We need to resolve issues discussed at collaboration meetings in a timely matter via email, phone conference or special meetings if truly necessary.  The goal should be to resolve the issues with the maximum opportunity for participation but as efficiently as possible.  We should look at resolving issues via email when face to face discussions are not required so that the meetings can be kept to a reasonable length. I am committed to attending and chairing all Council meetings.

In conclusion, I look forward to a vital future for STAR and offer myself to serve as Council Chair to further that end.

Gary Westfall

Gary Westfall is from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1321 USA

I would be honored to serve as STAR Council Chair.

I have been a member of the STAR Council for 15 years, representing Michigan State. I have served as chair of the STAR Council Chair nominating committee. I served as the Convener of the Event-by-Event Physics Working Group. I have served as Period Coordinator and Shift Leader. I was part of the team that constructed the STAR Electromagnetic Calorimeter. I also served as Chair of the RHIC Users’ Executive Committee.

I propose to help lead the STAR Council through the upcoming years. These years will see the completion and deployment of STAR upgrades as well as several important physics runs. The STAR Council needs to make sure that the Collaboration can carry out its physics program by seeking the support of STAR institutions and RHIC management. The STAR Council also needs to address the problem of operating STAR in the LHC era, including the loss of key Collaboration support.

If elected as Chair of the STAR Council, I will work with work closely with the newly elected Spokesperson to address these challenges. I will institute more frequent meeting of the STAR Council so that the Council meetings can be shorter and focus on fewer agenda items.

2012 election

The STAR Council Chiar election will be held on Wednesday evening at the council meeting of 8 Aug 2012.

2014 election

 The election will take place on November 6.

The candidate statements are attached below

2016 election

2020 election

2022 election


The pages will have information on new institutions joining, statements and/or proposal to join the STAR collaboration.

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The University of Illanois Chicago (UIC) group under Olga Barannikova joined the STAR collaboration in 2006. The annoucement was sent to the STAR collaboration on 3/29/2006.

Related STAR notes (management category)

Spokesperson election

The STAR collaboration had appointed Dr. John Harris (Yale) as spokesperson in 1991. Elections for the office started from 2002.

According to STAR bylaws, the council representatives elects the STAR spokesperson for a three years term. The spokespersons statements will be presented here.

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2002 election

The spokesperson elections related statements were available starting from 2002.  In the 2002 election, three candidates came forward. Their statements follows.

Dr. Tim Hallman was elected as spokesperson for a three year term, succeeding to Dr. John Harris.

Jim Thomas

JIM THOMAS - Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

Experience: Twenty five years of experience in scientific research, teaching, R&D, and R&D management. Broad background in the scientific disciplines.  Scientific group leader. Experienced manager of R&D proposals and funding. Experienced manager of large and small scale science and engineering projects. Co-Convenor of the STAR Parity discussion group.  Ex-Chair of the RHIC and AGS Users Executive Committee.

Statement:  We have three major scientific challenges ahead of us.  The search for the Quark Gluon Plasma, the full exploitation of the RHIC spin program, and upgrading the detector to meet the challenges of the future.

I am impressed by our published data.  We have observed dense matter, it appears to thermalize rapidly, it flows, and it is rich in gluons. But we have not observed any data that suggests a simple first order jump in entropy.   It is not like we expected in the early days of the program.  We have observed unusual phenomena and they require new ideas to explain them.  I believe that we are looking at a new state of matter but that we haven’t characterized it yet.  If there is a phase transition, it is subtle and probably not  first order. This means we should look for correlated signals and we must learn to interpret them.  We will need high statistics, we will need to cover a wide range of beam-beam combinations, and cover a wide range of beam energies.  I am committed to the pursuit of this program and to stimulate, support, and encourage our best and brightest colleagues to analyze the data.

The spin program has just begun and I strongly support the full exploitation of the spin program. STAR has unique capabilities with the detectors full azimuthal coverage, the ability to measure small x, and the EEMC to study W physics. We can and will do an excellent job studying the gluon’s contribution to the spin of the proton and the structure function of the nucleus.

The third and final challenge is to upgrade STAR.  We need to nurture and guide the upgrade plan to ensure that it survives the various DOE long range planning exercises and later to ensure that it is properly funded.  The current upgrade plan is excellent but we should also stay flexible and be prepared to amend the plan if we discover new physics in the current  program. 

Leadership Questions: The Spokesperson leads the collaboration.  His/Her primary responsibility is to develop and lead the scientific program.  In consultation with the Council, (if it comes to pass) the Executive Board, and the collaboration, I will work to define the scientific priorities for STAR and then work with RHIC management and the STAR operations group to ensure that these goals are achieved.  I will encourage rapid and timely publications but also ensure that each institution and each individual gets a fair share of the credit for their work.  I believe that the Spokesperson and the Council should work together to increase funding for the STAR institutions and the field of Nuclear Physics, in general.  And I am committed to work to increase the visibility of STAR at BNL, at conferences, and in the community.

Supporting our people is especially important.  I feel that STAR should put special emphasis on helping people who are making career transitions.  Often this is a young person moving to a new job or moving up into a new position at his or her home institution. We need to identify these people and give them preference for talks and principle authorship and support their efforts to serve on national and international committees.

Enhancing the productivity of the collaboration is important.  Part of the Spokesperson’s job is to recognize that different institutions and collaborators have different strengths.  Often, these strengths are complementary and careful balancing of these strengths will ensure productivity. The Spokesperson also has the ability to lobby for national resources and the opportunity to distribute national resources to the institutions.  I will do this in a way that enhances the scientific output of the entire collaboration.

The creation of an Executive Board is an excellent idea if it can be formulated properly.  I will work with the Council to finish the discussion about the EB.  My belief is that the Council is for the discussion of institutional issues, the Executive Board is for establishing and managing broad scientific goals, and the physics working group leaders are for managing and executing specific scientific programs. 

Finally, I was asked to comment on the selection of deputies.  This is a complex issue.  I will work with the council to select scientists who complement my interests and skills in order to form a team that reflects the full scientific diversity of the STAR collaboration.

Education, Service, and Career History: Ph.D. in Physics, Yale University, 1982.  Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, 1982.  Robert Andrews Millikan Fellow, Caltech, 1983-1985.  Member of the Research Faculty, Caltech, 1986-88.  Physicist, LLNL, 1989-1991.  Group Leader for Heavy Ion Physics, LLNL, 1992-1996.  Staff Scientist, LBL, 1997-present.  Member of the STAR Collaboration and Deputy Project Director in 1997.  Co-Convenor of the STAR Parity discussion group, 1999-present.  Member and Chairman of the RHIC & AGS Users Group, BNL, 1998-present.  NASA/JPL Flight Readiness Review panel, 1988.  Principle Investigator for the Caltech/LLNL studies of Non-Newtonian gravity, 1988-1992. Member and Chairman of the lab wide LDRD program at LLNL, 1990-92.  Member of PHENIX Executive Council, 1994-96.  Member of the organizing committee, Quark Matter 95. Reviewer for the Royal Society of New Zealand, 1999-2001.  DNP Committee for APS Nominations, 2001-present.  Organized and chaired many workshops and meetings on heavy ion physics.  Over 80 professional publications, 30 invited talks, 20 publications for the public.  BBC-TV program “Defying Gravity”, 1989. Coach/Mentor to the Port Jefferson High School Robotics team, 2001-present.


Honors: A.W. Wright Fellowship, 1980-82. R.A. Millikan Fellowship, 1983-85. Outstanding Publication Award, 1990. Physics Distinguished Achievement award, 1993.

John Harris

John Harris - Candidates’ Statement


1.       The candidate’s qualifications to become Spokesperson.

I am a recognized expert in heavy ion physics with a broad view of the field, STAR’s place in it, and the direction in which STAR should be heading. I have successfully led STAR as spokesman from the development of an initial concept, through design, approval, construction, commissioning, and extraction of first physics results. Although I have been spokesman for a long time, and people do ask why I would want to continue, my mission is not yet complete. I wish to lead STAR for one more term, to complete the first phase of the physics plan set forth at its inception. In addition to having a physics vision, the spokesperson must bring together diverse opinions and interests, and lead the collaboration to make decisions that optimize its physics capabilities in the broadest sense. I hope within the next couple of years to bring STAR to a mature detector and collaboration, which operates smoothly and produces valuable physics in a collegial environment.

2.       The candidate’s vision for STAR and considerations about what are the most serious challenges facing STAR in the near term (~1 year) and longer term (~5 years).


Over the next five years, we need to complete our initial physics mission (survey of high density matter at RHIC) and be on our way to understanding the spin of the proton. We must continue to make changes in course to address ever-changing conditions, and actively establish and work on longer-term physics and detector developments for STAR.  To accomplish our initial physics mission we must: 1) map out the soft physics regime through systematic studies over Ös and a variety of colliding systems (pp, pA, AA); 2) perform a thorough study of the high pT single-particle physics regime, utilizing various colliding nuclear systems (including pp and pA) for control of geometry; and 3) initiate and be well into All measurements in our spin physics program. This will only be accomplished over the next five years time. In order to address changing conditions, we must optimize our triggering capabilities, and increase our data rate and analysis capabilities. This will allow us to minimize an increasing variance among experiments regarding RHIC operating parameters (systems and energies). With regard to longer-term developments, we must immediately undertake a process to identify and agree upon STAR’s long-term physics goals (for 5 – 10 years from now) and how to accomplish them in terms of detector upgrades.


