research

A Packed Day...

Firstly, pictures from yesterday:

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There's No Place Like Home

I am back in San Diego for winter break–three weeks of relaxing and celebrating the holidays! But don’t worry—I will continue to blog…

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Ready...BREAK!

Ahhhh, the joys of being done with Finals’ Week! As I mentioned previously, I was pretty lucky about having a chill schedule, and took my lone final on Thursday after deciding that there was no more point in re-reading my notes yet again - it was open-book anyway! The exam was a bit more challenging than I expected, however. But I’m not too worried, because a) it’s senior year, and b) it’s over and there’s nothing more I can do about it.As I said before, one of the best things about Finals’ Week is the FLEXIBILITY you have in making the schedule! Because (almost) everything is take-home, that means you can take your exam any time of day (or night!) you want to. That gave me more time to enjoy being with my friends, whether it was studying (see Dannah’s post) or seeing what SoCal has to offer! I got the chance to head over to Glendale (about 20 minutes by car) to the Americana at Brand. This outdoor shopping area was beautifully lit up for Christmas and has amazing stores, choreographed fountains, and restaurants. Too bad I forgot my camera! But fortunately, I still took pictures with my phone to show you what delicious Japanese food my friend and I ate at Katsuya! Yum!**

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research

Not THAT Cold...

Looks like I won’t be experiencing my first snowfall in DC. Most of yesterday was flying, which was about as interesting as a 5 hour flight can be. The thing that stands out most to me was the fact that there were no foot rests! Although we got to DC safe and sound, so I guess it’s not too much of a loss.

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culture

Monuments, Memorials, and Museums, Oh My!

My feet are telling me that they want a massage and a rest right now…

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research

D.C. After Dark - A Photoblog

*As an amateur photographer, I find that pictures do indeed speak louder than words. * Day 1: Welcome to Dulles International Airport, and thank you for flying United.

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culture

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

*I’m leavin’ on a jet plane, **Don’t know when I’ll be back again * Vienna Teng - one of my favorite folk/pop artists - does a good cover of this song, originally by John Denver.

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research

It wasn't me!!

Even though winter break has already begun, I have stayed behind for a few days at Caltech instead of rushing back home to San Diego. I decided to work at JPL Monday and Tuesday to squeeze in an experiment before coming back in January. Nothing too crazy though–I ran a test on some insulation material in an oven for about 4 hours on Monday…and in between checking it, I read through one of my favorite magazines (I have 4 waiting in my queue to read since I have been too busy with work and finals to read them!) Setting up my experiment….

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From Finals to Shopping to Washington DC!

Hi everyone! Debbie and I are incredibly excited for our DC Science Policy Trip to start, although we need to prepare and pack first. I’ve been in Southern California all my life, so I know I am not ready to deal with the harsh temperatures of the East Coast. We plan on spending an entire day shopping on Monday, just for the four days we will be in DC. (We need an excuse to spend our paychecks, after all!) At the moment finals have just ended, so we’re all just trying to relax.

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academics

Done with first term!

I JUST FINISHED FINALS!!!!!

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academics

Studying at Starbucks & the final push

Last night, Andrew and I decided to wake up early this morning and head over to Starbucks next to campus to study for our last finals. When I got there, I bumped into our good friend Ankita….who was also there to study for a final.

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academics

This is MADNESS!!

Hello, there!I am glad to give you a mid-week finals update - I’ve been able to work down my list of things to do, and now what remains is studying for my BMB/Bi/Ch 170a final and writing my Bi 180 report. So I’m feeling pretty good about it all right now. However, that’s enough about me, but let me tell you about one of Caltech’s AWESOME traditions during Finals’ Week

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clubs

EA Admissions Committee & my anniversary!

This is my second year serving on the Freshman Admissions Committee. The committee has 16 student readers who are undergrads (sophomores, juniors and seniors) that serve as readers for the incoming undergraduate applications. The admissions committee is comprised of undergrads, faculty and admissions staff who read every application that comes through the office.

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research

Final Presentation Day

Hey Everyone! I had a long day today–with final presentations for E/ME105, poster session and celebration dinner.

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academics

Finals, Essays, and Reports, oh my!

