culture

Minnesota Nice

Hey there, all! I’ve been in Minnesota since Wednesday for my cousin’s wedding.

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research

Innovative thinking, Brights Ideas, and the Future

The BIF Stage: Where the Future is Made
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global

A Walk in Scotland

Walking, Hill Walking, and Hiking are all incredibly popular in the UK. Walking the West Highland Way is a popular way to spend a week or two, and Scotland’s scenery is so beautiful that I completely understand why. There are gorgeous mountains, beautiful fields, and picturesque villages all over the country. Honestly, there’s just more beautiful nature here than I’ve seen anywhere else. There are a few great walks and hikes in the city of Edinburgh itself (see my post on hiking Arthur’s Seat for great pictures of the city!). But my flatmates and I were looking for something especially scenic, and figured that this weekend was probably our last chance to get a great walk in. It’s starting to get cold, wet, and dark in Scotland.

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research

Flying to Minnesota

Hi there, everyone!

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global

Castles Galore

Hello from the Scottish countryside!

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global

I Won't Be Back Till 2016

And I’m so excited about it!

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culture

Misc fun activities (including Ditch Day video!)

Sorry for the long delay in posting; summer is a time when the days begin to blend together, and a long time flies by without being noticed. I’ll catch you all up in two posts, one talking about everything fun I did (serving as a photo dump) and one with reflections on everything being learned this summer.

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clubs

Weekend Out with the Roomies

Hi all! Anita here. It turns out that I won’t be able to talk too much about Intel—confidentiality issues and all—but that’s okay, because unlike during the Caltech school year, we actually have lives outside of work during the summer! Since Hillsboro is a very suburban area, most people drive to nearby Portland to find action. It’s only about 20-30 minutes away, unless you’re stuck in traffic. My friend’s dad complained a bit about how windy the roads to Portland are but it’s definitely worth the drive, if you ask me. Our itinerary was thus: Friday Night—Dance Social and Ice Cream.

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research

San Diego Sun

Hey there!

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research

KPCB Week 'o' Fun!

Hey there!

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global

A Weekend in the City

Hey there! I’ve had a pretty slow weekend. Friday night we just made an avocado feast - chicken avocado burritos and breaded fried avocado wedges. I crashed pretty quickly, I was tired.

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research

I Met Someone Important

Hey there,

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culture

Bacon and Kickboxing

I had a rough Monday.

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global

Celebrating America's Birthday Away From Home

This past July 4th weekend I was able to go up to San Francisco to meet up with a bunch of friends, all from different phases of my life, and it was an absolute blast of a time getting to see everybody! I could give the full itinerary, but it wasn’t really the most touristy and consisted of a lot of just “chilling.” If anything it was a welcome contrast to the breakneck pace at Caltech; even as I love pushing myself harder intellectually than I’d have ever expected, I can’t like hanging out with good friends any less.

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research

Sun and Surf

Hello, there! On Friday, I got to stage four of five on my summer project, submitted a pull request, and went home (a little early!). My roommates and I coordinated a fancy dinner: sauteed shrimp and lemon quinoa with a side of twice-baked potatoes. I love cooking with people, it’s so satisfying. We get all together and set the table all fancy. Also it tastes really good.

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clubs

2 Weeks of Summer

Hi there! This is Suzy, writing from my apartment in San Francisco.

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global

A weekend of fun

Hey guys! This past weekend was a crazy one for me! I saw more of LA that I had ever seen before and ate literally every moment of the day. I’m excited to share with you guys the awesome time I had! On Saturday, I was able to attend the Gold Cup event at Santa Anita Racetrack with Tom Mannion. For some of my friends, it was their first time watching horse-racing and they were extremely excited. I personally had lived in Kentucky for several years, where attending the Derby was an event everyone did. However, American Pharoh, the first winner of the Triple Crown in 40 something years, was going to be there! It would be like meeting a real celebrity.

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research

More food adventures

A few more food adventures kicked off the beginning of summer for me; I promise I’ll get back to more productive matters in a bit.

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research

The most important two points of my time at Caltech. And some cookies.

While I’m positively bursting to tell the story of my most two important points, I will go in chronological order and first talk about the delicious, delicious cookies I baked with a friend.

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academics

Back to back birthday bashes!

Having a birthday so near the end of the school year as me is always a dilemma, since so many friends can’t make it being busy for finals. Nonetheless, we still managed to have a nice celebration or two.

