The Journey Back

Aaaaah! Like all good things, my summer at CERN also came to an end. If something summarizes my feelings about this topic, its “I did not want to come back” :’D
Saying goodbye to my friends, specially my roommates was the hardest thing. But we already have plans of meeting up soon, so fingers crossed 😉


Souvenirs, Shopping, Goodies

Intel, being a sponsor of Openlab, gave away Intel goodies to all the Openlab summer students. This was the best stuff – free stuff!!! 😃


Wherever I went in my two months there, I made sure to get atleast one souvenir from that place. Not because I was going to forget about the place later, but because I wanted to save a small piece of that place with me forever. Read More »

A Birthday in Chamonix

Chamonix is by far the MOST beautiful place in Europe I have seen. The greenery, mountains, river, houses built that compliment the scenery around them and a hustling bustling city center – everything makes me want to live there forever. The three of us roommates, along with another friend went to Chamonix on the 21st August, to celebrate my roommate’s birthday. We missed our bus by half an hour, so it was quite surprising that we made it there by getting on the next bus (without paying any extra) 😀.Read More »

The Lightning Talks

During the last 2-3 weeks of the program, one or two days are dedicated to the Lightning Talks by all the students. The lightning talk is a 5 minute presentation on the work one has done during their stay at CERN. 5 minutes, as can be guessed, is not quite a long time for a presentation. It took a lot of hard work to make the most easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive presentations that could be delivered within the time frame. Read More »

4 Days in Spain

11th – 14th July was for Spain. I had to take two days off from CERN (and make up for those in the next weekend), but it was worth it. I have some family members living there, so it did not make sense to go all the way to Europe and not meet the family that is there 😛.  They live in Vitoria-Gasteiz. I landed on the Bilbao airport, they picked me up and we went shopping, touring and beaching for the next three days.

The best parts: I visited a beach for the first time and I had authentic home-made Pakistani food after more than a month!😀



Paris! The city of love and lights…

It was not possible to stay in Europe for two months without visiting one of the most famous cities of the world – Paris! 🙂 An 8 hour bus ride took us to Paris on the Friday 5th August’s night. We reached Paris early in the morning, went to Christopher’s Inn to drop our luggage, had breakfast from their buffet and went on a tour of the city. The first day consisted of the following tourist attractions in the given order.

Sacre Coeur

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Lausanne :)

The second of the two out-of-city trips arranged by the Openlab team for us was to Lausanne on 22nd July. A detailed tour of EPFL and a brief tour of the Olympic museum summarized the day.

We reached EPFL in the morning, drenched in rain, had refreshment and a presentation/information session about the admissions and similar topics and were taken to the Rolex center for a tour. The Rolex center is an architectural and engineering masterpiece.Read More »

Zurich ^_^

As part of the Openlab Summer Student Program, the team arranges trips to universities and IT organizations to provide more opportunities and awareness to the students. This year too, similar visits were arranged. The first trip was to Zurich; to see Open Systems AG, an IT company,  and ETHZ, a federal university.

It was a 2 day trip, 14th-15h July, during the weekdays!! 😎 The first day was official visits, and the second for a guided tour of the city, followed by some free time to eat and sightsee. Read More »

LHCb Welcome Party

The LHCb team organized welcome party/drinks for all the summer students working in LHCb on 13th July. The very nice LHCb Secretariat member Cindy lent me and my friend a ride to the LHCb ‘pit’. It was raining heavily from afternoon to the night, so the moods and spirits were lifted by the weather. There was a small tour of the experiment, but we could not go to the collider as it was running 😥. Still, it was a very informative as well as fun evening.

The LHCb Control Center

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A Trip to Annecy

9th July (a Saturday) was our trip to Annecy, a town in France, with a beautiful lake and city. It was the first far away trip with the Openlab group, a great chance to make new friends and talk more to more colleagues 😀. We took the morning bus from Geneva Airport to Annecy, and returned in the evening after spending the whole day there.


It was a very hot day. Unfortunately I could not get a boat ride and enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake and hills more, but the sun burn and sweat was worth it!Read More »

Touring Geneva

The weekend I reached, I visited the supermarkets, streams, kebab places and bakeries in Saint Genis Poully and Val Thoiry to get familiarized with the place I will be living in for the next two months.

On my second weekend there, a group of us went on day tours to Geneva. Geneva is a lovely place! Here are a few places worth visiting if you’re ever around that place. I took all my photos with my cellphone – hence, not the best quality.

The United Nations


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Food @ CERN

For a foodie and an all-time hungry person like me, food is a very important part of the day 😃. CERN has two restaurants, R1 and R2. Other than these, there are small cafeterias/restaurants in some buildings as well, like B-40 or B-13. My office was located in Building 510, which is very close to R1, therefore, I had lunch at R1 everyday (with a few exceptions). We had a small lunch group, that would gather everyday in R1 and share their work problems over lunch 😛

Tuna, with rice and carrots.
Tuna, with rice and carrots.

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My Project: High Speed DAQ with DPDK

I had an interesting project – to say the least. All my attempts of trying to explain it to anyone have not gone too well for me. Therefore, I will just write a short summary of the essence of the project here. The following description comes from my Project Report that I had to submit at the end of my contract period (just because I am too lazy to write the same thing again in different words 😛 ).Read More »