So, you may all be wondering…what’s it like to be a senior on Finals’ Week? What have my Finals’ Weeks been like throughout my time at Caltech? It should be important to note that, unlike semester schools, we have three finals weeks throughout the year. This may sound like extra work for us, but remember: a lot of those other schools have two “midterm” tests in their classes, so it all evens out :).I will be honest with you, the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer - I only have 1 final, 2 sets, 1 report, and 1 essay this week. That may sound like a lot (and indeed, it’s more than I’ve had any week this term!), but I’d rather have things I can work on at my leisure than exams. And the best thing about Finals’ Week? NO CLASS!! That means I can schedule my time however I like to get things done! Some students take exams better in the middle of the night, others at the break of dawn; some like to take exams with days to spare before the due date (overachievers!), others like to push the deadline. Essentially, you can do whatever you want to do, as long as you get everything done! So I will confess - I’m a BIG planner. Each time this part of the term rolls around, I break out my white board and make my grand “Finals’ Week [Insert Term Here]” plan. Well, this term ain’t no different!

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academics

Racing the Clock!!

Right now, I am blogging from the SFL library on the first floor…and I probably shouldn’t be…

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culture

Dinner at the Athenaeum

I was very fortunate to have been invited as a special guest at a small donor appreciation dinner at the Athenaeum this past Wednesday night.

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research

Welcome Landivar!

Hey Everyone! This is going to be a short post..but I wanted to share my excitement with you all!—our Guatemalan partners are here in Pasadena! We met for lunch at Chandler, and then went to class today…which was a bit weird..cause I’m so used to seeing them on the video conference screen as opposed to sitting right next to me! Next, we gotta start working on our final project and presentation!

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academics

What a (4-Day) Weekend!

Well, readers, I hope you all gave thanks this past Thursday! We’re all here another year to stuff ourselves with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, CRANBERRY SAUCE, and PUMPKIN PIE (I wonder what my favorite things are in that list…). But most importantly, Thanksgiving is about FAMILY. Unfortunately, I was unable to go home for the holiday (but, you say, I was just there! and in that respect you are correct).But there was no need to worry, since many Techers stay on campus for the weekend. Each House usually puts on a Thanksgiving feast for everyone who’s around! Definitely a great way to catch up with your House “family.” However, this post will not be about Thanksgiving, since that would be too cliché. It will be about the THREE DAYS AFTERWARDS! Now what would be blog-worthy about the days after the Day of Thanks? First and foremost…BLACK FRIDAY! Yes, I was among the masses trying to jump-start the economy on that all-important shopping day. I didn’t get up at 5 AM to hit the stores, but went out for a leisurely afternoon with my good friend, Lisa. I rented a Zipcar for the afternoon (look it up - they just started a rental program at Caltech and it’s only $8 an hour!) and we headed to the nearby Santa Anita Mall. Let’s just say…I found some really amazing deals. From $13 TV show seasons on DVD to half-price sweaters at Abercrombie, I definitely got to shop till I dropped!

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Paper to Prototype

Hey Everyone! I am currently in San Diego for the Thanksgiving weekend—and feeling good! It’s so great to be home for a few days to see my family, relax and sleep in my own bed before going back to conquer the last week of classes and finals.

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culture

Back in the Homeland

**Sorry for the delay - busy since coming back from my last interview! So I’ll give an update on what I’ve been doing since then!Last week I was at UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson. If you’re from NJ, you know what I’m talking about. Otherwise, it’s a medical school in my home state! It was nice to take the plane into Newark Airport and be picked up by my parents. It ALSO was nice to catch up on my sleep in my own bed for the night! There’s something about the sheets you have at home that you can never replicate in a dorm. And then you can wake up whenever you want the next day, which always helps! I got to have a lazy morning, and then headed up to New Brunswick to the hotel - the Hyatt Regency! What nice accommodations!

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culture

Gettin' my steel-toes dirty in Midland

I just woke up….after sleeping for about 18 hours. I think it’s called exhaustion…

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culture

Toughest Job on Campus

…but someone’s gotta do it!If you haven’t had a chance to check out The Tech (Caltech’s student newspaper), I would go here and read up on some Caltech current events! But in addition to that, I would read the column that Dannah and I write. What do we seniors have to write about? Being old? Being off of Core? Retrospectives on our time at Tech? How about none of the above! Dannah and I, you see, are the Official Food Reviewers of Caltech! How did we get this prestigious title? Well…like many things at Tech, we just asked! Frosh year, we e-mailed the editor of the paper and asked if we could start a new food column, and she graciously allowed us to start eating out on the newspaper’s dime! Well, it’s not all fun and games (though mostly it is), we do have to branch out to new restaurants that no one has ever set foot in before. It’s exciting, though, because we can offer suggestions to our fellow students where they should go in Pasadena. There’s so much to eat here that our four years cannot exhaust the options! From taco trucks to expensive sit-down restaurants, what a variety we have! If you keep holed up in your room each weekend (when we do not have food on campus) and order pizza, well…I don’t think I could have respect for you, honestly. Within 30 minutes of walking, you can go around the world, from American to Afghanistan, and it’s a delicious tour! So this week, we took our expert palates to Tea Spots, a new Boba (Bubble Tea) and snack restaurant not too far from campus. We take our job very seriously, and usually don’t bring anyone along to see us work our magic. However, today you can get a look at us in action! Enjoy!

