research

This Term

Hi again, everybody. Welcome to the last Frosh Experience of

  1. Christmas was excellent— it’s the one time of the year that I get to see all of my extended family. And now New Year’s is tonight! It’s my favorite holiday. As a kid, I just liked that I got to stay up late. Now, New Year’s is a stopping point for me. A time when I get to take a break, reflect on my accomplishments in the past year, and more importantly, reflect on what’s in store for me this year. Last year, I was thinking about graduation, research presentations, and getting into college. This year….hmmmmm…I’m looking forward to my next term at Caltech and thinking about what I want to do differently.
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This Term

Hi again, everybody. Welcome to the last Frosh Experience of

  1. Christmas was excellent— it’s the one time of the year that I get to see all of my extended family. And now New Year’s is tonight! It’s my favorite holiday. As a kid, I just liked that I got to stay up late. Now, New Year’s is a stopping point for me. A time when I get to take a break, reflect on my accomplishments in the past year, and more importantly, reflect on what’s in store for me this year. Last year, I was thinking about graduation, research presentations, and getting into college. This year….hmmmmm…I’m looking forward to my next term at Caltech and thinking about what I want to do differently.
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culture

Some More to Say

Hey homeslices. I know it’s been a couple of days, but there’s been so much to do at home! I even got to go see the Hornets game versus the Lakers yesterday. As I walked in, I couldn’t help joking that I was having an identity crisis and couldn’t figure out which team to cheer for. As the only representative of California in my group, I bet on the Lakers to win, but of course cheered for the Hornets the whole way. I had a blast, and my adventures around New Orleans this holiday are making me think that I’d like to spend more time second term exploring Los Angeles. Which brings me back to where I left off before— to Prefrosh Weekend. I’m not really interested in going into every single thing I did at my PFW. I’m sure each one is different and I, of course, want you to experience it for yourselves. There were the things you would expect: information sessions, food, and going to classes. And there were also some things I wasn’t expecting, like getting to know the houses through their activities and spending an afternoon hanging around Pasadena. What’s more important is what I got out of Prefrosh Weekend. First off, I finally got to meet Techers. Hundreds of crazy, wonderful, creative, loud, and brilliant Techers. As you might have already guessed from attitudes around the Facebook 2013 group, everyone was extraordinarily welcoming. What struck me, however, is that when they say Caltech is distinctive, they’re not kidding. So often, when a college advertises itself, all you really get to see is some watered-down, homogenized sampling of student culture. Not so at Caltech. Prefrosh Weekend activities were very much in the hands of the students, and Caltech’s personality shined through all throughout the weekend. What exactly is that personality? Now that’s for you to decide.

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Some More to Say

Hey homeslices. I know it’s been a couple of days, but there’s been so much to do at home! I even got to go see the Hornets game versus the Lakers yesterday. As I walked in, I couldn’t help joking that I was having an identity crisis and couldn’t figure out which team to cheer for. As the only representative of California in my group, I bet on the Lakers to win, but of course cheered for the Hornets the whole way. I had a blast, and my adventures around New Orleans this holiday are making me think that I’d like to spend more time second term exploring Los Angeles. Which brings me back to where I left off before— to Prefrosh Weekend. I’m not really interested in going into every single thing I did at my PFW. I’m sure each one is different and I, of course, want you to experience it for yourselves. There were the things you would expect: information sessions, food, and going to classes. And there were also some things I wasn’t expecting, like getting to know the houses through their activities and spending an afternoon hanging around Pasadena. What’s more important is what I got out of Prefrosh Weekend. First off, I finally got to meet Techers. Hundreds of crazy, wonderful, creative, loud, and brilliant Techers. As you might have already guessed from attitudes around the Facebook 2013 group, everyone was extraordinarily welcoming. What struck me, however, is that when they say Caltech is distinctive, they’re not kidding. So often, when a college advertises itself, all you really get to see is some watered-down, homogenized sampling of student culture. Not so at Caltech. Prefrosh Weekend activities were very much in the hands of the students, and Caltech’s personality shined through all throughout the weekend. What exactly is that personality? Now that’s for you to decide.

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culture

So What's Next?

