Welcome to 2010! Let me be yet another person to wish you a Happy New Year, and I hope that this one is happy and healthy for you. This one is especially a big one because I’ve been waiting for this number for many years. Maybe you have been, too! I know I was looking forward to 2006, when I graduated high school (I may be dating myself now…). My advice for these last 5-6 months of high school: enjoy your time at home, with your friends, and in your hometown. I’ll be taking my own advice, except I’ll be making the most out of my last 6 months in SoCal/Pasadena! There’s so much to do, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface.OK enough of me giving advice and looking ahead, this post is about “Looking Back,” so let’s see what else I did this year!
Rose Bowl: Another event giving me the opportunity to spend time with my House was our trip to the Rose Bowl. You know, where they play that kind of important football game every January 1st? Yup, we get it all to ourselves for an afternoon to play football, chill, and explore the historic stadium!
Huntington Gardens: Walking 20 minutes from Caltech, you can be transported to a beautiful world of flowers and plants from around the globe! Huntington Gardens, only $10 for students, is totally worth the money. They have a Japanese Garden, Chinese Garden, a Desert Garden, among others. They also have a tea room so you can enjoy a delicious, light meal inside (and take a break from the sun)!
DITCH DAY: One of those amazing Caltech traditions is Ditch Day. This “holiday” is when the seniors wake up the underclassmen at 8 AM, leave campus, but leave behind a series of clues for everyone to follow. It’s basically like a big scavenger hunt, with different themes as different “stacks”! Local news stations even come by to see what’s going on. Here’s a bit from my stack: Spy Games!
Senior Year: Well, so far, it’s been great! Fortunately, you’ve been following me for this first term (if you haven’t, read up on my previous posts!), so I don’t need to recap. But here are some of my favorite pictures that you haven’t seen yet!
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.