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Presentations

At the end of my SURF, we’d made quite a bit of progress. We had a working prototype which we coulddemonstrate! My mentor arranged for us to present at the Smart Grid Symposium, which was sponsored by Southern California Edison. They were interested in our work because they would like to be able to protect the electric grid in the event of an earthquake.

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research

Good Morning, Baltimore!

Sooooooo, I’m done with interview número cinco!I have returned from my cross-country trek to what many call one of the meccas of medicine: Johns Hopkins University! It was my first trip to Baltimore since I was a baby, but I was very excited to see both the school and the city! It was a bit of a shock at first, though, because I left my sunny California morning to arrive in Baltimore on a rainy night. Fortunately, no one was delayed, so all of the interviewees got to meet up in time for a late dinner at an Irish Pub! They had half-price entrees, and I enjoyed my bacon cheeseburger after sitting on the plane for so many hours! After dinner, I got to chat with my host, Scott, and his roommates! They all live in a HOUSE! Like…a real HOUSE! That’s so cool, and reminds me about how I’m growing up after graduating college, and I wonder if I’m ready…but it’s totally exciting! So I slept on the couch, which was not as bad as you may expect, actually more comfortable than many beds I’ve been on, and then woke up at the crack of dawn (6:45 AM) to get ready for the interviews. Coming from high school, you may be thinking “6:45 AM, not too bad”…but now I feel that anything before 9 AM is crazy-early since my schedule has shifted at Caltech. Fortunately, I am a morning person, which has helped me get through the early wake-up calls.

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clubs

Roadie for Third Eye Blind

Yup–you read right…I was a roadie for a day for THIRD EYE BLIND this past Saturday!! They came to play a concert for our campus November 14th!! Woke up early on Saturday to volunteer some man power to help set-up the stage and unload the equipment trucks. Was super psyched to see that the band’s tour bus was parked right outside, across the street from my dorm room!!

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Field Trippin' and Faking it

So sorry for not posting in a while—I literally have been dealing with a packed schedule of homework sets, study groups, field trips, classes and crossing off my lengthy to-do list…This week especially, I have been off campus almost as much as I was on campus..hooray for field trips!

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research

What Day Is It??

Hello, there! Another busy past few days - just got in from Duke at midnight last night and it was a packed visit (well…when are these visits NOT packed?). So busy, in fact, that I’m not really even sure what day of the week it is these days, just sort of go to whatever classes my calendar tells me to go to…

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academics

Making Progress...

Hooray for being done with midterms week! I took my CDS 110 midterm last night in the library…wasn’t too bad.I actually think that midterm was the last I will ever take IN MY LIFE….since 2nd and 3rd term all I am really taking is my thesis and 2 other classes that don’t have written midterm exams. I guess, that doesn’t include the finals I will have to take in 5 weeks at the end of this term..but come on, it’s awesome to think that I will NEVER have to take a midterm EVER again! :D

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clubs

Wrapping things Up

Hey all, As I wrote about last time, my race last Saturday was the final one for the season. With that, I will be wrapping up my blog with this post. I think I’m supposed to do some kind of reminiscence or whatnot, but I’d like to keep that short, because I did manage to get those pictures taken! (Well actually, a super-cool ChemE friend of mine took them because he’s that awesome.) Looking back on this season, I’m mildly amused. Due to conflicts and other circumstances, I only ran three of the six scheduled races this year. {Last year, I ran every one.} However, this 50% participation rate is not too bad. I joined the team for the experience of being with a group of smart people who like running, not to do races. Sure, racing is good - and I’m pretty competitive when I want to be!- but I’d rather enjoy being with my teammates than be caught up in the race. When I started off, I had pretty normal hopes for how things would go. However, my workload soon caught up with me, and I struggled some to find a balance. Thankfully, things got better when I started running on my own 3 days a week. So this season was a learning experience, I suppose. I like having those, even though they aren’t pleasant when they occur. Therefore, I’m pretty content with the way things went.

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academics

Smells like midterms week

The time has come—midterms week is here! But being a senior, I only have one midterm test to take and a midterm presentation to put together for E/ME 105….thank goodness. Sorry frosh and s’mores…but we’ve all been there–having 3 to 5 tests to take. I feel your pain! This week has been pretty busy for me with my thesis objective outline due, having two on-campus interviews and a meeting with the freshman admissions committee. I have been running around campus, and being in a different place every hour. But everyone who knows me well, knows that I like to keep myself busy.