We are presently producing exciting new physics in STAR. However, we are in a difficult and complicated "growing stage", much akin to one’s adolescence. We have begun to reap the rich physics fruits of our extensive labors, and are trying to plant, nurture, and ensure new and future physics harvests in a rapidly evolving environment. More specifically, we are currently doing many diverse things: 1) extensive physics analyses, 2) writing papers, 3) operating the STAR detector under continually changing conditions (collider and new detectors), 4) installing and understanding new detectors, 5) developing new online/reconstruction/analysis software to integrate new detectors and extract physics from them, 6) developing short-term upgrades to improve data rate, analysis, and physics capabilities, and 7) developing a long-term physics plan for STAR which also requires considerable detector R&D. 

Our first challenge and always of highest priority is to continue to identify clearly our physics goals as the “physics picture” at RHIC develops, and to do everything possible to ensure that we can accomplish them. This involves balancing conflicting needs within STAR, prioritization of STAR resources, and significant work to ensure that RHIC running fulfills the needs of our physics program. We must get the software into shape and stable for future reconstruction, simulations, and analysis. We must upgrade our data rates throughout to meet the demands of our physics program. Finally but perhaps most urgently, we must define and agree upon our long-term physics vision (for 5 - 10 years from now), and the detector approach to accomplish it.

3. The major issues facing the Collaboration that the Spokesperson would intend to address.

The spokesperson working in concert with the Council should strive to address the following major issues. Manpower issues: We have yet to identify sufficient collaboration manpower resources to meet all of the challenges (above) that face us. To address this, we must get more people involved in all aspects of STAR, formally define and monitor manpower contributions (“service work”), revisit authorship requirements and associate it to a minimum effort on STAR, and readdress the approach to scheduling shifts on the experiment. Sociological issues: In every large group or collaboration of intelligent people working towards a common overall goal, there are differing needs and priorities that result in differences of opinion on matters of seemingly great importance. We continue to have vigorous, healthy discussions on software implementation, beam use proposals, triggers, run plans, analyses, physics paper drafts, and other issues of priority, to name a few. It is an ongoing challenge to ensure that such discussions continue in STAR in a atmosphere of mutual respect, where everyone’s opinions can be heard and evaluated objectively. To address this, we must strive to maintain open discussion, consideration of issues, and decision-making in a collegial atmosphere. Other sociological issues: We must continue to pay close attention to our need to develop the careers of students and young physicists, and groom the next generation of leaders in STAR. We must seek new ways to promote young people to leadership positions, professional positions, talks, and ensure appropriate credit and recognition. We should include non-Council members on the Talks Committee. Physics issues: More guidance will be needed on how to best present our physics results in publication. We have begun to consult with the Physics Working Group Convenors at an early stage of each paper to try and bring about a more coherent and effective approach in our publications. We will need to monitor and optimize our paper-writing and review process within STAR as it evolves. To establish a long-term physics vision for the collaboration and a commensurate detector plan with R&D, we must have a Spring Workshop on the future physics and detectors of STAR. In preparation for this Workshop, members of the collaboration must be challenged to develop their own future physics views including supporting physics argumentation and simulations.

4. Comments about the role of the Spokesperson.

The role of spokesperson in a broad sense is to lead STAR to accomplish its physics goals. The spokesperson represents the collaboration to the general public, to RHIC and the other collaborations, and at the highest levels of BNL, DOE, and the NSF. The spokesperson must assimilate the many issues of the day in STAR, set priorities, and address the critical issues in a timely and effective manner. The spokesperson must have a broad view of the collaboration in order to establish committees and choose appropriate committee members to evaluate and decide on important issues in STAR (physics, technical, and otherwise). An effective spokesperson is hands-on and must interface actively with collaborators at many levels. No level of formal policies or rules can anticipate the many special cases that arise for the spokesperson. Above all, the spokesperson must have the confidence of the collaboration, to make decisions that are urgent or when a consensus cannot be reached, and must work closely and effectively with the Council and the collaboration to best accomplish STAR’s goals.

5. Any comments related to the structure or role of STAR management (e.g. deputies or other positions in the management team) including a potential STAR Council "Executive Board".

The recent changes in STAR management were made to better address the issues and challenges stated above. I believe in promoting young people, and that the members of STAR management will be successful in addressing the issues of STAR. The management team is a well-known commodity. Regarding what is better termed an "Advisory Committee," from the outset I have consistently supported the concept of an appropriately chosen group advisory to the Spokesman, and I hope to be able to formally inaugurate this committee soon.

Tim Hallman

Dear STAR Council Members and STAR Collaborators,

The capabilities and scientific program of RHIC are evolving rapidly, presenting important new challenges that STAR must meet to be successful in the future. Soon we will be challenged to answer the question, as definitively as possible, what scientific evidence there is from STAR for the creation of the quark-gluon plasma. To continue to be fully productive as the luminosity of RHIC increases and spin physics and proton-nucleus running become more prominent, we will need to quickly develop a plan to evolve our trigger, DAQ, and analysis production capabilities. Shortly we will be challenged to assess and prioritize new scientific measurements that will extend STAR's physics reach significantly in the next 5 years, even as we strive to analyze and publish quality science from data already in hand. To meet these, as well as other important challenges, strong scientific leadership will be required to utilize the full intellectual "horse power" of the collaboration.

Specifically, if elected as STAR Spokesperson, I envision a number of topical workshops and regularly scheduled open physics meetings to draw upon the strength of the full collaboration to:

 i) develop a strategic plan regarding the measurements that will provide the strongest possible insight by STAR into the search for the quark gluon plasma and the spin structure of the proton

ii) provide a critical assessment of the corresponding beam use requirements and provide justification based on compelling fundamental scientific arguments that will allow us to successfully compete with our colleagues before the BNL Program Advisory Committee

iii)develop a detailed plan (including prioritization) for the implementation of physics triggers in advance of the next running period

iv) develop a critical assessment and prioritization of future scientific measurements (and corresponding upgrades) that will extend STAR's scientific reach in the next 5 years.


In addition, I plan to be personally involved, at a detailed level, in trying to insure adequate effort on science analyses (including e.g. the ultra-peripheral program), on construction projects which are ongoing, and on service tasks requiring manpower. It is particularly important that the construction, installation, and commissioning of the barrel and endcap electromagnetic calorimeters proceed according to plan, and that sufficient effort is devoted to understanding the response of those detectors in order to exploit the rare probes, high pt measurements, and spin physics measurements they will provide.

As both the STAR Spokesman and the BNL STAR Group Leader I will be in a unique position to effectively advance STAR's physics/resource interests, and to closely follow issues of importance to STAR. I will work diligently to develop a close communication with each STAR institution in order to understand, support, and facilitate its scientific and technical goals. I will work proactively to insure the equitable distribution of talks, and that young scientists in particular receive the visibility and recognition so important for their careers. Most of all I will work diligently to insure that the environment in STAR is one in which the diversity of intellectual interests is fully represented, and in which the Collaboration membership feels excited, engaged, and empowered to participate fully in the present and future scientific program.

To achieve this, I will work in full partnership with the STAR Council to select deputies and establish a management team that provides outstanding science leadership, that is representative of the Collaboration as well as the entire spectrum of physics interests in STAR, that is balanced in its approach embracing the full diversity of views and opinions in the Collaboration, and that works proactively through workshops and open meetings to be inclusive and involve the Collaboration fully in reaching important decisions and plans affecting the governance and scientific program of STAR. I will employ an open management style, similar to that proven effective in establishing and managing the operations groups for STAR. In particular, I will seek, through self assessment and dialog to further improve the process for producing science in STAR, and to maximize the scientific and technical productivity of STAR while maintaining quality assurance and intellectual freedom for those who carry out the analysis.

These goals are indeed challenging, and to help achieve them I will actively seek the advice and counsel of the STAR Council, and the STAR Executive Board once it has been established, as well as soliciting direct feedback from the general Collaboration membership.

I bring to this task ten years of dedicated effort working closely with the Collaboration membership toward the success of STAR. In addition, I bring extensive experience in science leadership as a member of the STAR management team, as Interim STAR Spokesperson for a period of one year, as the leader of the BNL STAR group which includes 35 scientists, engineers, and professionals, as a member of the U.S. Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, and as the Chairman of the Program Advisory Committee for Particle Physics of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. Most importantly, I bring a deep and abiding appreciation of the importance of the STAR scientific program and of the responsibilities of the STAR Spokesperson in insuring its success. My commitment to this task will be complete; I will work to meet this challenge with every ounce of energy that I have, and will make it my personal responsibility to understand deeply all issues impacting the success of the STAR program, vigorously and continuously fighting for those things important for STAR's success. A particular focus will be insuring the broad dissemination of STAR scientific results outside of the Collaboration and the visibility of STAR scientists. My commitment to this task will transcend institution and career, and my willingness and ability to fight for the things important for the success of STAR will not be influenced by those considerations.

In this moment we have a unique opportunity to make an important contribution to our fundamental understanding of nature, and to justify the trust that has been placed in us to use the precious resources we have been allocated to search for truth and understanding in the best interest of mankind. As Spokesperson of STAR I will work tirelessly to make STAR everything that it can be, and to insure the STAR scientific program is a success we can all be proud of well into the future. I ask for your support for election to the position of STAR Spokesperson.


2005 election

In 2005, Dr. Timothy Hallman was running unopposed in the February Spokesperson Election. His statement is available as a sub-document.

Tim Hallman

Dear STAR Collaborators,

I am seeking your support for re-election to a second term as Spokesperson of STAR.

Together, in the last three years we have produced landmark scientific results, seen scores of students complete their Ph.D., recorded and analyzed a record number of events, and added important new capability to our detector. It has not  always been easy, but together we have met the challenges which faced us and made STAR a great success. This has been due to the talent and unswerving dedication of the members of the Collaboration who answered the call every time they were asked. Looking back over this period, one of the most important things I would like to say in this message is thank you very, very much. It has been an honor to be your Spokesperson during this time.

