global

Good Night Sunrise

Last weekend I slept in a tent in the desert with three friends, squeezed together side by side like sardines, while infants’ wails rang from the tent in front of us and snoring blared from the one behind. The one of two campgrounds with running water in Joshua Tree National Park seems to be pretty popular for Memorial Day getaways. At 4 a.m., our tent was the obnoxious one. My alarm chimed loudly enough for the occupants of all twenty campsites in our area to hear while I fumbled through my backpack to silence it. After savoring a few more moments in our cozy sleeping bags, we climbed out of the tent and craned our necks upward. There, a faint stripe ran from the horizon up across the sky—the Milky Way. The rest of our group emerged from their various tents, and we crowded around the physics majors, who identified constellations in whispers.

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culture

Dress up like bunnies

It’s common for the new seniors (who are technically juniors) to set up a fake Ditch Day stack after the real Ditch Day. For Page House, our “Day After” fake stack happened a week after. At 8 am, the house was woken up to a battle between Twix bunny and the Frosted Flakes tiger.

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clubs

My First 짜장면 (Jajangmyeon)

Today, for the first time, my friends and I cooked Korean food on our own. My mom is Korean, and when she makes Korean food, I’m typically assigned the task of chopping vegetables or mixing salt into rice or some else mundane. The most pivotal role I’ve played in Korean food prep up until today has been spreading rice and vegetables on a sheet of seaweed and rolling it up to make kimbap, the Korean lookalike of sushi. Even then, my aunt was working beside me, bestowing frequent advice: don’t spread the rice all the way to the end of the sheet, or it’ll splurt out when you roll it; put the spinach and radish in this order to make it look prettier.

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culture

Quest Through Amsaria

My cough and allergies were hitting hardcore on May 25th, the night before Ditch Day, but there was still a lot of work to be done and limited time in which to do it. Before dinner, Anjali, Bolton and I went shopping for last-minute supplies, such as sugar and butter for baking, wrapping and construction paper to build the arch after the jello idea failed, and yarn for weaving wristbands and bracelets such as the one shown below after stained glass proved to be too pricey:

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research

Quest Through Amsaria

Caltech alumni generally come back to help out on their friends’ stacks for Ditch Day. We had invited 8 people for our stack, and they were all going to be actors in the Town Market section, as the merchants. I came up with the idea of using cardboard trifolds, like the type one sees at high school science fairs, for stalls. While the other members of my group took care of the other stations, I spent a lot of my time for the past 7 weeks of this term shut in the library painting. Here is how each of the trifolds turned out:

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culture

Visit all the beaches

One of the things I will miss most about southern California is its beaches. The week of commencement is going to be super packed, so I figured the weekend right before that would be a good time to take a solo adventure to Santa Monica.

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research

Quest Through Amsaria

When I mentioned in my previous post that for the underclassmen stackees, Ditch Day began at 7:45 a.m. on May 26, 2017, I left out the other half of the story: that for the senior stackers, Ditch Day began a long time ago. Technically, my friend Anjali and I knew we wanted to do an original theme sometime in our junior year. By the beginning of winter break, we had assembled our team, and by the beginning of third term this year, preparations were already on their way.

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research

Traverse water on a bike

Our class got a lot of weird looks that day we demo-ed our bike projects for E88 Critical Making. We were led by our guest lecturersJen Hofer and Rob Ray, who are artists in the LA area.

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research

Enter an art gallery after hours

For Drawing and Painting class, the instructor Jim Barry took the class to Art Center College of Design for a field trip. Part of the gallery involves an area reserved for a professional artist. It was closed when we arrived at around 7:30 pm, but we had a security guard open it for us. The artiston exhibition right now is Yoshio Ikezaki, a professor at Art Center. His works with different kinds of inks and papers are put on show, including folded paper sculptures.

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local

Visit to the Getty Villa

There are a ton of amazing art museums in the Los Angeles area. If you don’t have a car, many of them are difficult to visit from campus. My freshman year, I had the luck of being able to visit the Getty Museum twice! The Getty is a private art museum which holds tons of classical and contemporary art. The same family which built the Getty also built the Getty Villa, a museum in Malibu, CA which houses exclusively classical antiquities (think ancient Greek and Roman art). I didn’t get the chance to visit the Getty Villa until just last week!

