Sorry I’ve been so M.I.A. for the last few weeks! Midterms hit and then suddenly it’s been a month without blogging! :(
So that time of year has rolled around, when everyone’s on the edge of their seats for that mysterious senior tradition to roll around…
In case you don’t know, Ditch Day is the day when the seniors run around the house at 7:45AM, banging on the doors and screaming, “WAKE UP!!!!” They’ve spent all of third term creating these elaborate “stacks,” which is the word for “puzzle/scavenger hunt/smashing things/adventure.” After everyone is up and out of bed, you sign up for one of about five or six different stacks and the fun begins! Traditionally, when you ask a senior when Ditch Day is, they’ll reply, “It’s tomorrow! Go to bed!” So no one really knows when it’s gonna be :)
*sorry some pictures are sideways… I could NOT get some of them to rotate correctly!
This was the stack I signed up for!!
Even though I’ve never seen or read The Hunger Games, I followed along with the reenactment pretty well. Two alums, Kyle Verdone(who was a blogger last year!) and Pallavi Gunalan played Seneca Crane and Effie Trinket. It was hilarious!!
Each of the “Districts” had colored bandanas that we got to decorate and wear however we wanted. Here’s me and my partner Katherine for District 3!
Our stack was “70% Brute Force, and 30% Finesse.” Meaning, 70% smashing things (like this printer below) and 30% solving cool puzzles.
This is a stack from another House. It was right next to ours and looked really cool :)
Solving more puzzles! This is a KenKen puzzle, which is similar to sudoku but with more math!
At lunchtime, all the undergrads went to have a barbecue :)
Unfortunately I didn’t take any more pictures after that point. After lunch, we drove to a super secret location and had no idea where we were going. Some seniors took us to a field where we began the finale of The Hunger Games by playing a super intense game of flag football! We each had two “lives” (flags) and got to chase each other around and find clues that would help us win. After all that, a lot of people went to the beach to have another barbecue for dinner (I stayed behind to nap). At the end of the day, it was an excellent stack and a fantastic Ditch Day!
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.