As successful as we have been, the planned start-up of the LHC and the rapid evolution of the RHIC scientific program portend even greater challenges we must meet to be successful in the future.

For example, to verify the existence of the quark gluon plasma and study its properties, as well as to extend our spin physics measurements to 500 GeV, essential new capability must be added to our detector. To maintain the vitality of the STAR program during the era of the LHC, this must be accomplished in a timely way, utilizing all the resources that may be available to us-- including running time. Establishing a realistic plan to accomplish our upgrade goals and to ensure timely construction of the major components is one of the main challenges we face in the coming year and one reason why I am seeking a second term as Spokesperson. A great deal of work has already been done in this direction, but the challenge of establishing a true, integrated blueprint that  takes available resources into account, and of beginning to build according to this plan remains a task that is still before us. If re-elected, this will be a priority of the next administration.

A related challenge will be to optimize our use of RHIC beams, not only to target measurements that will give the greatest insight as to the nature of the new matter we have produced in heavy ion collisions and to gain timely access to the spin structure of the proton, but to accomplish both as efficiently as possible, conserving precious resources that will be needed for constructing the upgrades. Among other things this means we will need to continue to evolve our trigger, DAQ, and analysis production capabilities. In addition, we will need to discuss and strategize carefully about how to proceed, making difficult decisions as necessary to secure the best possible future for STAR.

Finally we must ?grow? the next generation of leaders of STAR who will utilize this new capability and carry the STAR program forward in the future.

If re-elected as Spokesperson, I will work as hard as possible to see that, together, we meet these important goals. I will be personally involved in trying to ensure adequate resources on construction projects which are planned or ongoing; to push for continued strong effort on science analyses across the full spectrum of STAR interests, utilizing the full capability of our detector (including its new additions ? the BEMC, EEMC, SSD, and PMD); and to ensure continued quality operation of the STAR detector.

I will work proactively to promote the equitable distribution of talks, and that young scientists in particular receive the visibility and recognition so important for their careers. Most of all I will work diligently to ensure that the environment in STAR continues to be one in which the diversity of intellectual interests is fully represented, and in which the Collaboration membership feels excited, engaged, and empowered to participate fully.

To achieve this, I will establish a management team that strives to provide outstanding science leadership, that is representative of the Collaboration as well as the entire spectrum of physics interests in STAR, that is balanced in its approach and embraces the full diversity of views and opinions in the Collaboration. I will employ an open management style and will seek, through self assessment and dialog to further improve the process for producing science in STAR, and to maximize the scientific and technical productivity of STAR while maintaining quality assurance and intellectual freedom for those who carry out scientific analyses.

I bring to this task the experience of the last three years as Spokesperson, and a strong desire to ensure that the next three are just as vital and even more productive. Most importantly, I bring a deep and abiding appreciation of the importance of the STAR scientific program and of the responsibilities of the
STAR Spokesperson in helping to ensure its success. My commitment to this task will be complete; I will work to meet this challenge with every ounce of energy that I have, and will make it my personal responsibility to understand deeply all issues impacting the STAR program, vigorously and continuously fighting for those things important for its success. As in the last three years, my commitment to this task will transcend institution and career, and my willingness and ability to fight for the things important for the success of STAR will not be influenced by those considerations.

In summary, as Spokesperson of STAR I will work tirelessly to make STAR everything that it can be, to establish a realistic blueprint to achieve the next generation of STAR upgrades, and to insure the STAR scientific program is a success we can all be proud of well into the future. I ask for your support for re-election to the position of STAR Spokesperson.

2008 election

In the 2008 election, three candidates came forward. Their statements follow. Presentations are available at You do not have access to view this node.

The presentations and round-robin Q&A were video taped and available below in RealMedia streaming video format.

Note 1: The order of candidates was chosen following a random draw. The second candidate statement spans over two recordings.

Rene Bellwied

Mission Statement from Rene Bellwied for STAR spokesperson 


I have decided to run for STAR spokesperson in February. Although I might not have time to visit your institute in person, I would like to present to you my motivation for getting into the race at this late stage and my plans for STAR regarding certain issues that I think need serious attention for the future.

I have been in STAR from its inception. I was one of the contributors to the original STAR proposal in 1991, and I have held many senior positions in STAR over the years. Since 1992 I have been the project leader for the Silicon Vertex Tracker, I was a physics working group convenor for almost five years (from 2002 until last year) and I was briefly the STAR deputy spokesperson in 2001/2002. My present appointment as the chair of the RHIC Users Executive Committee has helped me to establish a good rapport with BNL management and the DoE and NSF funding agents. I have many contacts at the APS, the Office of Management & Budgets (OMB), the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), and the DoE Office of Science.

My main motivation to run for spokesperson is based on the fact that I believe that STAR, and in general the RHIC program, needs senior leaders with management experience at this point in order to establish the basis for a program that could last until 2020 or beyond. RHIC is in somewhat of a crisis, which slowly built up over the past few years, and which is now enhanced through the imminent turn-on of the LHC, the stiff competition by other Nuclear Science fields in the NSAC Long Range Plan (the JLab upgrade, the FRIB accelerator and the DUSEL program were prioritized higher than the mid-term RHIC plan), and even within BNL the expansion of NSLS (NSLS-II) and the new Center for Nanomaterials (CFN). In order to not only stay competitive but provide a solid vision for the extension of our heavy ion and spin programs towards the anticipated construction of eRHIC, we need to initiate a much more focused discussion within the collaboration, motivate our young professors and research scientists to take on responsibilities in this discussion, and promote them into future leaders in the field. In addition, we need to initiate a dialogue with the eRHIC community and PHENIX on ideas for a joint ep/eA/AA program during the eRHIC era. It is my firm belief that a dedicated heavy ion program, which is only possible at RHIC, is sufficiently interesting to support a large scale effort even beyond 2020, likely based on a new common (STAR/PHENIX) heavy ion detector. Even if this last part of the plan cannot be realized, we need to establish a program that goes well beyond the low energy scan and the presently envisioned upgrade program to take advantage of the significantly higher luminosities which will allow access to important rare processes. This will require the vision and active involvement of our bright young physicists in STAR.

We are well prepared for the energy scan. We have a good physics plan and a strong detector upgrade program. In particular the ToF is well underway and I share the collaboration’s excitement about the low energy runs. Therefore, I think the immediate future is well covered in STAR but we need to think beyond this short term milestone.

In the UEC, I have recently initiated the drafting of flyers for OMB/OSTP to show that RHIC has a viable program during the LHC running, which is based on five key components:

  • We have longer running time and higher beam luminosity each year
  • We have an ion source which provides a unique reach in particle species
  • We have a tunable machine that can cover all energies between FAIR and the highest RHIC energies
  • We have a machine running at energies that likely constitute the sweet spot of parton liquid formation
  • We have the only polarized proton collider in the world.

This means that besides flexibility in the machine components (colliding species, luminosity, energy scan) we also are at collision energies where several unique features of the QCD phase diagram (critical point, sQGP) can be studied in detail. Most of these features are likely not accessible at the LHC. Plus, the spin program adds a distinct component to our program, which can only be superseded by a new electron-ion collider.

It is important to promote this program at all levels of the funding chain (collaboration, BNL, NSAC, DoE/NSF, OMB/OSTP, appropriation committees), and it is equally important to demonstrate within the community STAR’s leadership in the relevant physics measurements. Both require a strong, experienced leader who is willing to make decisions for the greater good of the collaboration. In this context part of my decision to run for spokesperson is based on the outside perception that STAR, for the second time in a row, seemed not to be able to open this process to a larger group of candidates. I think this is widely viewed as a certain level of disinterest by a large part of the collaboration in becoming involved in the day to day operation of the experiment. It is also viewed as an indicator that the migration of our scientists from RHIC to LHC might have begun. I view my candidacy as a collegial approach to broaden the field of candidates and to show that more ‘weathered’ STAR members are still very engaged and interested in taking on major responsibilities. My recent involvement in the R2D proposal and preparations for ALICE has taught me how unique the RHIC program is, and how we can build a strong and lasting future for relativistic heavy ion and spin physics at BNL. I am confident that I can be a good spokesperson, and I am confident that my candidacy will be positively viewed outside the collaboration, and I hope also inside the collaboration. Many have stated that the recent PHENIX election was a positive example for the proper process, and I hope with my candidacy we can achieve a similar positive vibe and an actual interest in our election, inside and outside of the collaboration. This would be beneficial for the whole RHIC community.

In the following pages I will layout a detailed physics and upgrade plan. Then I will address certain administrative issues that need to be defined in order for a new management to be effective.

My Physics plan

I think STAR needs a very detailed vision for the future that goes beyond the low energy runs scheduled in 2009-2011. We need to make sure that this dedicated heavy ion facility stays competitive with the LHC heavy ion program until at least 2020 or the inception of eRHIC at BNL. I personally support a heavy ion program during the eRHIC era and will fight for it, and I think STAR should be the leading force behind such a long term future plan. Our facility will always be the only dedicated relativistic heavy ion machine in the world and it should be supported by all present STAR institutions throughout the LHC era. I do not agree with an often heard prognosis that the RHIC heavy ion program will be completed by 2013. I believe that 2013 has the ability to be a new beginning for RHIC. Upcoming findings related to medium properties (e.g. quantitative determination of state variables such as viscosity, energy loss transport coefficients) and hadronization properties (e.g. hadro-chemistry in recombination and fragmentation processes) could make us the premier QCD laboratory to study matter evolution in the early universe, which affects not only nuclear and high energy physics but also cosmology and fundamental theory, such as string theory and lattice QCD.

Based on todays knowledge I propose a three phase plan until 2020.