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research

Meeting of the Minds

Two weeks ago, the CMS (Computing and Mathematical Sciences) department held their annual Meeting of the Minds mini-conference. This event is held every year during alumni weekend as a kind of showcase of student work for the visiting alumni (some local tech companies attended this year as well). The event begins with a keynote talk, which is followed by a two-hour poster session of student research and projects.

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culture

How to make giant Rush Hour

For one of the car-themed games for our Fast and Furious Ditch Day activities, we made a giant version of theboard game “Rush Hour”. The point of the game is to slide blocks around until a designated block makes its way across the grid.

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research

Go Fast-er and Furious-er on Ditch Day

Seniors plan elaborate Ditch Day activities for the underclassmen each year, often sleeping very little the night before. There is a midnight curfew till 8 am, the only time seniors have free reign over the campus without the chance of underclassmen might walk by and ruin the surprise.

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global

Scout out modern art

Leaving the museum, we ran into a self-serve boba truck and got decently priced beverages (with all the topping you could ever want!) that came with a cute glass bottle.

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clubs

Take Back the Night

A few weeks ago, the Caltech Feminist Club hosted our third annual Take Back the Night event. Take Back the Night exists to support victims of sexual violence. It is held around the country every year, and often involves a rally, a candle lit vigil, and a march. Our event was a little smaller than usual, with about 30 people in attendance, so we didn’t hold a march. Instead, we organized a night where students and other Caltech community members can share their stories of encountering sexual violence and listen to those of others.

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local

Apartment Search

This past week I played hooky from Caltech. I skipped an entire week of classes and flew to the east coast for two major events: my boyfriend’s graduation from his university, and our new apartment search in New York!

I flew out on a Tuesday night and we took a train from Philadelphia to NYC the next morning. We checked into our Airbnb apartment early Wednesday afternoon and explored the Brooklyn neighborhood we were staying in. Around 3pm, we met up with a realtor to search our favorite neighborhood for apartments. And we found one on the first day!

I was shocked that we found a place so quickly. We are both worked fairly close together, so we knew the general radius of neighborhoods around our workplaces that we wanted to live in, in order to keep our commutes as short as possible. I also wanted to be near a park so that it would be easy to run before work, so that helped us narrow down our neighborhood search to one or two. We found a place in the first group of seven apartments we saw, and we got our application in the first day. Since we found an apartment on the first day, we spent the next two days of our trip to NYC doing more fun things! We were able to go to the Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art, and try a few amazing restaurants (and bakeries, of course).

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local

Late Night Food in Koreatown

Friends in Ktown.
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local

Sugar Overload in Beverly Hills

Matcha crepe with strawberries, whipped cream, green tea ice cream, and mochi from Harajuku Crepe.
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culture

Hitchhike from the forest

Enticed by images of water filled caves and promises of an adventure, Jennifer and I decided to go hiking to Dawn Mines in Altadena, in Angeles National Forest. We got dropped off at Millard Camp Ground (20 min and $10 Uber from Caltech). We chose the Millard Falls trailhead over the Sunset Ridge one (which was a few hundred feet away) because we heard it was faster though it’ll involve some climbing.

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culture

Brioche + Berries + Bollywood

It was a fun Sunday evening. First, there was dessert. Then there was dancing.

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culture

Swedish Meatballs

Meal planning, among many other things, is difficult when you’re indecisive. It’s even more so when you have a big book of four-hundred recipes out of America’s Test Kitchen.

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research

Fly a giant balloon

For E88 Critical Making, we embarked on the balloon mapping unit. Balloon mapping is a grassroots technique for gathering aerial photographs. Examples of uses might be for mapping refugee camps which are often grayed out of maps for the general public, or for gathering images documenting the extent of oil spills. We had a guest lecturer who is working closely with Public Lab, a DIY citizen science collaboration, with balloon mapping.

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local

Dine with the firefighters next door

It’s somewhat of an annual tradition to have a special Chandler dinner for Cinco de Mayo at Caltech. This year, it was a triple threat, with Guardians of the Galaxy decorations and special guests: firefighters!

