****Hello!So I’m back from break, and now in addition to my light courseload (see below), I am faced with a very important choice - where do I go for my MD/PhD training this upcoming year? I’ll be straight with you guys, it’s a three-way decision between University of Michigan, University of Washington, and Tufts University. Currently, that’s my approximate preference order, but it ALL could change upon revisiting the schools (my revisit to Caltech’s Prefrosh Weekend was actually what made me want to come here over other schools, such as MIT and Princeton).
My first visit is actually this week, to UW. Flying up on Thursday morning, having a packed couple of days, and then flying back on Sunday morning. After that it’s off to Michigan - flying out there next Wednesday, flying home Friday night, then back to Tech on Sunday afternoon. It was actually cheaper to fly that way - strange, huh? In talking to my support network here, I’ve come up with some criteria to look at. Talking to Professor Rothenberg (my bio major advisor, also doing research in her lab) helped me figure out the differences between the research opportunities at both schools, and then talking to Aadel (the Fleming House RA, currently a PhD student on a break from med school at Stanford) put some perspective on this decision (since he made one a few years ago). I’m really glad I got a lot of people here at Caltech that I can turn to when I have these burning questions to ask.
As you’ll see in the pictures, I’m not sure what I’m going to do, and this indecision is permeating my life (especially since for my whopping 2 classes all I have to do is read)! More on my visits soon!
Like I said, I am very lucky to have this choice - all of them are great programs and it will be a tough decision. But I think I’m going to have a gut feeling one way or the other - we’ll see!
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.