Phase 1 (2008-2012)

At the heart of phase 1 lies the energy scan for heavy ion collisions, the extended search for initial conditions based on dA collisions, and the extension of the measurement of the gluon contribution to the proton spin in the polarized pp collisions. The results from the dA measurements might be in direct competition with early results from the LHC on low-x physics, but the energy scan and the spin program are unique. STAR is well prepared for phase 1. The ToF upgrade is coming along and will be completed prior to the energy scan. The forward detector upgrade for this part of the spin and dA program has already been completed. More importantly, the collaboration is excited about this phase and needs little encouragement. During the last weeks I have often heard that ‘we will do these low energy measurements and then we’ll move on to the LHC’. Clearly this should not be the strategy and we need to change the perception that this will be the last big measurement at RHIC. Part of my strategy will be to re-invigorate the upgrades program by suggesting additional detector upgrades, in particular in the calorimeter sector, in the next few years. An expanded group of active scientists interested in the future will also re-visit the question of a new common detector for STAR and PHENIX for phase 3 and/or the eRHIC era. The energy scan, the upgrades and the spin program should also enable us to expand the collaboration by attracting new groups at a time where it might be unavoidable that some groups will migrate to the LHC. I will actively pursue the recruitment of new scientists into STAR.

In terms of significant physics output from phase 1, I expect that flow and fluctuation measurements will hopefully determine unambiguously the existence of a critical point in the QCD phase diagram. Many particle identified measurements, both for stable particles and resonances, will benefit from the resolution and 2p coverage of the ToF. As an example, I expect that we will resolve the issue of a phase transition behavior at lower energies which is presently based on the SPS K/p measurements. Complementing the largely experimental nature of the scan, a strong focus must be placed on the theory side. The larger goal of our experimental collaboration is to make crisp, unambiguous scientific statements.  In order for our field to leave a permanent mark in this regard, it is clear that a more systematic theoretical effort must be mounted. As spokesperson, I will push the theory community to extract meaningful, numerical quantities, with error bars, from our data.  I will further argue to the funding agencies to increase support for the theoretical community, because the lack of an upgraded theory effort might well be the greatest threat to our field’s overall scientific legacy.

Regarding the spin program I expect a final conclusive measurement on the gluon contribution to the proton spin based on the longitudinal polarized proton program in different x-regions accessible through the higher energy proton run (500 GeV). The transverse polarized protons should also yield first results on transversity, Sivers, and Collins functions. As of yet, transversity remains the only unmeasured spin structure function. The previous statements regarding the dire need for solid theory support apply here as well, and again an effort needs to be made by all experimental groups to link their work closely to theoretical approaches to constrain the wide range of models presently available. During this phase I also intend to convene a dedicated group of spin advisors to link the spin physics of all three phases of this plan to the laboratory’s eRHIC project.


Phase 2 (2012-2016)

One issue that might be pushed into phase 2, simply because STAR and the DoE did not come to terms with our upgrade plans on an appropriate time scale, is the physics that a new vertex detector can bring us. I was leading the effort for the first generation vertex detector in STAR, which was built to enhance the physics in the strangeness sector. The SVT was an upgrade which was completed in year-2. The TPC was very successful early on in strangeness measurements, and based on the lack of identifiable physics and the rather complex issues of calibration and alignment, it was exceedingly difficult for us to establish the SVT as a viable physics detector after the TPC had already begun to successfully take data. Even a perfectly performing SVT would provide only incremental increases in efficiency to the strangeness program. Given this, people put their effort into extracting ready physics from the TPC, rather than into directions which would have made the SVT an integral part of STAR’s tracking. It is hard to characterize as unreasonable the cost-to-benefit reasoning behind the decision to focus on TPC-only analyses given the rather unexpected capabilities of the TPC. Only recently, with the help of a dedicated effort by the BNL software group and the implementation of a new integrated tracking algorithm, were we able to get the SVT established. We are still trying to extract exciting physics, now in the charm sector.

I have learned a lot of useful lessons in this very successful construction project, but in some sense failed physics project, which I intend to apply in my support for the 2nd generation HFT/IST/SSD vertexing detectors. With an order of magnitude superior resolution compared to the SVT the detector should be well suited for charm and bottom reconstruction and it is at the heart of our present mid term upgrades. Together with the enhanced particle identification capabilities of the ToF we can expect a program which goes beyond the basic D-meson questions. In particular, if charmed baryons and B-meson become available. Besides addressing heavy quark energy loss and flow, we will also be able to study more speculative hadronization ideas, such as the binding of heavy quarks into rare charm-strange baryons and mesons in an oversaturated strange phase

In addition the enhanced particle identification capabilities of TOF and HFT, together with the enhanced data mining capabilities of DAQ-1000 and better trigger algorithms should enable us to make definitive measurements of the hadronization process and the collectivity of the medium over a large momentum range, at least up to 10 GeV/c.

With these measurements of identified single, two-particle and many-particle spectra we will be able to determine the equation of state and state variables, such as temperature, pressure, and volume, as well as medium properties such as speed of sound, viscosity, diffusion coefficients, energy loss, transport coefficients in a less ambiguous fashion. I personally think that this could well become the ‘golden era’ of RHIC because the determination of the medium properties and the hadronization mechanism out of this medium will allow us to distinguish quantitatively the properties of the QCD medium and the QCD vacuum. Hadro-chemistry in the medium will be a key component of these studies, and resonances in the hard component might even give us access to the question of chiral symmetry restoration. In addition the heavy quark spectra, all the way up to the Y states, will give us access to the initial temperature and the evolution of the system as a function of time. More exotic topics, such as CP violation in the strong sector as well as the formation of exotic partonic states (pentaquarks, glueballs, bound states above Tc), will be also addressed with the superior PID capabilities.

In the spin sector I believe that phase 2 needs to address the question of the angular momentum component to the proton spin. Transversity measurements will come into their own in this time, and the forward upgrade with the FGT will be completed and will enable us to do W physics. The intrinsic handedness of the W-boson allows the separate measurement of quark and anti-quark polarization, which will hopefully lead to the first isolated anti-quark polarization measurement ever. In addition accurate single beam helicity measurements might be enabled through increased luminosity and the upgrade detectors. These measurements violate parity and might give access to physics beyond the standard model, such as evidence for a possible quark substructure and for supersymmetric particles.


Phase 3 (2016-2020)

I believe that this phase will be governed by rare process physics in the heavy ion sector. We need to arrive at a running mode where we run heavy ions in the same fashion than we run polarized protons right now, i.e. certain rare heavy ion measurements will only be achievable when several years of running are chained together. This might be particularly valuable for the rare heavy quark program, and a correlated jet program at very high momentum. In order to have a more detailed understanding of our plans for this phase, I plan to convene a committee of young active STAR members and a series of interested theorists.

Overall this phase is likely dominated by a shift towards an increase in spin and pA measurements in preparation for eRHIC. Certainly the three main parts of our existing spin program (transverse spin, gluon polarization, anti-quark polarization) will likely be continued in the eRHIC program, but there are also new exciting measurements we need to think about such as deep virtual Compton scattering to measure generalized parton distribution functions, measuring the spin structure of the virtual photon, and measuring spin structure differences between protons and neutrons. The physics case for an eA program at eRHIC was recently summarized in a very comprehensive white paper by the EIC collaboration, and one of our own, Thomas Ullrich, is a driving force in this effort, so I would certainly rely on him in advising us on the preparatory steps to take towards an eA program.

At the same time we need to define an AA program for the eRHIC era, based on AA physics that has not been achieved yet. I was one of the main proponents of a new detector (R2D) for this phase of RHIC, and I still think that our community needs to come together behind a strong physics program to push for a new joint (PHENIX/STAR) device that would allow us to do AA physics at RHIC even in the eRHIC era. The original R2D detector concept was based on hermeticity, greater momentum PID capabilities (out to 20 GeV/c) and superior electro-magnetic and hadronic calorimetry. I am convinced that with the presently available detectors a direct photon program, a complete heavy meson program and a complete jet fragmentation program in heavy ion collisions will always be limited. A new detector could enable our community to achieve these topics without the luminosity and runtime limitations of the LHC and without the distributed detector capabilities at the LHC. There is an interesting program for us even beyond 2020 and we need to study and explore its possibilities.

Spokesperson duties from my point of view

A spokesperson has to be present at BNL and I will commit to spend at least ¾ of my time at BNL. I will relocate to Long Island for my spokesperson tenure, and I am negotiating the proper teaching relief agreement with my university.

A spokesperson needs to have a good rapport with STAR operations and I commit to work with Bill Christie and his crew in the most collegial manner. I know many members of the STAR operations crew from my previous projects at BNL, and I appreciate their devotion and competence. Bill Christie has done a tremendous job after Ralph Brown’s departure, but more resources have to be found in order to support the operations group, in particular regarding detector maintenance and operation.

A spokesperson needs to work actively with the STAR Council and he/she needs to enable the participation of the council in key decisions. Our council has not been given the chance to more actively contribute to the daily operations and the problems of the collaboration. Not only do we need to work together on these issues, but the spokesperson needs to utilize the advisory board as the necessary middle layer. I will review the functions of the advisory board and pledge to work with them in a more pro-active way, and I will also try to complement them by a group of active young scientists directly from the physics working groups.

