So sorry for not posting in a while—I literally have been dealing with a packed schedule of homework sets, study groups, field trips, classes and crossing off my lengthy to-do list…This week especially, I have been off campus almost as much as I was on campus..hooray for field trips!
I took a trip with my Energy class to the eSolar test facility in Palmdale (1.5 hours away). We got to see a huge field of sun-tracking heliostats that reflect heat from the sun to a receiving tower. The mirrors move throughout the day along with the sun’s movement. The heat then boils water within the thermal receiver and produces steam. The steam then powers a turbine and ta-da!…solar electricity!
I also went to visit JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) last Wednesday morning to meet with my thesis advisor Dr. Mike Pauken to get my badge squared away and see the facilities I will be working at this year. I am doing my thesis on thermal testing of insulation for the VENUS LANDER!—and I am SOOO excited…It has been my dream since I considered applying for Caltech (waaay back in high school) to work at JPL. So it was so surreal to be there and be considered as an official affiliate and finally have my own badge!!
The third field trip of the week was my impromptu trip to the DMV in Pasadena to retrieve a copy of my driving record. I went super early to avoid the infamous wait in line, and got back to campus to fax it over to Houston. I needed the driving record for my second interview with Schlumberger next week. I actually just got my itinerary–will be leaving November 19 and returning the 21—it is not an ordinary interview…as you will read when I blog about it next week…in one word, it’s going to be: INTENSE
Last but not least…Andrew and I put together our first fake ditch day of the year for the underclassmen! WOOHOO! I am so excited to stack this upcoming year with Andrew. Our fake was “Candyland” the stack. So we woke up early along with the other seniors to set up clues around the house to lead to yummy donuts! The best part of our fake stack was leaving a trail of lollipops from the courtyard and through an alley of the house. It was great practice….esp cause the real ditch day is TOMORROW!!!! SO GO TO BED FROSH!!!
All right everyone, until my next post…have a great weekend!
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.