Tutorials and Outreach

From DANSE

Left to Right: Undergraduate discusses using DANSE software in her analysis of magnetic storage materials; 2008 ACNS DANSE workshop on powder diffraction using PDFgui -- 40% of the attendees were women and minorities; 2008 DANSE workshop in Egypt in support of synchotron studies in the Middle East; Minority undergraduates discuss how to improve ease-of-use in analysis software for SANS 2D model functions.


Welcome to the DANSE community outreach page. This site is arranged so that persons of all ages and scientific skills can find something useful. A bulleted list of DANSE outreach activities can be found here. Outreach activities with an online presence are listed below.

Summer students working on SANS projects with Lionel Porcar and Paul Butler at NIST.
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Summer students working on SANS projects with Lionel Porcar and Paul Butler at NIST.
Table of contents

K-12 Outreach

Since 2007, members of the Reflectometry subgroup has been giving presentations and helping run the K-12 after school science program, "4-H Adventures in Science". The following selection of presentations are available online at the Reflectometry trac wiki:

The Diffraction subgroup has also contributed to K-12 education, with several hands-on science workshops in Michigan public schools:

  • Marble Third graders visit the lab!
  • Glencairn 5th graders learn some basic physics concepts
  • Nanotech demonstration at Everett High School
  • Nano segment in MSUs Sensing our World middle-school camp
  • Why can you hear around corners but you can't see around corners?

Drs. Keith, McKerns, and Fultz, of the Inelastic subgroup, have hosted high school interns since 2008 through an arrangement with the Institute for Educational Advancement (http://www.educationaladvancement.org/pages/programspages/apprenticeship.html#Anchor-Sites-6296). These bright young persons with computer skills proved effective beyond their years in evaluating and adapting graphics software.

A hands-on demonstration of nanotechnology in the AP Nanotechnology course at Everett High School in Lansing MI.
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A hands-on demonstration of nanotechnology in the AP Nanotechnology course at Everett High School in Lansing MI.
How did they get that Russian submarine into the Caltech dorms, and why is that water so bright green? (click image for answer)
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How did they get that Russian submarine into the Caltech dorms, and why is that water so bright green? (click image for answer)

General Science

DANSE is working to elevate the level of knowledge about neutron scattering and its associated subfields. The following links are samples of online descriptions being developed as introductions to the different neutron science subfields.

DANSE has a significant portion of the project dedicated to basic scientific software, and has begun to release software that will be of general use to the broader scientific community. DANSE also firmly believes in contributing back to the scientific software community, and has contributed to several essential 3rd party scientific software packages.

Computational Neutron Scattering Science

DANSE also is designed to enable new neutron scattering science. The project has already made several contributions to the scientific community, as is reflected in our scientific software workshops, talks, and publications.

DANSE, as a policy, requires that each software release has a user's guide that not only details the use and features of the software, but also includes a general introduction to the science involved itself. Each software release also requires a set of tutorials that highlight the use of the DANSE software performing cutting edge neutron science.

  • A textbook on Experimental Inelastic Neutron Scattering (http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/projects/danse/doc/Inelastic_Book_sm.pdf) is also available in draft form.
  • PDFgui manual and tutorials: [html (http://www.diffpy.org/doc/pdfgui/pdfgui.html)][pdf (http://www.diffpy.org/doc/pdfgui/pdfgui.pdf)]
  • Preliminary "new science" results (http://danse.us/trac/SrRietveld/wiki/SrRietveldReleaseExample) made possible by !SrRietveld prototype from the Diffraction subgroup
ARCS instrument scientists and staff use DANSE software to acquire data and tune instrument capabilities.
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ARCS instrument scientists and staff use DANSE software to acquire data and tune instrument capabilities.
Neutron scattering scientists touring computing facilities at Caltech.
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Neutron scattering scientists touring computing facilities at Caltech.

Scientific Software Design and Development

A software project the size and scope of DANSE can only function well if it has a strong core of scientific software developers that are familiar with modern software languages and practices. DANSE provides a stock set of tutorials for new developers with topics ranging from basic topics such as an introduction to scientific programming, to advanced topics such as using object-oriented design patterns to increase code flexibility. DANSE also provides tutorials on tools-of-the-trade for distributed software development.

Movies, etc

The DANSE project uses movies as an integral part of our training processes. The old saying is that sometimes a picture can be worth a thousand words. A movie then stands to be worth a whole lot more. Of course, everybody likes movies...

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