by Daniil Ponomarenko. Published: 19 September 2014

I  first heard about CERN's summer students programme when some students from my home university participated in this programme and told me that it would be a good experience for me. After a few discussions with them and my professors I decided to apply for a summer in the Mecca of modern physics.

My bachelor degree was devoted to modeling electromagnetic shower in calorimeter PHOS using Geant4 package while my master thesis was about analyzing data from ALICE experiment.

At CERN, my project focused on studying π0, charged hadron correlations with PHOS, one of the ALICE detectors. I hope that the results from this analysis will help in improving our understanding of the properties of strongly-interacting nuclear matter, the deconfined state of quarks and gluons, created in ultra-relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

CERN is an amazing place! There are so many people carried away by physics. Professors from all over the world gave lectures in various fields of science. At CERN we had all the conditions needed to succeed in work. My most favorite place at CERN is R1. Big and comfortable tables, glass walls which provide good view to Mont Blanc and airport glissade, fast Wi-Fi, research atmosphere - all this increased my efficiency. Finally, I saw the PHOS detector modules that were designed and constructed by NRC "Kurchatov Institute" team. Moreover, I took the opportunity to visit the LHC experiments. Thanks to Michael Weber for organizing a great visit to ALICE! I also visited the CMS and ATLAS experiments. They are so big and so complicated. What I saw lived up to all my expectations.

Moreover, during my stay at CERN I made many new friends. We went on a trip to Montreux, hiking in the mountains, searched for the summer student temple in a CERN basement, swam in lake Geneva and much more.  Our team took part in 2014 WebFest. We developed framework for automatic studying and correlation building practically in all types of data: music, pictures, text files. Though we didn't win, I have gained new knowledge about application-development and made contacts with OpenLab students. Our team hopefully will continue working under this project.

Finally, I hope that I will keep in touch with the new friends and students that I met here at CERN. Communication with them blasted my mind. I will also remember the friendly atmosphere in the circle of amazing people from all over the world and the spirit of cutting-edge research.