A spokesperson needs to assure the quality of the collaboration’s scientific output. It is my opinion that our output although prolific, lacks a certain scientific weight. We write too many small papers that carry too little physics impact. I will try to consolidate analyses, and I will make the PWGC and GPC committees more pro-active. Too many papers seem rubber stamped and scientific conflicts are not resolved but rather avoided. I plan to have better and more binding guidance by the PWGC on a proposed paper’s target journal. I will insist on a STAR note containing all analysis details prior to submission of a paper to the GPC. I will impose strict timelines on each step of the submission process, which can only be delayed by the STAR management in the case of scientific conflicts. I will add a layer of experienced experts for speedy conflict resolution and I will personally be pro-active in a.) resolving conflicts and b.) assuring quality control. I will also attempt to enforce a code of conduct that people should follow in a scientific discourse. There is too little scientific discussion at our meetings. Too often we get distracted with collaboration business at these meetings. I will change the modes for collaboration and analysis meetings in order to put more emphasis on science again. I am very optimistic that many of the present scientific issues in our collaboration can be resolved through a more pro-active and decisive leadership.

A spokesperson needs to know how to delegate and I plan to have a strong and active administration including the younger generation of active scientists. For example the following is a listing of recently named tenure-track assistant professors at U.S. institutions in our collaboration (Barannikova, Caines, Calderon, Fatemi, Markert, Mioduszewski, Surrow, Xie). I will call on these individuals, plus the laboratory research scientists of the same generation, to form a layer of scientists that will be involved in the decision making process. I personally think that our physics working group convenors are one of the strongest committees in STAR and I will expand their responsibilities. I will institute additional quality control measures for physics papers and I will enhance the guidance that young primary authors will get for publishing their papers. I will fight for each member of this collaboration to be able to present their work to the larger community, at national and international conferences. Finally, I will rely on a strong physics analysis coordinator and three deputy spokespersons to pull our administration together. Having three deputies permanently will require a change in the by-laws, but it is my opinion that the multitude of tasks for the management requires such a change. The deputies will have specific tasks relating to a.) bridge the gap between the spin and heavy ion program, b.) unify regional interests, c.) coordinate service work and detector maintenance.

A spokesperson needs to give special emphasis to the future. I will pledge to revamp our upgrade program in order to get more of the collaboration involved, and I pledge to hold the collaboration to commitments regarding service work and detector maintenance. I plan to find a backup for every ‘indispensable’ person in the collaboration (e.g. TPC or DAQ operators).

A spokesperson needs to be able to represent its collaboration and its field in the community and in the greater public. I think we are the superior collaboration at RHIC and I will pledge to represent us forcefully towards PHENIX, BNL management, NSAC, the DoE, NSF, and other government offices.

A spokesperson needs to know how to be decisive when necessary and I pledge to tackle certain key issues, besides the aforementioned quality assurance and scientific discussion rules, which I will briefly list in the following section.

Priorities for my administration

One priority in my plans for the collaboration is to bring factions within the collaboration together. My administration will reflect an attempt to integrate the foreign institutions more, and to have a common basis and representation for the heavy ion and spin scientists in STAR. In addition, for too long STAR has been hampered by a fractionalization within the U.S. heavy ion institutions. I think this led to a certain dominance of PHENIX in the field, which does not necessarily have to be the case. I think STAR is the better detector, and now we have the chance to step up and also be the better collaboration. A healthy, active and successful STAR collaboration is absolutely crucial for the survival of relativistic heavy ion physics in the national laboratories and universities in the U.S.

We will draft more detailed Memoranda of Understanding with all institutions which include commitments to shift scheduling, service work and detector maintenance as well as detector operations. We will work on a system that will avoid single point failures such as the TPC without Blair Stringfellow or the DAQ without Jeff Landgraf, by involving the Council early on in the managerial operations process of all hardware and software components in STAR. We will create a more active and committed collaboration which can only be achieved through an active and involved council. The shift sign-up needs to be restructured in order to avoid problems such as the ones occurring during this holiday season. My administration will be very pro-active in getting this done within the first year of our term.

Furthermore the present structure of the physics working groups is not optimal to achieve quality physics output. Generally, I think the PWG topics were well chosen and are still largely appropriate, but we might consider, in deliberations with the convenors, some tweaking. Possibly strangeness and heavy flavor could be merged, flow could have its own group so could resonances, the ebye vs estruct issue has to be revisited, the spin program might need more than one group, and we need to have a hard look at the smaller PWGs and their viability in the future. But the biggest problem we are facing is the distribution of students and topics across the groups. In particular the spectra group is overcrowded with students that belong in other groups. I believe that in such an environment the scientific quality cannot be assured because the group is too big, not all issues can be discussed sufficiently in meetings and phone conferences, and the convenors are simply overwhelmed. I will impose a minimum requirement that convenors from the actual expert group (e.g. heavy flavor convenors for a charm analysis) will sign off on the work before it goes to a GPC. I will also require that primary authors planning to write a paper or give a presentation have to attend the expert group’s phone conference regularly to keep both groups informed. Both groups will have to sign off on conference abstracts and will help decide on speakers in case of a conflict. In general, we will find ways in accordance with the convenors to convince young scientists that it is in their best interest to work in the group that has expert convenors and young colleagues working on similar analyses. In general we need to give more guidance to our young scientists so that the quality of their work and their papers improve.

Our young people are our strongest asset and not only am I very encouraged by the graduate students from U.S. institutions but also by the foreign physics contributions, in particular from China and India. I will commit to giving these young people an environment in which they can flourish and have a chance for a future career in our field. In addition, five of the last six assistant professors hired in STAR institutions were women, and I am very glad that we started a trend which seems to catch on in other collaborations as well. During my tenure as chair the UEC will highlight this issue in a dedicated panel discussion on career opportunities for women and other minorities at this year’s users meeting.


STAR is a healthy and strong collaboration which can be improved in certain areas: the quality of its science output, a more focused vision for the future, a better scientific discourse, more collegiality, and a more collaborative effort overall.

In my opinion, having a decisive and experienced STAR spokesperson is crucial not only for STAR itself but also for the future of the field as a whole. Over the past two decades I have gathered extensive experience in managing large groups of scientists, in dealing with funding agencies and laboratory management, and in dealing collegially but also competitively with other collaborations in our field. My main objective will be to serve every member of this collaboration, to fight for them and the collaboration as a whole at every level of contact with the greater community and government entities. I need your help though, and I look forward to hearing your suggestions, concerns, grievances, even prior to the election. Many of us need to become more active to keep our physics interesting and alive, and I challenge you to help me to improve our collaboration. I hope I can count on your support.

Responses to Spokesperson Questionnaire

1. Why do you want to be spokesperson?

I believe the next three to six years are crucial for the survival of our field in the United States and therefore also the continued existence and operation of the RHIC facility for our foreign users. STAR needs a decisive and experienced leader to represent our strong physics program to the greater public, politicians, NSAC, the DoE and BNL, and to guide the collaboration towards the future. I have extensive managing experience in STAR and beyond STAR. And I believe that I have the necessary physics background to represent not only STAR but the whole RHIC community. I want to be the spokesperson because I believe my complete resume is needed to guide STAR, and potentially our whole field, through the financial and scientific challenges that are ahead of us. I believe strongly in the power of the office and I will use it to enhance the reputation of STAR and RHIC and to improve STAR’s scientific output.

2. What do you see are the major goals for STAR for the next 3 years?

There are three major goals within STAR that I will address in the following order. First and foremost we need to maintain and enhance our commitment to operating the STAR detector. We need, as a collaboration, to make sure that all subsystem are supported by a group of detector experts. I will actively challenge the Council on this point. We need to make sure that we are prepared when our detectors start to show aging effects, and we need to think long term and be prepared for a physics program that will last another decade or longer. Part of this operations pledge will be infra-structure groups, such as the software and operations groups. We have to make sure that sub-systems are committed to working with the infra-structure groups. We have to maintain the software core group and we have to enhance resources for the operations group to be better prepared for future detector and maintenance challenges.

My second priority will be the improvement of our scientific output through enhanced quality control, more active involvement of the collaboration in the paper writing process, and a more active engagement of the theory community by the STAR collaboration. I am planning to re-structure the physics working groups, in consultation with the active leaders and the working group convenors in STAR, and I am planning to add more documentation and review steps to the paper writing process. At the same time I pledge to keep tight timelines during the process. I will much more aggressively engage the international and theory communities to make sure that our results are represented properly and that our people get the chance to be heard. I will make collaboration and analysis meetings more scientific by branching out more non-related issues such as upgrades and software into specialized meetings. I will encourage scientific discourse and engage in scientific conflict resolution in a very pro-active way. And I will attempt to reverse the fractionalization of the heavy ion community in STAR.

Finally I believe that shaping an effective short- and long-term upgrade program in the next three years is absolutely crucial. Both the heavy ion energy scan and the 500 GeV pp runs are part of the new five-year BUR straw-man and I think they need less attention than the question of physics beyond 2012. Our upgrade program has suffered from not being focused and pushed recently, and I will make it a priority to bring spin and heavy ion people together to shape a vision, for the hardware and physics sectors, that addresses the physics from 2012-2020. We cannot effort to have our upgrades effort fall further behind PHENIX's effort. We need to be more structured in our proposals and negotiations with the DoE and BNL when it comes to future projects.

These are my three main priorities for the next three years.

 3. What do you consider STAR's primary accomplishments to date?

I will layout the main physics accomplishments in plots during my presentation, but I think it is quite obvious that we have some 'golden' results and some 'unique' results.

Under golden results I would list

  • the jet quenching measurements in the singles and two-particle correlation spectra,
  • the elliptic flow measurements,
  • the quark-scaling results through v2, R(AA),  baryon-meson ratios and identified two-particle correlations,
  • the heavy quark quenching results,
  • and the gluon polarization results.

Under unique results I would list

  • our particle identified baryon to meson ratios all the way up to Omega/phi,
  • our extensive resonance program,
  • our detailed HBT results,
  • our forward dA results,
  • our CP violation (incl. polarization and spin alignment) results,
  • and our untriggered two-particle correlation decomposition results.

