culture

No we aren't too old to have a pinata

Last weekend we celebrated Nadia’s 22nd birthday. The festivities included delicious homemadeflautasand cake, a Batman pinata, and a game called Mexican Train Dominos.

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academics

A blog revived! And Ditch Day 2012!

Hello hello hello. I know it’s been a while since you’ve seen me post anything… and I apologize for not being there to make your day. Here’s what you can look forward to on this edition of “International Perspective” (or as I secretly call it “The Chad Scribbles Experience”): Ditch day 2012 recap, why in the heck I haven’t posted anything in so long, where I am right now (you may or may not be surprised), and other musings. Here goes!

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research

Fête Nationale!

So this past Saturday was the 14th of July which is Fête Nationale in France, basically the equivalent of the 4th of July in France, as it marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. It was only appropriate to spend the weekend in a large city in France so the four of us went to Lyon which is only a two hour train ride from Geneva. Lyon is the second largest conurbation in France and has a strong Roman history. When we first got into Lyon we headed across the split river to the old town and climbed all the way up to the top of the hill. Up on top we found the old Gallo-Roman theatres which are now used for some different performances, including a circus.

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global

Heidelberg

Hey everyone! So with the end of the second week we all decided that it was time to explore a bit of Germany. All four of us bought Eurail passes so Alex went to meet a friend in Stuttgart and Max, Lisa and I decided to take the trains up to Heidelberg, a historic city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was a pretty nice trip since we were able to use the 1st class cabins and even got our own cabin room on the way back.

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research

A New Candidate Boson!

So … it turns out that my last post was actually put up after the whole Higgs thing happened on Wednesday and this one will probably be posted even later. But, in case you haven’t already heard, the CMS and ATLAS experiments from CERN both had a press conference on Wednesday, July 4th, where they announced their independent progress on the search for the Higgs boson. The exciting news from CMS being that a new candidate boson was determined with a mass of 125.3 (+- 0.6) GeV with a significance level of 4.9 standard deviations from the expected outcome of the Higgs-less Standard Model. It’s pretty exciting news for everyone and there have been plenty of celebrations. Of course this would just the beginning of the new stage of measurements for the Higgs boson.

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culture

Adventures on the Metro

With my parents residing an hour’s drive from Caltech, I’m able to get home more frequently than most Techers. However, for my parents to pick me up and drop me off from campus, they have to take two two-hour round trips, which makes it a bit of an inconvenience if I’m only going home for the weekend, and gas gets expensive too. As a result, I’ve figured out how to take the LA Metro and Metrolinkfrom Pasadena via Union Station to Irvine, which is a much shorter drive for my parents. This last weekend I needed to get home for two birthday parties, but I also wanted to avoiding missing several days of work, so I used public transit. Figured you guys might be interested in what my experience was like, so here’s the play by play of my trip on Friday.

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research

First week

I am pretty excited to say that I have finished my first week here at CERN. I spent most of this week filling out paperwork, attending meetings and trying to write my code (emphasis on the “trying”). CERN uses a programming language called ROOT which is based somewhat off of C++ and was created for physicists. As everyone here is quick to proclaim, nobody knows how to use ROOT. It’s somewhat of a challenge seeing that only particle physicists use it and every time you google anything about it you only find websites about gardening, but that’s what we’re here for. So basically my job this week has been to find meetings to attend to learn more about ECAL, understand ROOT and start writing the code for my calibration.

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research

Welcoming New Friends, Saying Goodbye to Old Ones

I’ve already told you about theInvasion of the Summer Students. Well, with the help of our RA’s we threw a welcome bbq for them on Sunday.

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global

Home to the Beach

Most people who move to Caltech are excited about how they’re moving so close to the ocean. I was lucky enough to grow up two blocks from the ocean, and now I spend most of the year deprived of it. Now that it’s summer, however, we have time for regular beach trips, and I know just the place to take all of my Caltech friends…

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research

One year down!

Why hello there prefrosh; welcome to my little niche of what we call the Caltech Blogs! Please, take a seat!! Or a couch, or a bean bag, or even the floor if you wish!

