Derek Mathieson

An Introduction to CERN, from an IT Perspective


Information technologies, in all its forms, are key to CERN’s activities. In this presentation, Derek will give an overview of the organization’s mission, and highlight some of its ground-breaking activities from the perspective of an IT professional, beginning with the inception of the World Wide Web, to the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid, which provides the resources to store, distribute, and process the ~30 petabytes of data produced annually by the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator.


Derek Mathieson is technical lead and principal architect in CERN’s administrative internet development group. He is also a key architect of the J2EE implementation of CERN’s e-Business system. He originally came to CERN as part of his Information Engineering Degree at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

After graduating, he returned to CERN where he developed the software for some of the embedded systems that control CERN’s massive particle accelerators. In his spare time in 1992 he also helped debug one of the world’s first web browsers. Later he was offered a post at the Supercollider (SSC) in Dallas, Texas, where he developed device drivers for the SONNET high-speed optical network. When Congress closed SSC, he returned to CERN where he joined the CERN Electronic Document Handling section as a developer. Since then he has moved on to being responsible for technology choices for all applications developed by the internet development services group.

Derek has been interested in Java technology since its inception, and in early 1997, he installed his first ‘production’ applet to perform client-side password encryption as part of a Web-based ‘single sign-on’ solution.

His interests include Enterprise JavaBeans architecture, Security, coding standards for the Java platform and snowboarding.

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