Of course, if you don’t have a Facebook or just don’t want to join, you’re not at any real loss here. Like Facebook itself, it’s just another nice tool for connecting with others. Talking about getting ready for Prefrosh Weekend makes me think it might be a nice time for me to share my PFW experiences with you. It is, after all, the next thing to think about once you’ve been admitted. Since there’s a lot to talk about, and a lot of time to write this holiday (I can only be a TV junkie so many hours of the day), I think I’ll split it into a couple of parts. First, I just want to talk about what it was like getting there, and once you hear the story, I think you’ll understand why that merits its own entry.

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So What's Next?

</span> Of course, if you don’t have a Facebook or just don’t want to join, you’re not at any real loss here. Like Facebook itself, it’s just another nice tool for connecting with others. Talking about getting ready for Prefrosh Weekend makes me think it might be a nice time for me to share my PFW experiences with you. It is, after all, the next thing to think about once you’ve been admitted. Since there’s a lot to talk about, and a lot of time to write this holiday (I can only be a TV junkie so many hours of the day), I think I’ll split it into a couple of parts. First, I just want to talk about what it was like getting there, and once you hear the story, I think you’ll understand why that merits its own entry.

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culture

Let the Holidays Begin!

Greetings from an unusually chilly New Orleans.

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Let the Holidays Begin!

Greetings from an unusually chilly New Orleans.

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culture

Time for a Fresh Start

Alright, time for Round 2 of The Frosh Experience. If you haven’t read my bio, let me summarize. I’m Jordan, a freshman in Ricketts Hovse. As a prospective, you may have gotten a call from me during one of our phone campaigns or chatted with me last week during TecherChat. I’ve been having so much fun working with admissions that when I was asked if I’d like to blog for the website, I jumped at the offer.

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Time for a Fresh Start

Alright, time for Round 2 of The Frosh Experience. If you haven’t read my bio, let me summarize. I’m Jordan, a freshman in Ricketts Hovse. As a prospective, you may have gotten a call from me during one of our phone campaigns or chatted with me last week during TecherChat. I’ve been having so much fun working with admissions that when I was asked if I’d like to blog for the website, I jumped at the offer.

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research

Giving Thanks Part 1

I spent this Thanksgiving at the home of my graduate student mentor, Dave Henry. In addition to being a great research and awesome mentor, he’s also a pretty good guy to hang out with, so Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. In addition to Dave and his family, fellow graduate student Andrew and his family and Occidental Professor / SCUBA Diver Saul and his family were in attendance. I work on a day-to-day basis with Andrew, and I’ve had the pleasure of diving with Saul before, so we all knew each other and had a great time cooking and eating together.

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Giving Thanks Part 1

I spent this Thanksgiving at the home of my graduate student mentor, Dave Henry. In addition to being a great research and awesome mentor, he’s also a pretty good guy to hang out with, so Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. In addition to Dave and his family, fellow graduate student Andrew and his family and Occidental Professor / SCUBA Diver Saul and his family were in attendance. I work on a day-to-day basis with Andrew, and I’ve had the pleasure of diving with Saul before, so we all knew each other and had a great time cooking and eating together.

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global

Looking back...

Now that my stay in here in Copenhagen is coming to an end, I am realizing once again how glad I am that I had the chance to come here. I am not exaggerating when I say that going abroad was the best decision that I made while at Caltech. Coming here was a really fun, interesting, eye-opening experience that I will never forget about. Moreover, I think that this trip to Europe is just the beginning of many other experiences that I am already looking forward to. I had such a great time here that I know I will return here, and explore other places whenever I have the chance.

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Looking back...

Now that my stay in here in Copenhagen is coming to an end, I am realizing once again how glad I am that I had the chance to come here. I am not exaggerating when I say that going abroad was the best decision that I made while at Caltech. Coming here was a really fun, interesting, eye-opening experience that I will never forget about. Moreover, I think that this trip to Europe is just the beginning of many other experiences that I am already looking forward to. I had such a great time here that I know I will return here, and explore other places whenever I have the chance.

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research

The Incredible Disappearing Week

As I sat down to write this week’s blog entry, I felt like I had just finished writing last week’s. I had the hardest time remembering what happened in this week–I supposed it passed very quickly. I asked some of my friends about what we did during the week; “Sets” they replied. Thanks a lot guys… Anyway, no thanks to them I managed to slowly recall a few interesting things to share with you.