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research

Invasion of the Summer Students

I blog to you today from my desk in lab as I wait for a centrifuge to become available. I, and many of the other bloggers, have been busy for the last several days and are now just settling into our summer jobs. Here’s what you missed: complete chaos. Shortly after commencement, all students leaving campus for the summer had to move out of their rooms and put anything they were not taking with them into storage. All students staying on campus for the summer had to move into their summer room assignment. Of course, if you’re moving into a new room, first someone else has to move out of it, and that person might have to wait for someone to move out of their new room, etc. This results in everyone moving all of their belongings into the hallway, like this: All of my worldly possessions, minus my keyboard, guitar, and pet snake’s terrarium.Now, I was lucky enough to be the only person piling stuff in this hallway. Some of our hallways were practically floor to ceiling with stuff. It’s kind of frustrating, but there’s just no other way to do it in a college dorm, and it could be a lot worse. Caltech is probably one of the only places where I could leave my keyboard, guitar, macbook,wallet, ipod, phone, etc. chilling in the hallway for hours without worrying about someone walking by and stealing any of it. The honor code: it works, and it is awesome.

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academics

We'll Always Have Caltech

Finals week has come to a close, not with a bang, but not with a whimper either. It was closer to a “meh,” really. Regardless, its time to wrap up third term and the year, and what better way than graduation?

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research

Bi1

Hi everyone!

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research

This is what it's all about!!

Hi guys! :) I just had a short post I wanted to share with you all. So in my Ay1 class (it’s called The Evolving Universe) we had a final project. The project was this: “The objective of these projects is to explore the scientific creative process. First identify an interesting scientific question or hypothesis (related to astronomy), and then reason out how to evaluate it. We do not want the students to do web searches or background reading searching for established answers to the question – instead it would be good to reason out how you would analyze it if there were no prior analysis.” THIS PROJECT. WAS AWESOME.

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culture

Breakdancing in San Diego!

Hi everyone!! Adventures off-campus, plus a night of dancing? Yes please! This last Friday, I took a trip to San Diego with some friends and my boyfriend Paul to see another one of my friends, Ian, compete in a breakdancing battle. (Interestingly enough, it seems like dancing in SD is a thing with Techers… check out Teo’s blog about ithere) Before we got there, we stopped by Coldstone for some noms. Paul got an obnoxious amount of ice cream!! The picture doesn’t really do it justice.

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research

Pump Iron

Tempting, random Internet comic, a tempting strategy indeed.

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research

DITCH DAY is... Tomorrow?

Hi everybody!

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culture

Infinity minus infinity is.... zero?

Hey Guys! So a couple days ago, a friend of ours, my roommate and I were sitting in our room and somehow the concept of inifity came up. Being students of science, we had to explore an idea. My roommate doesn’t really believe in the concept of different sizes of inifinity, at least from an application in the real world stand point, which makes sense since he thinks about things more practically than theoretically.

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research

Grande Mocha Espresso Macchiato What Is This I Don't Even --

So, midterms are over, been through a few straight hours of class, and I did not get too much sleep last night (refer to previous post). I’m going to try and get through this without any coffee.

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research

The Caltech Nuances

Question from a prefrosh: **What do you do for fun? How can Caltech be such a happy place? **Boring answer: I engage myself in various activities around campus, from music groups to house events. I also make sure I sleep well and Not boring answer: As an admissions blogger, I have gotten myself into appreciating subtle nuances from everyday life or from my past. Every single one of the quotations of the day (yes, I am generally grammatically incorrect) is from listening to everything around me and appreciating the humor. Also, I take pictures to capture whatever is going on around me (as you can see from my blogs), and I really appreciate the 500 photos I take per term.

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global

Difficult Decisions

Happy National Astronomy Day friends! :) (Actually it was last Saturday…) Since it is a day to celebrate space and the cosmos (<3 <3 <3), I want to share with you guys a little bit about my tricky decision between majoring in Astrophysics and majoring in Planetary Science. I know not everyone is interested in these majors, but often at Tech you’ll find yourself stuck between two equally amazing choices. This is kind of how I worked my way through that choice.

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research

Step Back and Here Comes the Nighttime

Morning! Or night. Or whatever. Late nights are weird.

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research

Counting Down the Minutes Until 3 PM

** Why hello there! Welcome to my humble abode. Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Srinivasa “Aditya” Bhattaru, and I shall be your host for this evening/afternoon/morning/whenever you decide to peruse this blog.

