Last weekend, roughly 25 friends and I piled into five cars and headed towards the very cold mountains of Mammoth, California for the Avery House ski trip. Did you think that California was nothing but sunshine? Surprise! Pasadena is a balmy 70 degrees Farenheit in the winter, but it will snow in Mammoth on Independence Day.
Just as we were leaving Mammoth, one Averyite tossed a very large rock onto a frozen lake, which created a long, winding crack in the lake’s surface. The water that rose to fill the crack froze almost immediately. This emboldened some people to walk towards the middle of the lake and/or attempt to play hockey. My two-inch heels and I stayed comfortably planted in solid ground.
The lake provided sound effects for the brave souls that ventured towards its center. Every step caused the ice to bounce up and down on the water like a drumhead, creating beautiful bell-like tones. The louder the tone, the closer the ice was to cracking, and the more the peanut gallery gasped and squealed.
I tried not to gasp or squeal too often, but I’m pretty sure I started screaming when one of the would-be hockey players shot the puck perilously close to the large ice crack that we had created earlier. To retrieve it, he needed to slide– not walk– across the ice.
We left long after my toes froze.
On the way back, between fresh beef jerky and a capella sing-along in the car, we stopped at California’s Red Rock Canyon. Geology lovers: California wants you to visit! How can you say no to this canyon, not to mention the San Andreas fault?
Climbing up the “hill” was difficult– if my two-inch heels could have talked, they would have been yelling at me.
And now, it’s time for me to learn some more mind-bending special relativity…. Till next time!
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.