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culture

Homemade Paneer Tikka Masala

My friend Jagriti and I decided to make paneer tikka masala the other day. Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese-like type of protein. Jagriti and I have cooked together since freshman year, but we’ve never made Indian food up till now, in part because it can be a very involved process but also because I’m fonder of cooking than Jagriti is and all I know is what my mom makes, which is mostly Taiwanese food.

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clubs

Dim Sum with the Alley

As one of the UCCs (Upperclass Counselors) of my House at Caltech, I take my alley (hallway) off campus once in a while for edible excursions. On Saturday I decided to do a dim sum trip to Full House Seafood Restaurant in Arcadia, California. Our little group of 6 that could make it had dim sum experiences ranging from none (Karim) to “first and only time last summer” (Sarah) to “have been 3 times in the last 3 months with various groups of people” (me). It would be a lunch outing ripe with adventure and shared experiences.

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research

Ge 1 Field Trip (Part 2)

At the end of my last post, I was riding the bus towards camp and dinner. That night, after a hearty pasta dinner, we explored the camp. Behind our cabin was a hill, which looked like it’dhavea really nice view of the mountains behind, so after eating, we set out for the top. It was nearing dark, but the distance looked mild. I had no doubt we’d make it up in fifteen minutes.

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culture

Page Cocktail Party

Page Cocktail Party is an annual affair. Everyone in Page (who are all calledPageboys, regardless of gender) get fancy paper invitations and can bring guests. Page Cocktail Party is always held at a nice location on campus and features a bartender (who checks ID), a live band, a photobooth, delicious finger foods, and fun games! The drinks are traditionally named after Pageboys. The food this year included smoked salmon, various sausages, and a wide assortment of cheeses and crackers. The dress code is formal attire, and there is no fee to attend.

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culture

A Connoisseur's Guide to Restaurants Around LA

The advantage of having friends with cars, who are foodies, is the near-unlimited opportunities that arise forpursuing delicious eats and drinks. In Southern California, this means good Asian places around the Monterey Park area in terms of food, and a plethora of boba tea shops in terms of drink. My current car-owning friends are mostly vegetarian so it isn’t often that I can bribe them to take me out for meat-heavy Chinese food, but every time the recently-graduated alumni return to visit, we go out to our favorite haunts.A time-withstood favorite of ours is this place called Spicy City in San Gabriel, California.

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academics

Aquarium Cookies

There’s been a video circulating around Facebook recently on making “aquarium cookies.”

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global

Experience the superbloom

Page House’s annual beach trip is a 3 hour drive southwards to Carlsbad. I noticed a field of yellow flowers right off the side of the road. I tried walking into the prickly field and all I found was more and more of the yellow flowers. This probably has something to do the with superbloom in California after we finally got out of the drought.

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research

Snap a picture with infinite twinkly lights

I visited the Broad Museum in LA this Friday! We booked the free tickets a month ahead of time because the museum was so popular and busy. As if to balance out the free tickets, parking was super expensive, around $14 for the first 3 hours and then you pay per 15 minutes after that.

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research

Working in Lab During the Year

Hi all, Sorry for my prolonged absence from the airwaves. I’ve been working a lot on my senior thesis this term, and as a matter of fact I’ll talk about what it’s like to do research during the year in this blog post.

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global

Ge 1 Field Trip (Part 1)

I never planned to take geology in college. I knew nothing about earth science and was perfectly fine leaving things that way. I was just never interested in rocks. In fact, I dodged the earth science part of middle school curriculums when I switched schools in seventh grade. My mom taught earth science, and seeing the ordinary, dusty specimens of her students’ rock collections assured me that I hadn’t missed anything.

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local

Two Hour Wait for Nashville Fried Chicken

Southern style fried chicken is my new favorite comfort food. I had some serious fried chicken cravings this past Sunday, so I decided to drag my poor, unsuspecting boyfriend to Howlin’ Ray’s to wait in line with me for arguably the best fried chicken in LA. You know it has to be good when there is always a 1-2 hour wait no matter what day you go and what time you go. Howlin’ Ray’s has an impressive 4.5 star rating on Yelp, averaged over 1300+ reviews. It is located in a plaza in Chinatown, along with other popular favorites Chego and Baohouse.