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clubs

Neutral Milk Hotel

“What’s that? Isn’t milk slightly basic?” It’s okay if you’ve never heard of them. Neutral Milk Hotel is a band from the late 90’s most famous for their album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, an eccentric indie-folk-rock album inspired by Anne Frank. The songs are composed of a conglomerate of trumpets, acoustic guitars, accordions, and nasally voices. Sounds strange, right? Shortly after its release, the frontman, Jeff Mangum, disappeared from the public eye, ceasing to produce new music or perform.

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culture

Tea Party! (?)

Hi all you caffeinated kiddos out there! I guess redecorating your room is the new big thing! My friend Raj recently redid his, complete with couch, table, and rug. It’s a really nice place to hang out and chill, or work on physics, or occasionally get together to have tea! Before you call it a tea party, I’ll have you know that it is a gathering of companions who enjoy intellectual conversation and sharing caffeinated beverages…. okayyy fine it’s a tea party. But minus the frills and pretty dresses (much to my dismay).

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research

Back in Action PART 1

It has been a while since I posted anything up to the blogs, but I promise I have enough to make up 2 (3…4?) blogs.

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culture

Caltech in the Dark

I have somewhat of an interest in photography–though I am no pro, when I see something cool, I take a picture of it. Twice in my entire time at Caltech, the evening weather made for some gorgeous shots. Take a look and tell me what you think! Evening in Page House, early in my freshman year:

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culture

A Recap of PFW

Hi everybody!! So as you all know, these past two days were Prefrosh Weekend! This is where all the admitted students come to stay for a couple days and learn about how AWESOME Caltech is :) Each House holds a lot of special events. For example, Ricketts hosted an open mic night, and Blacker had “deconstruction,” which is where everybody takes sledgehammers to things. Venerable made a mini-golf course out of the entire house!

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culture

Turtles? TURTLES!

I’m Bhavana, Prefrosh from sunny Folsom, California. To be honest, I was expecting Caltech to be much smaller, and, well, more nerdy. What I found was an amazingly friendly campus, with amazing programs and institutions and people and opportunities. It’s only my first day here, but already I can see myself going here! The turtle pond was cute- and my little brother now REALLY wants me to go here, so I can get him a turtle from the pond :) (I can’t, but I’m not going to tell him that just yet). As an artist and dancer and lover of all things science, I fee perfectly at home here and have met other awesome prefrosh and current students…my future college buddies? Probably! Go beavers!!!!!!

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research

There’s some hope!

I’m Anne. I’m a Prefrosh from Calabasas, California. Prefrosh weekend has increased my chance of going to Caltech by 20%. The campus the really pretty, especially the turtle pond.

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culture

So, what’s next?

Hey everyone! I am Pratheek, and I am from South Florida. I flew into Caltech today for PFW and I was excited to seem some familiar faces as well as all the other prefrosh. The campus looks beautiful, and it’s very small and homely. I got to listen in some of the departmental roundtables such as the Physics and Computer Science ones. I enjoyed speaking with some of the current students as well as the faculty! I look forward to seeing what tomorrow has in store!

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culture

Breaking In

I’m Kayane, a Prefrosh from Irvine, California. I’m enjoying my Prefrosh experience so much, and I look forward to all the fun and great activities coming up tonight! I’m living in the moment for the next two days, away from the worries of school and academics! So far I’ve visited two classes, absorbing as much as I can from a new environment. I’ve made many new friends, some of whom I’ll see at Caltech in the fall. Enjoy! :)

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culture

Adventures Galore!

HI. My name is Joanne Lynn. I am from Troy High School in Fullerton, CA (GO WARRIORS!). I like food. I like Caltech too. :) PFW so far has been a blast (even though it’s been a bit windy and cold). Talking to everyone from different places makes up for all the glum weather; Caltech people are seriously the coolest, most intelligent, most informed collection of interesting people you’ll ever meet. Looking forward to food in 30 minutes or so, and definitely lots of SOCAL ADVENTURES in store for tomorrow.

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research

SURFing in Sunny California!!

Hi everybody! So today is the first day of spring quarter! Aaaand, in addition to classes starting up again, I just found out that I was awarded a SURF for this summer!! But before you go thinking about wetsuits and waves, let me clarify that SURF = Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. I’m sure all you prospective students have heard about all the AMAZING and abundant opportunities for research at Caltech. A SURF is just one way you can partake in this! It is a paid position in which you get to work with a prof and a mentor (usually a postdoc in the prof’s group) on a project that you’re interested in. *Disclaimer: your job (at least as a frosh) is not going to be THAT intense and world-changing–however, it’s a step in the right direction, and you get to get your foot in the door of research!Basically here’s how it works: you have a subject you’re interested in. You find a nice professor who studies that kind of thing, and if they agree to take you on, you write a nice pretty proposal, and submit it! And it’s that simple, and hopefully if you do it right, you get accepted.