We have contributed in a major way to the 'perfect liquid' story, and I welcome our critical assessment of this story through more detailed measurements. And I am looking forward to adding more to this list as soon as results such as the three-particle correlations mature to a point where they can be interpreted unambiguously.  

4. What will you do to help ensure that our upgrades are successfully implemented?

The approach here has to be twofold. We need to better interact with BNL and DoE to push our upgrades through. And we need to better engage the collaboration through the Council to make these upgrades larger group efforts. There is a lot of physics interest in the ToF, across the collaboration, but efforts such as the HFT, IST, FGT are often single group efforts and have found little response from the collaboration. The physics scope needs to be expanded, possible hardware contributions by collaborators not yet involved need to be identified. We also need a closer collaboration between heavy ion and spin groups to go forward. Everybody needs to realize that the single detector (i.e. TPC) analyses in STAR have largely been done, and the time has come, as a collaboration, to adopt the integrated detector approach for future physics analyses. I think heavy ion physics has to progress more into the forward direction, and the AA physicists need to review what an EEMC, a FGT, or a FMS can do for them. This will strengthen the forward upgrades. The central upgrade could also use more spin participation, and it needs to arrive at a common 'central upgrade theme' for its hardware instead of three separate HFT, IST, SSD approaches. I will review the effectiveness of our upgrade management in the first six months of my term and I will propose changes if necessary. The spokesperson needs to become more decisive to show BNL and DoE that the collaboration is serious about its future. That also means pushing new ideas (e.g. improved calorimeters, enhanced PID) to the forefront of the scientific discourse in the collaboration.

5.  Are there changes required to keep STAR at the forefront of heavy ion and spin physics in the world?

I think a closer collaboration between heavy ion and spin groups, in hardware and physics analysis, has to be fostered. Working groups need to be re-structured to account for the evolution of the physics communities after almost 10 years of RHIC. We need to be more represented at the international level, suggest more STAR people for talks, and integrate them in international advisory committees and entities such as NSAC, PAC's, DoE etc. And there needs to be more of a physics discussion. Key active physicists in STAR are presently underutilized. We need to find out why and hopefully change it. We also should lead RHIC by having a clear vision of our relevance in the time of LHC running.

6. What are the major problems you see with STAR operations and analysis currently? How will you solve them?

This question was partially answered in questions 2,4,5 but to be very specific in operations we need to eradicate 'single point failures' through actively challenging the collaboration by challenging its council members to supply detector experts. We need to enhance the strengths of the operations group (e.g. find a Ralph Brown replacement, hand picked by the operations leader) and of the software group (e.g. react to specific concerns or suggestions by the software leader). Clearly data processing in the time of higher and higher luminosities is a central issue, but we have good leaders in this area. We just need to work with them and listen to them.

The physics analysis output has to be improved. There is a lot of output but it has to be better quality controlled, it has to be more current in certain instances, and it needs to be more combined into larger and more overarching papers. 

Differing opinions on a subject should not be suppressed but openly discussed. The spokesperson should be personally engaged in conflict resolution, but papers of sub-groups of the collaboration should also be encouraged when there is no resolution and results are just lingering although they might be very relevant. It is disheartening to me that a limited coverage detector such as PHENIX was able to claim certain physics topics such as fluctuations and particle correlations over a detector, such as STAR, that was specifically constructed for these kinds of physics analyses. I will spend considerable time early in my administration to address the conflicts that led to this problem in our scientific output.

7. How would you change the STAR management structure, if at all?

I would ask the Council to support a third deputy. I would review the functions of the advisory board and streamline them to fit my administration. I would delegate very specific topics to my deputies. I would add a 'physics council' to give me advice on ongoing and future physics projects. This council might get involved in the paper process if this is viewed positively by the STAR council and the convenors. Physics working groups will get re-structured and we will pass a set of rules to give primary authors more guidance on how to interact with the structures in STAR.

First and foremost I will make the structure transparent to the collaboration and keep the collaboration informed through bi-weekly spokesperson briefings to the whole collaboration.

8. What other professional commitments do you have that might interfere with your concentrating on the Spokesperson position?

I am presently the chair of the Users Executive Committee until June 08. I think I can handle this additional responsibility, but I will discuss it with the UEC and the STAR Council if I get elected. The SVT project has been concluded so I hold presently no other position in STAR. I was admitted to ALICE recently, but I will revoke my ALICE membership if elected to STAR spokesperson.

I am also negotiating teaching relief with my university for the time of my tenure. I am planning to re-locate to Long Island, and in most weeks plan to spend one day at Wayne and four days at BNL.

Overall I am planning to devote myself 100% to the present and future of STAR and  I am looking forward to it.

9. What is the level of commitment of your institution to STAR?

WSU is funded through an umbrella grant that covers the efforts of all four senior professors (Cormier, Pruneau, Voloshin, Bellwied). The money is equally shared and therefore it is often difficult to label the group's resources in terms of specific assignments. WSU was responsible for successfully building the STAR SVT and EMC detectors, but it has not very successfully contributed to either operation because of limited resources. The recently submitted DoE proposal asks for increased funding, but it was also predicated on a timed phase-out out of STAR in favor of an ALICE involvement. This phase-out was supposed to be completed by 2011. Tom Cormier is and will remain the project leader of the ALICE-EMC.

If elected, we would adjust the phase-out plan and end up with two equally strong groups at WSU, one in STAR, led by myself, and one in ALICE, led by Tom Cormier.

Profs. Pruneau and Voloshin would share their resources evenly over STAR and ALICE. If elected, I hope to accomplish a similar arrangement with other large groups such as Yale and LBNL. All my postdocs and students will be assigned to STAR exclusively in the future, and I will commit to funding a detector expert for STAR through WSU funds, pending the approval of our present DoE proposal.

10. How do you view the relations with non-US institutes? Do you think present levels of participation are OK or do you have any plan to suggest changes to that?

Our European groups have always contributed considerably to our physics output, and many of the new senior hires in Europe are actually STAR alumns, but we have to be realistic that these groups will have to participate increasingly in the LHC. I expect the groups to be honest in their assessments towards us, but I also hope that certain groups involved in the upgrades (e.g. the French and Czech groups) can commit to a longer STAR participation and I will actively pursue them and make it as attractive as possible for them to stay involved.

The Brazilian groups are very involved in both hardware and analysis issues. They presently hold two convenor positions, and in the case of Sao Paulo et al. I just hope to maintain the present level of commitment, knowing that also this group is eyeing ALICE. 

The Russian block of groups have a long history in the calorimeter and spin program and I will, with the help of Tim, assess their future involvement in the first six months of my tenure and then report to council and collaboration.

The Indian groups have committed to maintain the PMD and also their physics involvement through heavy ion energy scan. All groups are also involved in ALICE with a PMD, but here I really hope we can foster an arrangement that would keep a subgroup of the Indian groups involved in STAR forward physics beyond 2012. I will try to foster a collaboration between heavy ion and spin people to look at forward physics and plan to have the Indian groups very much involved in this project. In the past these groups were very successful in providing talented young scientists to STAR and I hope this will continue.

The Chinese groups are the key contributors to the TOF upgrade, and they have committed a large number of young, talented scientists to STAR. Many analyses in STAR are presently backed by Chinese students, and with Nu Xu, Huan Huang, Fuqiang Wang, and Zhangbu Xu we have very active senior leaders in the U.S. to help us integrate the Chinese students better into STAR. I am convinced that STAR can provide a very good environment for the students to further their career, and I am convinced that the Chinese groups are committed to the future of STAR.

Generally I am not satisfied with the level of communication and the shift commitment of most of the foreign groups. Language and time zone barriers make good and steady communication naturally difficult, but both sides need to be more pro-active to make this happen. I was involved in too many 'bad' phone conferences to ignore this issue. I was thinking about diverting STAR funds to keep the communication at a highest level, i.e. pay for good video and audio links in foreign countries. I also think a major portion of our discretionary funds needs to go to travel support for specific foreign individuals. We have a good history there and I plan to adopt many of Tim's plans. In return I expect the groups to be considerably active in the maintenance and operation of the detector. Shift requirements have to be taken seriously, and groups have to obtain the necessary visas well ahead of time knowing that a beam time is imminent. I will sort through collaboration lists together with the Council chair or a designated person and try to put a face behind every name, and also gauge everybody's STAR involvement. 

Besides myself I will devote a deputy to the issue of relations to foreign groups, and I will also keep the collaboration informed on our progress regarding the effectiveness of our relations to the foreign groups.

In summary, the involvement level of a large part of the foreign institutions needs to be improved and guaranteed in a time of LHC running. The foreign institutions are a big part and potentially a big asset of STAR, and we need to integrate them better.

James Dunlop


Mission Statement from James Dunlop for STAR spokesperson


Dear STAR collaborators,

Following is my statement about why I am running for Spokesperson. I have decided to structure this in response to the fine questions asked by the Spokesperson nominating committee, followed by a short summary. I hope for your support. Sincerely,
James Dunlop

Answer to questions

  1. Why do you want to be spokesperson?
    STAR has had resounding success under the previous Spokesperson, but we are entering into a new, more difficult phase over the next decade. There are strong plans for world-leading science from the upgrades both to the accelerator and the experiment. Making these plans into reality will take dedicated work. External pressures are increasing, both internationally and intellectually from the upcoming LHC heavy ion program and nationally from the resource needs of other portions of the U.S. Nuclear Physics program. I bring to the table the experience that will be necessary to successfully navigate these waters.
    I have been Physics Analysis Coordinator for nearly six years now, and have been a close observer of what is needed to manage the experiment successfully. I am fully engaged in STAR as the sole experiment with which I am associated. Located at BNL, I have the ability to interact on a daily basis with the BNL management, which is a necessity for the success of the experiment. On the wider issue of conflicts within the collaboration, I believe I have shown myself to be effective in resolving issues so that the collaboration can move forward. Over the next decade, with the growing external pressures, we cannot afford to circle the wagons and shoot in.
    That said, I am also young, which brings the advantage of energy and enthusiasm, but can have its disadvantages. I expect to make full use of our more seasoned colleagues on matters that benefit from their experience in areas to which I might have had less exposure. I plan to actively engage the Council and the Advisory Board, especially on challenges, examples of which are outlined below, that require full and active participation from broad segments of the Collaboration.

