Annabel Reyna Gomez

Annabel Reyna Gomez

Hello, my name is Annabel Reyna Gomez! I am a junior from the San Francisco Bay Area (home of the Silicon Valley) pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering. On campus, I am a member of Venerable House, Club Latino, Women Mentoring Women, a Caltech Y Rise Tutor, the Mechanical Lead of the AIAA LIGO Innovation Team, and an Admissions Ambassador. Off campus, I intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and work on force estimations of the InSight Mars Lander robotic arm. During my free time, I enjoy 3D printing, watching movies with my friends, painting, and silk screening.


Latest Articles


academics

Admissions Decision Retrovision

As I sit down to write this blog, I can’t help but reflect on how fast the years go by. It has been over three years already since I received my Caltech admissions decision. That was a very special day in my life, and I remember it like it was yesterday. As soon as I submitted my application to Caltech, my dad and I made it our job to read endless articles about Caltech. I wanted to learn everything about my dream school. The more I read, the more excited I became. It was also nerve-wracking, and I was anxious to learn when decisions were going to be announced.

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culture

Greek Life or Lack Thereof at Caltech

One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Venerable, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Venerable House!

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research

Paving the Way & Enjoying the Journey on the Road Less Traveled

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.

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research

An Interview with a JPL Mentor!

Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:

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research

Forging Ahead with Research while Sheltering in Place

The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.

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research

AnnABEL's Theorem

Have you ever gotten lost trying to find an address? Have you ever been annoyed by the voice on your phone telling you to “Turn left in 100 ft.” when in reality there is no street to turn into? When you find an address using your phone, have you ever wondered where that information comes from? I think we all have. GPS (Global Positioning System) is a system composed of a fleet of about 24 satellites put into orbit and maintained by the U.S. Department of defense. This technology is used to find a position on Earth by using a mathematical technique, called trilateration. Trilateration uses about 3 satellites, at any given time, to determine an object’s speed, elevation, and position. Most electronic devices come with a built-in GPS chip and use Wi-Fi networks and cellphone towers to enhance location accuracy and calculate its position. Even though GPS is a highly sophisticated system, it is far from perfect! It is not uncommon for it to malfunction when a navigator cannot receive sufficient satellite data or when signals move too slowly due to atmospheric irregularities in the troposphere and ionosphere. This, in turn, can output inaccuracies in location calculations which can cause serious problems in navigation and aviation in addition to unnecessary stress and frustration.

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research

Applying for a Caltech SURF!

The research opportunities, offered to all students at Caltech, are second to none! There are many labs on campus, and I am constantly amazed by the ground-breaking research being conducted by professors, graduates, and undergraduates in each of these labs on a daily basis. The best part is that Caltech undergraduates have the opportunity to apply for and obtain internships in many of these labs. They get to participate and be an integral part of ingenious research. From what I’ve heard, this is not the case in other undergraduate programs. Students elsewhere are usually not given such tremendous opportunities and respect, especially so early in their college career. Instead, they are usually tasked with cleaning beakers or secretarial work; not getting the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in class to study a discipline they’re passionate about, firsthand.

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research

From Algorithms to Sprung Rhythms

Hello everybody! My name is Annabel Reyna Gomez. I was born and raised in Northern California. I am the oldest child in a family of four and live with my parents and younger brother in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am first-generation Mexican-American and the first female in my family to study STEM. Currently, I am a sophomore at Caltech pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering.

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