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research

My first fake Ditch!

Well, I just posted about Ditch Day, what better than to talk about my firstFake Ditch Day!

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research

Thai Food and Greenhouse Gases

This term I’m enrolled in Bi1, Principles of Biology. The first half of the term was focused on basic biology – transcription, translation, three kingdoms, what defines life – and biological techniques/experimental design. Some of the topics were review, and it all went really well with the lab work I was doing in preparation for my SURF. The second half of the term has been focused on metabolism, which is quite a bit more complicated, and new to most of us. We discussed the molecular mechanisms of oxidative phosphorylation (respiration and photosynthesis), for example, drawing out the electron transport chains and redox reactions involved. After delving into those details, we applied the concepts of metabolism to different organisms and communities of organisms, understanding symbiosis through metabolic processes.

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culture

Walking a 5k

Back in high school, we ran 2.5 miles every other day, and the whole school ran a 5k at the end of every year as our final fitness test. Keeping up with running in college is a little harder. First term, I ran every morning with two of my friends, waking up at a bright and early 7:30 a.m. I also occasionally ran in the evenings/middle of the night with Avery Running Group. Second term, I ran very occasionally (due to an injury), and same for third term. Can you see the negative trend here? When I saw the emails about the Caltech Beaver 5k, an event put on by Caltech’s health education advisory league (HEAL), and Catalina Community Associates (CCA), I thought it would be a great way to get back into running. Then I saw that walking was also an option, and decided to do that instead.

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culture

Beach Weekend

So here we are, the weekend before finals, and I’ve done zero homework since Wednesday. To be fair, I don’t have anything due until this coming Thursday, but whatever. Feeling lazy? Not so much. I’ve got a friend visiting from home (all the way from Philly for the weekend!) and we’ve been doing the “Caltech experience.” Except for the homework, which is a pretty integral part of the Caltech experience.

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culture

Trying New Things, Noms Edition

I like having default things – default favorite color, favorite food, favorite book, favorite movie – and I don’t step far out of those boundaries. Moving from Illinois to California hasn’t shaken most of those, but it has changed my food boundaries. For the most part, it’s been different Asian foods. Before I came here, I never knew of the existence of niangao, a Shanghainese, stir-fried rice cake dish. We use rice cake, or “dduk,” a lot in Korean cuisine. There’s rice cake soup, or ddukgook, and spicy rice cakes, or ddukbokki. I was intrigued to see rice cakes, in the shape used in rice cake soup, in another cuisine. I’ve been wanting to try this for at least 1.5 terms, after hearing raving reviews from some upperclassmen. Two weeks ago, I was walking back from Teaspots with some people in my a cappella group, when a car stopped by (John from Avery, champion of niangao) and asked if we wanted to come get dumplings. I shrugged and joined, and was delighted to learn that the dumpling place (Juicy Dumpling in San Gabriel) also had niangao. It was delicious!

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culture

Bubble Soccer Alley Event!

Page house alley event number 199835892: bubble soccer! One of our UCCs, Chi Chi, rented a set of “bubbles” for 24 hours, and we went HAM on them. We only spent about an hour playing soccer with them, and spent the rest of the time fooling around.

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culture

What do Snoop Dogg, Alice in Wonderland, and a German heavy metal band have in common?

Friday, May 22, 2015 was the real senior Ditch Day, and it was glorious. Below I will chronicle the day’s events.

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research

And people say Caltech doesn't care about humanities (trip to the Huntington Libraries!)

If I can give any advice to students trying to choose school to apply to (or attend after they’ve been accepted), it’s to read the course catalog for every school you are considering. Go to the registrar’s website and you should be able to find it from there. Something I didn’t realize when I was looking for colleges: not all colleges offer the same classes. Weird, right? Even in departments that are lauded for being top ten in the country, you’ll find that class offerings are strictly dependent on the professors that are employed at that university, and the courses will be tailored to what those professors like to teach or are good at teaching, which will skew greatly towards their own areas of research. That’s how you get a bioengineering department at Caltech that is world renowned for their biomolecular engineering, but not so much for biodevices. That’s also how you get a Caltech computer science department that will teach you everything the world has to offer on algorithms, tractability, completeness, etc., but not offer you a class in computer security. You’ll find the greatest disparities in course offerings between small schools and big schools, mainly because of the woman/manpower to teach every topic under the sun.We just don’t have a professor that studies computer security.

