WELL GEEZ Have I had a crazy week! I believe last time I chatted with you kids it was around when I got my haircut last Saturday. Well I promised I would tell you all about the music festival, so here we go!
So for those of you that really don’t know, this festival was supposedly world wide. However, I’ll give you “version Paris point oh”
So what it is: anyone who wants to give a free little concert to passersby on the street basically tells some guys what their plan is. These guys use this info to assemble a little program that lets all the people in Paris know who’s playing what, where and when.
WHY IT’S AWESOME: no police set up any road blocks. This equals tons of people crowding the streets and cars still being allowed to drive through!!! So basically throughout the day, on almost every little street corner someone is playing something, be it African “tribal” music, rock, opera, Native American music (not even joking), crazy hardcore metal rockers, pop music DJ setups… you name it! And of course huge crowds are amassing around all these musicians (well the good ones at least!).
Anyway that’s some fun from the music festival…
Quite spacious compared to singles at Tech! And only 120 euros a month!!! Thanks French tax payers! :D
Anyway, the move was quite smooth except that I forgot to ask for a receipt from the taxi driver, so I had to call the company and use my weak French skills to try and figure out how to get a freaking receipt. My lab won’t cover the cab if I don’t get the receipt (which of course makes sense) so hopefully the G7 cab company will pull through! The lady that helped me move in, Madame Vigouroux, is EXTREMELY sweet and easy to understand to (some people speak French so fast here I have no idea what they’re saying 99% of the time!).
Coming up: my code works but my data sucks, lab barbeque, international student cocktail party, doctor’s appointment, London… I’ll keep you posted!
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.
SURF, short for Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, is a quintessential experience for any Caltech student. It is a widely accessible research fellowship for Caltech students that funds your proposed research for one summer term. While many of my classmates did their first SURF the summer after their freshman year, I sent in my first application to the program as a sophomore. As a CS major, I was trying to chase meaningful work that intersected computation with the field of neuroscience. I ended up doing a SURF at the Stanford School of Medicine that first year, studying hand gestures in children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Since then, I’ve been working in the research space of applying computational analyses to ASD.