Category Archives: science life

SFMOMA x Berkeley Lab: Hybrid forms

Yesterday I invited Tanya Zimbardo from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art to give a talk at Berkeley Lab (details about the even can be found here: Hybrid Forms: Connecting Art and Science)

Tanya Zimbardo (SFMONA) at Berkeley Lab

It was quite interesting to hear her perspective on a topic which is close to my heart, and happy to hear many references to Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, who currently has the Techs-Mechs exhibition running at the Gray Area, but also quite surprising not hear anything about Jim Campbell (whose art glows atop the Salesforce building “Eye of Sauron”) or the work of Illuminate.

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Acronyms, I like acronyms!

Here are two resources that I found useful for (1) supervising researchers (SMART) and (2) mentoring scientists (TGROW)


(this is an excerpt from the Virtual Remote Mentor Guide -DOE-SC-WDTS Programs)
SMART is an acronym for a framework to help guide goal setting. It is intended to ensure that goals are planned, clear, trackable, and reachable. With SMART goals, you are more likely to achieve the goal efficiently and effectively. Below is an overview of the framework to establish SMART goals.

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1000 days

Today is the thousandth day since the start of the pandemic, and we still haven’t figured out how to hold efficient meetings online.Here’s a useful resource:

A practical guide to Remote & Hybrid Communications – Berkeley Executive Education

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The Advanced Light Source upgrade project has received the Critical Decision 3, the very last step before we start building the facility – a $590M project for the US Department of Energy.

This is a great news for the facility, which will become the brightest soft x-ray light source in the world. I have worked on this project over the last five years, designing and simulating the new feature beamlines and developing new technologies to ensure optimal performance.

Berkeley Lab news center: Advanced Light Source Upgrade Approved to Start Construction

“Wavefront Preservation in Soft X-Ray Beamlines for the Advanced Light Source Upgrade.”
Antoine Wojdyla & Kenneth A. Goldberg
Synchrotron Radiation News, 34(6), 21–26 (2021).

Penn State University (Fall 2022)

I had a great time at Penn State University, where I was positively impressed by the facilities and the people!

I mainly visited the Material Research Institute and the department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, where they are developing x-ray adaptive optics for space application together with NASA, for the Lynx project.

Millennium Science Center, Penn State University (November 2022)

Thanks Susan Trolier-McKinstry for hosting me!

Angela Saini at Berkeley Lab

We were pleased, as Berkeley Lab Global Employee Resource Group co-chairs, to invite and co-organize with Angela Saini at Berkeley Lab on November 9th, 2022.

Author Angela Saini in conversation with Aditi Chakravarti from the Diversity and Inclusion office at Berkeley Lab (IDEA)

More details about the event:

Alain sous tous ses Aspect

Alain Aspect just received an amply deserved Nobel prize in Physics – adding one drawing to my collection of Nobel Prize drawings

Drawing by Alain Aspect (2010)

I recall bumping on him at the cafeteria at Ecole Polytechnique back in the days, and asking him questions which he often dismissed in two sentences…

Incidentally, the last time I went there in December 2019 to visit my friend Franck Delmotte (Director of study at Institute of Optics Graduate School), he was just besides us.

Alain Aspect at the Ecole Polytechnique cafeteria on December 17, 2019

How to get the most out of a conference in person

Making the most out of a conference is a good idea! My friend Maria Zurek (former Berkeley Lab postdoc, now at Argonne) made a very interesting talk, and here are her slide:

Maria Zurek (left) and I (right) with Jeff Welser (IBM VP of research, center) and the rest of the Berkeley Lab Postdoc Association in October 2019

She gave a few great pieces of advice, here are my favorites:
– come to the conference with your slides READY. If they’re not ready, you will miss most of the social hours, where the networking happens (that’s a hard one – but very true: a conference is mostly about meeting people, not presenting your research.)

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Hello, Chicago

I recently traveled to Argonne National Lab to meet with colleagues from the XSD-OPT team at the Advanced Photon Source.

Advanced Photon Source patio (July 2022)

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Dream beam

I am very happy to announce that was granted en Early Career Research Award by the US Department of Energy, to work on the DREAM beam: Diffraction-limited Radiation Enhancement with Adaptive Mirrors for x-ray coherent beamlines.

Here are some news releases:

They may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one

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