  2.  What do you see are the major goals for STAR for the next 3 years?
    The major challenge to STAR is to bring the midterm upgrades to completion, and use them to full advantage to produce physics results that are complementary, competitive, and in many ways superior to that of our competition. We also need to keep an eye on the future past three years, and create a path forward for the next decade.
    The Time of Flight and DAQ1000 projects need to be delivered during the early years of the next Spokesperson's tenure. The Spokesperson plays a critical role in making sure that this happens, both through oversight and funding discussions. Beyond the delivery of these systems, the Spokesperson needs to lead the collaboration towards the best use of these systems to realize the first-class physics results they can provide. These systems can lead to qualitative advances in the physics that STAR can produce, but for this to happen they need support beyond just delivery of the detector. In the case of DAQ1000, the limitation on dataset sizes moves to the backend, into the computing resources necessary to analyze large datasets quickly. A critical need for the next Spokesperson is to creatively identify and obtain additional computing resources to handle these large datasets.
    Polarized protons will be collided at a center of mass energy of 500 GeV at RHIC in this time period. A challenge for the next Spokesperson is to make sure that when this happens we are in a position to take full, and competitive, advantage of these beams. The Forward Gem Tracker project, which is necessary for STAR to be competitive in the W program at 500 GeV, needs to move quickly. We will also need to find a balance between needs at 200 GeV, both for spin and for heavy ion reference data, and needs at 500 GeV.
    The critical point search, with a low energy scan in RHIC tentatively scheduled for run 10, is a unique opportunity for STAR, one that has generated a great amount of interest in our collaboration. The Spokesperson needs to make sure that the necessary groundwork is laid to make this scan a success, both in plans for the detector configuration and with studies from the collider. With the full TOF barrel and the advantages of a collider geometry, STAR is simply the best detector to make this search, but we need to be sure that we are fully prepared and that the detector is in its optimal state.
    We also need to lay the groundwork for success past these three years.
    We need to be prepared to take full advantage of the high luminosity of RHIC II, which should come online towards the end of the next Spokesperson's term. The Heavy Flavor Tracker is a major, large-scale project, and is central to our longer term physics goals. It is natural for high luminosity programs to evolve towards charm and beauty, and so we are not without competition in this field, both from PHENIX and the LHC. This project needs to be put on as rapid a track as it can for success.
    We also need to start thinking about upgrades past the ones directly in the pipeline. We have promising R+D in a number of longer term detector concepts, but the future path for these concepts needs to be fleshed out. I would also actively solicit other ideas for future detector systems. The increased luminosity of RHIC II can provide a watershed in the precision with which we probe the matter created at RHIC energies. We need to keep thinking creatively about using these real opportunities for STAR to stay at the global cutting edge in heavy ion and spin physics.

  3. What do you consider STAR's primary accomplishments to date?
    STAR has been a resounding success to date. Among our beautiful results, we were the first to measure the large level of elliptic flow that have led to claims of perfect liquidity, and we discovered the new phenomenon of jet quenching. We were the first to find that sizeable transverse spin asymmetries persist into the perturbative  regime, and are well on our way towards definitively measuring the contribution of gluon polarization to the spin of the proton. We have an excellent publication record, with the most papers and citations of any experiment at RHIC. We have had impacts outside our field, and pictures from our experiment appear as icons in textbooks and the popular press.
    Now, I have heard criticisms that our impact outside our field is not as great as it could be, given the high quality of our science, and that sometimes we are not as rapid, or, somewhat oppositely, as critical, in our publication process as we could be. I hear these criticisms and would work hard, both with the Physics Working Groups and with the Publication Policy committee, to make our publication process the best it can be.
    I enjoyed the whitepaper process, and believe that this kind of focused discussion of our results has its place and time in our scientific process. I also believe that our bottoms-up scientific process, in which the choice of how to publish and the pace towards publication is driven largely by those who actually do the analysis, is one of our strengths.
    I'd use the bully pulpit of the Spokesperson's office to push for those changes in the publication policy that help. I'd also keep an eye out for results that could be communicated better to the wider community, and would solicit and welcome help from the collaboration on this.

  4. What will you do to help ensure that our upgrades are successfully implemented?
    On the shorter term upgrades, such as the TOF and DAQ1000, one issue is to ensure that funding gets channeled to STAR upgrades rather than other initiatives. Here, my plan is to use a close working relationship with the BNL management to ensure this happens. Beyond that, a Spokesperson can pay close attention to progress and intervene when issues come up that need him. I do not intend to micromanage projects, but will keep a close eye on them to make sure that they are progressing sufficiently.
    On the longer term upgrades, beyond what I outlined above, a Spokesperson can ensure that physics arguments are cleanly and clearly articulated, and make sure that experts, both within and outside the collaboration, have fully vetted proposals at the earliest possible stage. As with analysis, it's always most efficient to identify, and address, major issues sooner rather than later.

  5. Are there changes required to keep STAR at the forefront of heavy ion and spin physics in the world?
    I believe that we are on a good path, but, as I said before, we have major challenges ahead of us. We need to evolve to match these challenges.
    We should revisit our Physics Working Group structure, with an eye towards making it more effective and efficient. I've heard worries from a large enough component of the collaboration that my plan, should I be elected Spokesperson, would be to gather a representative group from the collaboration to look at this issue, and make a considered recommendation, which I would implement. Drastic change in an organization the size of STAR can cause a loss in productivity, if not done in a considered way. We need to be sure that a disruptive change produces effective change.
    As stated in the answer to question 6 below, we have major challenges in the operation of the detector.
    Beyond this, I think that we need to recognize a bit more that we live in a world that is not just RHIC. We need to take opportunities to increase our profile in the wider scientific community, and communicate the exciting and precise science that we are doing and that we plan to do.

  6. What are the major problems you see with STAR operations currently? How will you solve them?
    First, there are major problems: there is not sufficient support.
    Frankly, we have been drifting towards a model that is not sustainable, in which many detectors are on the margin of being unsupported. Addressing this will be one of the major challenges of the next Spokesperson, and he will not be successful without the participation of broad segments of the Collaboration. One of the first things I would like to do as Spokesperson would be to have a frank discussion with STAR institutions and the Council about this issue. I believe that part of the issue is structural, and needs to be discussed with funding agencies to obtain the resources needed to sustain the program. If we are to go to these agencies, we need to have a well laid out plan, fully discussed within the Collaboration, that identifies the problem and proposes concrete solutions.

  7. How would you change the STAR management structure, if at all?
    The Spokesperson has a huge job, with responsibilities that can become overwhelming if not addressed rapidly and efficiently. Success requires delegation, and I plan to rely heavily on my deputies, the Advisory Board, and ad-hoc committees to address in a timely, and transparent, manner the issues that will come up in the next term.  I agree with Rene that three deputies provide effective and efficient leadership.  Beyond this, as outlined in the answer to the two previous questions, I believe that some changes are in order in the Physics Working Group structure, and would attempt to engage the Council more to address issues that require broad Collaboration support.

  8. What other professional commitments do you have that might interfere with your concentrating on the Spokesperson position?
  9. What is the level of commitment of your institution to STAR?
    Personally, I am fully committed to STAR as the sole experiment with which I am associated. I feel strongly that STAR is the best place to do heavy ion and spin physics over the next decade, and am staking my career on this. I think it goes without saying that BNL is strongly commited to STAR.

  10. How do you view the relations with non-US institutes? Do you think present levels of participation are OK or do you have any plan to suggest changes to that?
    STAR is an international experiment. It's difficult to find a detector in STAR that was not greatly dependent on, or in some cases produced exclusively by, our international colleagues. A large fraction of our most important workforce, the graduate students and post-docs, are international, as are almost half of our Physics Working Group convenors.
    That said, there are always opportunities to increase participation from non-US institutes. We need to support travel, and come up with inventive ways for people outside the country to participate more locally. It's an unfortunate fact that U.S. budget uncertainty, along with increased issues with visas, have caused problems with the participation of our international colleagues, most notably recently in the shift responsibilities around the Christmas holidays. In Tim's first term, there were a number of regional meetings, which have not happened for a number of years: I would like to see these revived. I would also like to see the ways in which we welcome participation widened. The recent attempts to find and devote to STAR significant computing resources outside the United States are an example of an inventive contribution that both creates local centers for participation and can solve the real issues that DAQ1000 brings.
    We are not alone in competing for the resources from any institution, and especially from non-US institutions. The place that I see for a Spokesperson is to articulate cleanly and clearly the great opportunities that STAR provides, and what institutions can bring to the table to make these opportunities into a reality.


In summary, I believe strongly that STAR is the best place in the world to do heavy ion and spin physics over the next decade. There are, however, a number of challenges that the next Spokesperson will face from increasing competition for resources, both internationally and within the U.S. Nuclear Physics community. Should I be elected Spokesperson, I believe that my combination of experience in resolving conflict within the collaboration, my full commitment to STAR, and my ability to interact regularly with BNL management will lead to the best chances of success for STAR. I hope for your support.

Nu Xu


Mission Statement from Nu Xu for STAR spokesperson

STAR is an outstanding experiment. Our mission is to answer two basic physics questions: (1) What is the QCD phase diagram? (2) What is the spin structure of the  proton?