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clubs

Inter A Cappella Funtimes, Part 2

Ever since the Pipettes began, we’ve been looking forward to watching Pitch Perfect 2 together. All girls group, a cappella, mashups? Right down our alley. The May 15 premiere seemed infinitely far in the future, but as the months flew by, our dreams of singing all the way to the theater didn’t seem so distant. There were also thoughts of somehow organizing all of the a cappella groups to go together, but that seemed like a scheduling mess, considering the pains it takes to schedule one rehearsal for one group (see: The Pipettes).

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research

Inter A Cappella Funtimes, Part 1

A cappella funtimes, you ask? Isn’t a cappella always a fun time? Well yes, we have our rehearsals twice a week, occasionally hang out at Teaspots or Chouse afterwards, and have a lot of fun singing and chatting as a group. Recently, however, we’ve had some inter a cappella events thrown into the mix.

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clubs

Springtime in Pasadena

Welcome to Springtime in California! It’s basically summer, to be honest. We’ve had a few cold weeks (60-75 and cloudy) but they are smattered with bright, sunny, 85 degree days. Woe is the girl who expects a hot day and walks outside in sandals and shorts to 60 degrees and rain. Oof.

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culture

Feeding America(PI)

Every year, Venerable frosh hold a party during third term. Since the workforce is purely frosh, it’s much less ambitious/involved than Venerable interhouse. This year’s theme was America. Each category of the party was headed by one or two frosh — some of my friends put together 4 hours of music, some toiled away at constructing a mini White House, and others painted wallboards with flags and eagles. Chloe and I signed up to be in charge of food, so we had brainstorming sessions on quick and easy red, white, and blue recipes over the months before frosh party. When we learned of our limited budget, we cut down our plans (fresh berries are not cost-effective) and headed to Costco.

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clubs

Page Beach Trip

This past weekend, Page House rented a place in Carlsbad, CA (near San Diego) for two nights. The house was amazing! It had three stories, several TVs, a private movie theater, and it was right across from the beach.

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culture

Beach trippppppp

Hellooooo Carlsbad!

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academics

Running Away From Midterms (towards Old Pas, and more coffee)

Ohhhhh myyyy goddddddd I’m so caffeinated.

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research

Grading Woes, CAPSLOCK EDITION

My last post on the delights and despairs of my graded work had an assortment of first and early second term examples. Halfway into third term, I bring you the latest installment.

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clubs

Welcome, Class of 2019!

Freshman year has passed by so quickly — I repeatedly find myself surprised that events happened at my high school already. One of those milestone events was May 1. Last year, I was pretty set on attending Caltech after Early Action decisions, but for many people, the college decision struggle was real.

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culture

Alley 3 Does Second Dinner

Two Tuesdays ago, to celebrate “the third week of the third term and us being the third alley both in number and alley rankings,” Alley 3 drove to Denny’s for Jim’s UCC office hours. It was our first major food outing since walking to The Counter first term, and once again, the promise of free food garnered a staggering 11 members of Alley 3 (past and present and then some), all of whom somehow squished into 2 cars. My neighbors Gregory and Julian weren’t too pleased with their seating arrangement:

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research

Weekend Food Adventures!

(Everything is an adventure.) Too often do I stay in the house during weekends and eat BCD tofu starter packs or C-store udon (both amazing options, believe me). I try to switch it up — tofu soup for lunch, udon for dinner on Saturday, then the opposite the next day. It’s mundane, but it’s decently good, and it sustains me amidst rehearsals, events, and homework. And it also makes anything out of the ordinary pretty exciting. Over the past year, occasionally, upperclassmen have taken us out to eat over the weekend — ramen, tofu soup, boba…

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clubs

Dhamaka

At the beginning of the year, we had club fair. Excited first term frosh as I was, I went around signing up for all of the clubs (there was a lot of free food…). I must have put my email down for at least 15 clubs, from Chemistry Club to French Club to literally every single dance group. I even signed up for Dhamaka, a Bollywood dance group, because they were super friendly at club fair. I was bracing myself for an influx of promotional emails, and was planning to try the different dance groups out before committing to anything. But from the beginning, Dhamaka stood out as the most well-organized of all of the groups. Right at the organizational meeting (mango lassi and samosas!), fearless captain Meera had everyone sign up on a spreadsheet, listing their contact information and dance experience. The dance rosters were sent out soon after, and then the rehearsals began.

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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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