**Hi!I apologize for the massive delay between the last post and this - I’ve been making my final trips to help me make the decision that will define the next 8 years of my life! My first foray was to Seattle to revisit the University of Washington! It was another busy couple days both meeting more professors and students, while also getting some extra time to see the city! Though, again, I didn’t go UP the Space Needle, I got to see it. And then I ate some delicious salmon at Ivar’s (a famous small chain in the city). I also met some AWESOME people from other schools who are deciding where to go, and some others who had already committed! Enjoy the pictures from my time up there!
So then after coming back on Sunday (the 11th), I had two WHOLE days at school to… not have class but take care of things in lab and TA’ing, and then I was off again on Wednesday (the 14th) to Michigan! That was a bit of a longer flight, but then I arrived in Ann Arbor in time for dinner! The revisit group bonded pretty quickly, and there were more AWESOME potential classmates. We got to tour a lot of the facilities and even see the helicopter land! And, of course, I got to see more faculty. As a bonus, I even got to go home and see family for the weekend! Overall, a really nice trip, too! Sorry I don’t have too many pictures, but here’s the helicopter!!
So, the question on everyone’s mind is, I’m sure, where am I going!? The title of this post is “Decided!” so I have officially matriculated. And the final choice? Well, I’m going to…
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
Yup, that’s right, I’ll be in Ann Arbor, MI for the next 8 (or so) years! So how did I make this decision (because I know some of you probably are making one now)? Well, honestly I went with my heart. It sounds kind of corny but where did I get the best feeling from? Where could I see myself living for the next stage of my life? Where did the people match up best with my personality? Those are the questions I asked myself, and those are the ones you should be asking, too! Don’t focus on rankings or names, because if you do and you end up somewhere for the wrong reasons, you may second-guess yourself for the rest of your life. And remember, if you’re so lucky to have a choice, you really can’t make a wrong one. Best of luck to all of you who are deciding, and I hope that all of you come to Caltech if it’s the right place for you (I know it has been for me)!
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.