Since the very beginning of STAR, our operations have been extremely smooth and productive, and we have made tremendous progress in answering these fundamental questions. We have published close to 100 scientific papers. More importantly, we have trained and graduated more than 100 students who will serve our field and the community at large. For the future, we have an exciting physics program with well defined upgrades.

In my view, the main challenges we face are: (1) Keep the baseline detectors performing; (2) Complete the upgrades of the STAR detector in a timely fashion; (3) Maintain our excellent productivity; (4) Optimize operations with advanced planning involving the whole collaboration in recognition of the fact that some collaborators start to split their efforts between STAR and other projects, e.g. the LHC. All of these require all institutions in STAR to work together and to promote our effort with the funding agencies, both US and international, to assure stable funding for the RHIC program.

My highest priority is to continue the success of the STAR collaboration. I would move to BNL and spend 100% of my effort to work for STAR. I will consult widely in the collaboration. Initially, I would plan to do the following:
  1. Establish a strong and energetic management team. The management will be transparent so that responsibility and accountability will be clear to everyone in the collaboration. Decisions will be made based on consensus.
  2. Our publication quality can still be improved. We will have a dedicated deputy and/or a publication committee to assure that we will have more publications that are timely and of high quality. We will work together with all parties to ensure a fair and timely internal review of manuscripts. For me scientific debate is the life of the experiment but I will insist that all discussions be collegial.
  3. The Physics Working Group is the backbone of the STAR physics program. We will consult widely to obtain the best leadership for the PWGs. We will encourage more young scientists to get involved in STAR programs and we will maintain a steady stream of PWG leaders.
  4. International collaboration is essential to our program. We will work to integrate more international collaborators into the STAR program, not only for the new upgrades, but also into management, into the PWGs, into computing, and into the operation of the baseline detector.
Looking ahead, the STAR experiment will explore the structure of the QCD phase diagram, provide crucial information on the properties of the equation of state of the medium created in high-energy nuclear collisions, and study the underlying mechanism for possible thermalization. We will also provide information on the spin structure of the proton, using probes at both mid- and forward-rapidity. The results at small-x will certainly help to shape and enrich the future Electron Ion Collider, which I believe is the long-term future of our field.

It is clear that STAR is the leader in the international effort to understand the structure of matter and its properties at extreme conditions. STAR is an excellent experiment - it is our experiment. Let us work together to make it better and stronger.

Responses to Spokesperson Questionnaire

1. Why do you want to be spokesperson?

STAR is a great experiment. Its potential for physics, especially with the upgrades, ToF, DAQ1000, FMS, FGT, HFT, to name a few, is tremendous. Moreover the STAR collaboration has many smart and energetic young scientists. I have had great fun working with them. Since the start of the RHIC program, we have made great progress in understanding the hot/dense medium properties in high-energy heavy ion collisions and the spin structure of the proton in high-energy polarized p+p collisions. The landscape of the field has evolved over time. New experiments at LHC will soon be in operation and the new physics project like EIC and FAIR are already on the drawing board. Therefore, at this important time, I believe that STAR must have a strong scientific leadership with a broad view of these international developments.

I have been involved in many physics issues in STAR in the past ten years. I am experienced in dealing with the heavy ion international community (see my cv and list of publication at This is the greatest time to do high-energy nuclear physics. I want to be part of the action. I believe that I can lead the experiment for years to come and together we can do great physics.

2. What do you see are the major goals for STAR for the next 3 years?

Now we are in the middle of run 8. Both RHIC and our experiment are performing well so we will reach our goals. We expect to be able to collect sufficient data for the d+Au and the transversely polarized p+p physics programs.
In the next three years we have to accomplish the following:
(i) Collect sufficient amount of data of longitudinally polarized 200 GeV p+p collisions which will allow us to pin down the gluon contribution to the proton spin. Work to ensure the success of the polarized 500 GeV p+p collisions. Publish the
(ii) Start the RHIC energy scan program in order to search for the possible QCD phase boundary. Publish the results.
(iii) Ensure the successful completion of the ToF upgrade and collect 200 GeV Au+Au data with minimal material around the collision point.
(iv) Work with the funding agencies and BNL management to ensure proper funding for the STAR upgrade projects. At the same time, work within the collaboration to make an upgrade plan that will effectively utilize all available funds.
(v) Establish STAR satellite computing centers to ensure sufficient capacity for data processing.

3. What do you consider STAR's primary accomplishments to date?

Please also see my Statement. Our greatest scientific achievements in my mind are the following:
1) Energy loss measurements – hot/dense matter created in heavy-ion collisions at RHIC
2) Strong collective flow and quark number scaling– partonic collectivity and possible fast thermalization in heavy-ion collisions at RHIC
3) Spin - A large transverse asymmetry at forward rapidity and small Δg at mid-rapidity.

4. What will you do to help ensure that our upgrades are successfully implemented?

Good planning in STAR and working closely with both the funding agencies and BNL management is the key to the success of our upgrades program. We will continue to have an active upgrade committee and they will work with the PWGs to develop a strong and well organized run plan to make full use of the added capabilities.
To me, a successful upgrade provides new opportunities for physics publications from these detectors. Therefore the connection between PWGs and detector experts in the collaboration is important.

5. Are there changes required to keep STAR at the forefront of heavy ion and spin physics in the world?

Part of the answer to the question is we do need more computing power. The capability of DAQ1000 means we will be able to collect hundreds of millions to billions of events in each run. In order to extract physics from the data, we need to be able to process and analyze the data. In addition to fully utilizing the RCF effectively, we will collaborate with other computing centers. With the advance of GRID technology, we should also try to establish a few smaller computing facilities outside US for STAR data processing and physics analysis.
In fact, work in this direction has already started.

6. What are the major problems you see with STAR operations currently? How will you solve them?

STAR has great detectors. We are lucky that these detectors are taken care of by dedicated experts. We should be very thankful. However, soon some of the expertise will no longer be available, partly due to retirement and partly due to the fact that some people have moved to other projects. In fact, even today, we do not have enough expertise to cover all detectors in STAR. We need to identify new personnel for maintenance and operation of these important detectors.
Recruiting professional and technical personnel working on STAR is very important. I plan to work with related institutions and funding agencies to make sure the detectors will be ready for each year’s data taking. I will pay special attention to university groups to make sure they are properly funded in order to participate in STAR operations and other STAR scientific programs.
In my view, working with the upgrades and baseline operation are as important as physics analysis for any graduate students. This is simply because without theses detectors we will not have data for physics. We should have a clear policy that every student must work on some STAR hardware project or cover the detector operation for an extended period of time before graduation. Recourses for computing are also important. I have addressed the issue in 5.

7. How would you change the STAR management structure, if at all?

Please also see my Statement. As has been mentioned, the scientific landscape has evolved since the start of the RHIC program. The structure of our management team should also evolve accordingly in order to maintain the effectiveness of our program. We will recruit experienced, caring and young scientists into the management team. I pledge to have a management team that is transparent so that responsibility and accountability will be clear to everyone in the collaboration. I also pledge that all decisions will be made based on consensus.
The PWGs should be restructured/regrouped in order to attack new scientific issues that are exciting at this time. This regrouping of the STAR PWGs will be worked out by the new management team in collaboration with the Council.
In order to assure high quality STAR publications in a timely manner, I intend to create a Publication Committee in the spokesperson’s office in addition to Council’s Publication Policy Committee. It will help to address all scientific issues
with STAR publications. This committee will be actively involved in the process of physics topics selection, quality of the data analysis, quality of the manuscript, and any other issues that might arise with each analysis. There will be a uniform and fair process for all publications. I will work closely with the committee.

8. What other professional commitments do you have that might interfere with your concentrating on the Spokesperson position?

As stated in my statement, I plan to move to BNL and work 100% on STAR during the spokesperson’s tenure.

9. What is the level of commitment of your institution to STAR?

RNC at LBNL is one of the largest groups in the STAR collaboration. We have successfully led the STAR TPC construction. At the moment, RNC is leading the HFT upgrade program, in collaboration with many other institutions in
the collaboration. PSDF serves STAR as the computing center for simulations and embedding tasks. Recently, PDSF has not kept up with our growing needs due to a shortfall in funding. However, we have submitted a proposal to DoE and requested funds to restore the capacities needed by STAR. Recently we also took responsibility for the SSD upgrade.
We have initiated US participation in ALICE and about 20% of our effort is committed to ALICE.
The RNC is fully committed to STAR and to high-energy collision physics in the world in a major way. We are committed to a successful upgrades program, to operations, and to physics publications in STAR.

10. How do you view the relations with non-US institutes? Do you think present levels of participation are OK or do you have any plan to suggest changes to that?

Please also see my Statement. The international collaboration in STAR is strong and healthy. Counting the number of FTEs in STAR, the non-US institutions constitute close to ½ of the collaboration. Our international colleagues have made invaluable contributions to our success in physics as well as in instrumentation.
Since some people start to split their efforts between STAR and other projects, it appears that we (STAR collaboration) will have a drop of FTEs at the rate of 5% per year till ~2010. This is potentially very dangerous to the collaboration. We must stop this trend. I will continue to work with all institutions to assure their commitment to STAR. While we are trying to involve all institutions in the STAR physics programs, we should make an effort to attract new institutions to join STAR. Institutions with expertise on hardware and/or computing and/or physics in the field of spin or heavy ion are all welcome.
I am willing to travel to all institutions, inside and outside the US, to discuss science and funding issues with collaborators and their funding agencies in order to secure the funds for their participation in STAR.

2017 election

Election materials for STAR spokesperson election in May 2017

2020 election

2023 election