This past Tuesday I watched the lunar eclipse! A bunch of us sat in the Fleming Hovse courtyard watching the Moon. The house provided snacks and we sat on our artificial turf. I imagine the atmosphere would be similar to an outdoor movie, though I have never actually been.
Turns out, when you try and take photos of the Moon with your iPhone camera, everything comes out as a generic white blob with black background. There was a lot of ambient light too, but like Techers we figured out a way to capture the lunar eclipse! My friend had a pair of binoculars, and with a collaborative effort of three people we aligned the camera with the binoculars that were focused at the Moon; it actually took a lot of not laughing to hold stuff still so I wanted to show you too!
For a couple minutes, we had someone convinced that they were actually looking at Mars, and that’s why it was red. And then that the Moon was being eclipsed by Mars and therefore also red. A much better prank (if you even consider this one) was for the prefrosh weekend equivalent at MIT last weekend; Caltech students handed out this mug that when cool says MIT on it then when heated turns into a Caltech mug, ‘The HOTTER Institute of Technology’. You can read more about it in this article. Also, if you’re interested in buying one like I am, here’s the link for that too.
Almost a year ago now, I was just about to start my first Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) at JPL. NASA had sent out an email to all of their summer interns containing a social media template to announce that we had been selected as NASA interns. Excited to show my NASA pride, I posted it on my Instagram story, unaware of what would come out of this small action.
Hey hey! We’re starting a series where I walk you through my best finds for food and drinks in the Pasadena region, and in the LA metropolitan area. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, if you will (although, for copyright reasons we can’t call it that). As you explore your college options, I firmly believe that food and location are more important than your high school guidance counselor may lead you to believe. And I’m here to share my best finds from my time at Caltech with you.
Over the past several months, I have had the opportunity to intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the mentorship of senior research technologist Dr. Xiaoqing Pi. Dr. Pi’s guidance and mentorship has been instrumental to the development and success of my internship at JPL, where I use machine-learning to enhance the accuracy and integrity of navigation and communication signals. In addition to helping me develop an understanding of atmospheric and ionospheric remote sensing and machine-learning, Dr. Pi has often offered his insights on how to improve my researching skills. Dr. Pi was generous enough to take the time to answer a few questions regarding his research and advice for future student interns. I believe many students can benefit from some of the lessons that he has taught me:
The transition period to remote learning was a very uncertain time, especially for research and the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) program. Many hands-on projects had to pivot at the last minute to facilitate off-campus contributions. However, many Techers were able to take advantage of the research opportunities offered at Caltech and JPL to make the best out of remote learning and research. To paint a picture, I’ve interviewed a few talented Techers for some insight on what researching from home looks like for them.