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culture

Ghouls and Goblins? Well... Not Exactly

Happy (Belated) Halloween!! So it’s Fall term midterms week at Caltech, and what does that mean? That it’s Halloween, of course! What better way to take a break from the grind of classes and exams than to dress up in crazy outfits and have fun with your friends?! Well…there isn’t one so that’s what I did. My Halloween has been pretty busy with a few different things going on, so let’s get started! Well…in my opinion an amazing way to spend All Hallow’s Eve Eve is with your best friend watching movies and eating snacks, so that’s what I did. Dannah and I (read: I) made some pumpkin pancakes to enjoy before having a movie marathon in the Braun “off-campus” house lounge. The movies we selected were “The Break Up” and “Election.” Both were pretty different but entertaining (and NOT scary - I hate scary movies). And of course our snacks were delicious!

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local

Just Down the Coast!


OK so I have completed my third interview in one week! It’s crazy to think last Monday I was in Chicago and I just got back from San Diego! Since I don’t have a car, I got there using the train. Amtrak was actually pretty convenient and got me from Union Station in Downtown LA to Solana Beach in Northern San Diego in about 2 hours. And what a beautiful train ride it was!

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A Hard Day's Night

This term, my weekends are almost as busy and hectic as my weekdays. Despite the fact that I have 2 homework sets due on Mondays, I also have group meetings, dance classes and of course, can’t forget the fun stuff!–it’s the weekend after all.

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Where's the Gateway Arch?!

So I have recently returned from my second Midwest trip this week - this time to the Gateway to the West: St. Louis, MO. I have never been to the city before, so I was excited to check it out! The school I was interviewing for was Washington University in St. Louis (WashU for short). It’s definitely been difficult to talk with my friends and family about it and tell them that this is NOT the school in Seattle (that’s the University of Washington).

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There were post-its everywhere...

Hello!! Just got out of E/ME 105 which meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:30-4pm. Today we had some groups (including mine) present on their project goals and term objectives. The project I am working on with my team for the term is redesigning a honey centrifuge for some beekeepers in Guatemala so that they can produce more amounts of honey and better quality honey. In addition to improving the prototype, we will also focus on creating a business plan/model that will help them sell their product to an expanded market.

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culture

THE YANKEES WIN!!!

As the game progressed and the Yanks dominated, I also had to indulge in a Angels Stadium Hot Dog. In my official Caltech Food Critic opinion, nothing beats the Nathan’s Hot Dogs in Yankees Stadium…but then again, those are almost $10 and this was $4.50. So at least it was worth the money!

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local

Caltech in...Chi-Town?

PHEW!! Let me just start off by saying how EXHAUSTED I am! I just got back from a whirlwind 24-hour visit to Chicago! It was my first time outside of the airport in Illinois, so I was excited to see what it was like! Fortunately, in case you were worried about my packing skills, I did succeed in getting everything into my carry-on! My trek began, as many do, on the corner of San Pasqual and Holliston, where the Super Shuttle picks us up to go to the airport. Many Techers use this pretty convenient method to get to LAX or BUR.

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research

Career Fair and Interviews

This week has been so busy! We had the career fair on Wednesday—which meant a lot of prepping and revising my resume in anticipation of the event. There were about 60 companies in attendance, each with enthusiastic recruiters and booths stocked with pamphlets on career opportunities and free schwag (is that how you spell it?. Since I am a senior, I took this career fair very seriously and made sure to establish good contacts and drop my resume off to any company that could be potential employers. In the past years, I have been so lucky to have met companies at the career fair, interview with them, and getting hired for full-time paid summer internships (Boeing and Schlumberger). But this time–instead of inquiring about internships, I asked about full-time positions.

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culture

It all began this past summer...

Hey there! Welcome to my new blog, a continuation of my old blog: Adventures in Internships.

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Planning, Packing, Organizing

So I’m heading off to my first interview on Sunday - a bit nervous but also exciting! However, before then I have so much to do! Being a senior isn’t as easy as many would have you believe… First off, there’s my class schedule!

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Follow my new blog!

Hey Everyone! Thank you so much for reading this blog about my summer internship and travel! I hope you enjoyed it! Follow me on my new blog…“Class in Session: E/ME 105” where I will be blogging about the engineering course I am taking this term. The course is a continuation of the research project I began when I traveled to Guatemala this past summer. In addition, you can read about how I adjust to my busy senior year and get an inside look at what my life looks like when I’m at Caltech as opposed to a working in a different part of the country, or traveling to another part of the world!

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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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