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culture

Don't tell your friends your room combo...

…BECAUSE OTHERWISE THEY SURPRISE YOU BY REDECORATING YOUR ROOM!!! Backstory: On Saturday the house cleaned all the random stuff out of our basement. Coincidentally, my roommate recently moved out, so my room was a little empty, since I have a very small amount of stuff. Anyway,I went home for the Easter weekend, and came back to find….

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culture

The Caltech Dance Show!

Hello wonderful friends and readers! Last night was the annual **Caltech Dance Show**!! I wasn’t a part of it, but a lot of my friends were and it was so fun to watch. The various dances ranged from Bollywood and bellydance and ballroom to contemporary and Russian ballet–and even Beyonce’s famous “single ladies” dance, complete with leotards and all!!

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clubs

Dancing with the San Diegans

I am on the Ballroom Dance team here at Caltech, and a few weekends ago, we went to a competition at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). The comp was to take place on Saturday, and instead of leaving around 5:00 am Saturday morning in order to arrive on time, a group of us left on Friday night so we could get a decent sleep before the competition. The four of us took a truck down and I got stuck sitting in that awkward space between the truck bed and the front seats. It was oh so wonderfully comfortable sitting in a seat made for someone half my size.

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culture

OPI, Island Paradise

It turns out that the work load here is pretty tough, and I must apologize for not necessarily posting exactly at the time events happen. I do have a lot to talk about though, and since I have a 13-hr flight back to the States (from Korea during spring break- there’ll be a post about that later perhaps), I figure I can write a few on the plane ride.

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culture

Hey there!

Hey guys, let me start with a little introduction. My name is Muneeb and I'm a frosh looking to major in mechanical engineering and business, economics and management, or BEM. I am also an international student, originally from Pakistan but I've lived in Singapore, Malaysia and, most recently, Saudi Arabia. As you can imagine, this makes it somewhat harder to answer the question 'where are you from?', so that's probably one you want to skip when we meet in person. Besides the usual math and science, I am very interested in business and economics, hence the major, and I also enjoy playing squash and travelling.

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culture

Happy Feet = Happy Brain!

Hello again wonderful prospective students, prefrosh, and fellow Techers! As it’s Spring Break, I’ve been making a lot of new goals and getting excited for this upcoming third term. One thing I really want to focus on–outside of schoolwork–is dance! Caltech has a “dance troupe” which offers classes (some are free, some are around $5) which range from ballet to hip hop to bellydance. The ones I want to work on most are ballet and contemporary. The creativity in movement really helps when the creativity in my brain is at a standstill on some physics problem. Another awesome thing besides dance that Caltech offers is YOGA!! <3You can take it for PE credit, or just for fun. There’s a just-for-fun class at 7:30AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays that I have a love/hate relationship with. I love it because it’s refreshing and energizes me to start my day… but the hate part comes with waking up so early!! But it’s worth it in the end. :) Caltech offers a wide range of really fun physical activities, which are a great break from all that mind-exercising we do 24/7. There’s aerobics and dance classes that you can take whenever you want (meaning they’re not like, graded classes on your transcript), or you can join a sport. If you have no prior experience with it, that’s fine! Most Caltech sports are very welcoming of everybody. During first quarter, I took track and field as my PE class, which was really chill but also a good way to get out in the sunshine. And on that note, I think it’s cool that we’re required to take three terms of PE for core. Without something sort of forcing me to get outside and be active, I’d probably just sit at my laptop all day and work.

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research

A different kind of education

First, some administrative business. I made the grave error of calling Kip Thorne “a friend of Prof. Hawking.” I need to add more detail. Let me say “colleague and long-time collaborator” along with “friend” to relieve my conscience.

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research

ASB Day 4

Today, we woke up at the crack of dawn for our final day of ASB in San Diego. We were excited for our shift to help rebuild a low-income family house in El Cajon with Habitat for Humanity.

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Spotlight


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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culture

Caltech Art Gala

Every year, Caltech’s literary and arts magazine Totem hosts the Art of Science competition.

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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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