So, let me start with my family. In 2009 neither I, nor my wife or my children, had any major health problem. That is for sure an important thing of which I consider myself quite lucky. Heck, I did not even have to run to the emergency room once! (If you have small kids you know this does happen).
On a sad note, I lost two of my best friends who died of cancer: Chicco, and Vincent. Vincent was 86 years old, so it was not unexpected; but the loss of Chicco was really the worst thing of last year for me. But this is life - I have many friends around the world, and death is in the agenda as anything else is.
I had several happy vacations together with my family in 2009. Winter and spring saw a few weekends to the mountains and a trip to Slovenia (Bled) for a few days in April. At the end of June I took Filippo four days to London, where I was giving a talk at the world conference on science journalism. From July 14th to August 8th we had a wonderful vacation to Greece, which allowed us to see Pylos, Gythios, Monemvasia, and stay over two weeks in Elafonissos, a wonderful island with caraibic beaches. In August we spent a week in the mountains again, and then in November we had a three day vacation to Merano. Finally, the last week of the year was spent again in the mountains.
My business travel brought me twice to Fermilab, once to Kobe (JP), once to London, a dozen times to Geneva, once to Bologna, once to Torino, and I am surely forgetting some. I only enjoyed the trips to Kobe and London though, the rest was routine and rather boring too.
Now, workwise my 2009 has been a rather productive year. Let me list some of the things I have been doing in 2009 below, in random order.
- I have been chosen to be part of the CMS Statistics Committee, which is something that makes me quite proud.
- I have continued my activities in the CDF Spokespersons Publication Review Group, which entailed reviewing all CDF publications.
- I have been chair of the godparent committee which brought to publication one important paper by CDF, the first observation of the semileptonic decay of vector boson pairs.
- I have also been chair of the analysis review committee which published a CMS analysis of mono-jet signatures of large extra dimensions.
- I have been a member of a further CDF godparent committee which is bringing to publication a new top mass measurement.
- I have convened, together with Ezio Torassa, the analysis/software group of the CMS-Padova group (continuing from 2008).
- I gave two seminars on particle physics in high schools; presented two posters on Higgs searches in CMS; gave a talk at the WCSJ 09 conference.
- I gave about 12 hours of lessons in subnuclear physics to master students in Physics in Padova.
- I tutored one master thesis student; am currently doing the same with two more; I followed the works of two graduate students; I started doing the same with a third.
- I wrote a paper on the Omega_b discovery (currently under peer review for PMC A).
- I have been scientific coordinator for a week of data-taking in CDF.
- I have organized, together with Franco Simonetto, a group of analysis which brings together physicists from Padova and Cyprus, and which already produced a first result on the very early data collected by CMS last month.
- I have attended two more conferences: NOVE2009, a neutrino conference in Venice; and Planck09, a conference in astrophysics in Padova.
- I have seen my name published in about 70 scientific publications in 2009.
- and I am certainly forgetting something.
Financiarily, 2009 has been a rather lousy year -hasn't it been such for all ? I do not complain for that though. I think 2010 is bound to be better, especially if I manage to sell the house which was my father's.
Now, something more personal still. Am I happy of the life I had last year ? Definitely. I traveled, studied things I liked, published things, met new people, got new charges. I even found time for a few trips to the mountains to observe the night sky from a dark site. I spent way too much time playing speed chess on the internet, but that is a minor vice. All in all, I cannot ask for anything more. I just hope that 2010 will be not worse than 2009!