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The Incredible Disappearing Week

As I sat down to write this week’s blog entry, I felt like I had just finished writing last week’s. I had the hardest time remembering what happened in this week–I supposed it passed very quickly. I asked some of my friends about what we did during the week; "Sets" they replied. Thanks a lot guys… Anyway, no thanks to them I managed to slowly recall a few interesting things to share with you.

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global

Danish Food

Food is definitely a big part of every culture. The authentic foods you can find in different countries usually reflect the habits and lifestyle of that particular culture. I’d like to devote this week’s blog to Danish food. Danish cuisine is not as exotic and different as various kinds of Asian and Middle Eastern foods that I have had before. What people regularly eat here is not very special at first sight. However, there are many typical Danish dishes that I have discovered to be quite specific to this country.

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Danish Food

Food is definitely a big part of every culture. The authentic foods you can find in different countries usually reflect the habits and lifestyle of that particular culture. I’d like to devote this week’s blog to Danish food. Danish cuisine is not as exotic and different as various kinds of Asian and Middle Eastern foods that I have had before. What people regularly eat here is not very special at first sight. However, there are many typical Danish dishes that I have discovered to be quite specific to this country.

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research

So you think you can handle Tech?

Hi everyone! Sorry that this week’s entry is a little late; work was rough this week. I had a problem set (we just call them sets for short) due for a class called EE114 on Monday. EE114 is an analog circuit design class (you can find the course description here ). It’s taught by that wonderful man on the right side of the page, Dr. Ali Hajimiri. Professor Hajimiri is easily one of the best professors I have had at Caltech, and as you would expect his class is very well taught. Unfortunately, his class is also very difficult. Last weekend, our class’s problem set was worse than usual. Due to my other responsibilities and time spent avoiding them, I didn’t really get to start on the set until Sunday at about noon. I finished the set on Monday at 4:30pm (30 minutes before the due time). In that 28 hour period, I got less than an hour of sleep and was able to eat about two meals. That sounds really bad, but there is a positive side. For one, I wasn’t alone–we had something like ten to fifteen students working on this set together in Sherman Fairchild Library, and there’s some sort of bonding experience that accompanies a grueling set like this one. I still remember our collective groans as the sun began to peek through the library windows, with the end of our sets nowhere in sight. Another positive was that the set was reasonably interesting and challenging; it wasn’t mindless grunge work. Even knowing this, you might still wonder why I do it.

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clubs

The ShakeOut and the Swim Meet

A few days ago, I had a gross imitation of a protruding bone glued to my forehead, a gash drawn on my arm, and fake blood dripping all over my face and arm. No, I wasn’t celebrating Halloween a couple of weeks late, I was a volunteer victim in the Great Southern California ShakeOut Earthquake Drill at Caltech. At 10 am on November 13, the Fleming Cannon was fired to signal the start of an earthquake of magnitude 7.8, and participants on campus were encouraged to respond as if there was a real earthquake.

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global

Life in Copenhagen

When I come to study abroad in Copenhagen, I experienced a huge change in my lifestyle. My normal weekly routines that I was used to did not fit into the Danish way of life, and I had to adapt to a more European lifestyle. One major change was that I was no longer constricted to a single university campus (like in Caltech). The University of Copenhagen is located in the City Centre, and has multiple campuses for each of the departments. Contrary to what I was used to, these campuses consist only of classroom buildings and libraries. Unlike colleges in the US, the Universities here do not own any dorms and are not so enclosed in their own campuses.

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Levels of Relaxation

This gives sort of a Rip-Van-Winkle look. Anyway, either due to the fact that this is epically funny or the fact that my friends and I have poor taste, we found this hilarious. (You can judge for yourself, that’s a picture of poor sleeping Ali to the right).

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research

The Adventures of a Fat Space Bunny

Right now, I’m two stories underground and I’m clothed in a white puffy suit that makes me look like some sort of fat space bunny. A really fat space bunny. It’s cold in the room, and the suit’s not helping. I’m sitting in a captain’s chair at the console for a giant machine that reminds me a lot of the Death Star. Don’t worry though: I’m not dreaming, nor have I been abducted by aliens. I’m just in lab. Hi, my name is Tom Gwinn. I’m a junior at Caltech majoring in Electrical Engineering, and I’m going to be writing this blog for at least the next couple of weeks.

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culture

Caltech? Really?

Then the older students next door laughed at me.

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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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