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local

Terra Cotta

This is a review of Terra Cotta in Koreatown. I went to Terra Cotta for my birthday dinner with my boyfriend on a Sunday night. They didn’t have uni (sea urchin) or toro (fatty tuna) when I went because it was a Sunday and the seafood wouldn’t be fresh since it was a Sunday. I assume the seafood markets selling uni and toro didn’t have them that Sunday (or maybe they usually don’t carry them on Sundays). Anyway, I would recommend going on a different day because I definitely wanted to try the uni dishes and you get more for your money on other days (you pay the same for the dishes that contain uni on Sundays).

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culture

The Originalist Play + Discussion

This event counts a little as an on-campus and off-campus adventure. The Pasadena Playhouse, about a mile from campus, is currently running a play called “The Originalist,” about the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia was a proponent of Originalism, a constitutional interpretation that rose in popularity while he was on the bench. The Caltech Center for Diversity (CCD) arranged 50 tickets for Caltech community members. Wouldn’t you know it, but the play on that night was followed by a discussion led by Caltech History professor Dr. Kousser, who is teaching the Supreme Court History class I am currently taking. What luck! :P

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research

Dunk your math professor

In the spring, Caltech holds its annual Grad Fair for its graduating students.

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research

Peer through an architectural "telescope"

Right across the street from campus, on the way to the gym, there’s a distinct red building. It’s the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics. It’s somewhat ironic that this building, which looks like it went through an earthquake, is the astronomy building. Across the street, there’s a building with a telescope dome on top, and it is for seismology. In fact, this dome is a solar dome that opens up and follows the sun throughout the day to project images of the sun inside and also to bring sunlight into basement.

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culture

Succulents at the Huntington Gardens

What type of plant is prickly and ugly—nothing but a nuisance? Not cacti, I’m now convinced after visiting the Huntington Gardens. Only a fifteen-minute walk from campus, Huntington contains twelve themed botanical gardens, one of which has a conservatory full of succulents both soft and spiny from deserts in Africa, Mexico, and more. Some were so adorable I wanted to pet them; others were whimsical, even fantastical, as if spawned in the imagination of Dr. Seuss. There were succulents with spines like silk and flowers like fire. Some were spherical, others were angular, and one was lumpy and tubular like a brain. Most plants were arrayed in little containers on long tables, but others dangled upside down from hanging pots. Here are a few of my favorite sights from the conservatory.

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research

Plants on Campus

When I was choosing a college, there was one aspect of Caltech which I could not get out my head. It wasn’t its rigorous academics, its world-renowned research, or even its number one rank by Times Higher Education. In fact, the strongest pull I felt from Caltech had nothing to do with education at all. I was in love with the plants.

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local

March for Science and other events

A few exciting things have happened on and around campus recently that I wanted to share with you :)

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clubs

Dance Show 2017

Hi friends, I was pretty busy for the first week of term because I was still unpacking from my spring break trip and rehearsing for the dance show that weekend. My friend Suchita has been teaching us choreography that she put together since the beginning of second term way back in January. We danced to three songs, Beyoncé’s “I Slay,” Rihanna’s “Yeah I Said It,” and Iggy Azalea’s “Team.”

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Spotlight


academics

My Trip to the Galapagos!

It’s been over three months since my trip to the Galapagos, and I am still thinking about it. For seven days, we all woke up at 5:30 am on the boat, ate breakfast together, and went out as the sun was rising on our morning hike to catch frigatebirds mating or iguanas spewing salt from their nostrils. Our days were spent snorkeling with turtles, sea lions, and schools of fish, and our nights were spent sitting on the bow of the ship, talking all together under the stars. It was truly a spring break I will never forget.

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culture

Caltech Food Tour

Caltech may be a small campus, but it has a large variety of food options. There are three main dining locations on campus — The Lee F. Browne Dining Hall, the Hameetman Center (which houses our beloved Red Door Cafe), and the Broad Café.

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academics

Some Late-Night Stress-Saving Food Runs

Midterms kept up its unrelenting attack on my sanity this week – at least a little bit. And how did I solve this? Two words.

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global local culture

Quick Trip to the Beach

Although there are a lot of smaller things, such as midterm smoothies and milkshakes (Blacker does something similar to this) and some larger things like Faculty Dessert Night, the soc team usually agrees that beach trip is the most work.

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