In Blacker, it is a tradition for the frosh to lead a prank on Lloyd’s former Christmas tree (now it’s just the Ls). It gives them an opportunity to work together to do a large project while being creative and fun. They are in charge of organizing themselves, asking for permission (as the administration wants to know about any such large-scale and visible pranks) and procuring their supplies and manpower.
This year, their idea was to do a snow globe with a miniature Millikan inside of it. In addition, they added a bow to the top of Millikan to make it into a gift as well. As always, there was a large scramble to get things done the night of the prank. They were still sewing the bow and painting the miniature Millikan a few hours before everything had to be put up. But a lot of people came to help - not only the frosh, but upperclassmen as well.
Upperclassmen always help a lot with the execution of the prank on the night it goes up. They are important to help coordinate and keep frosh safe as they have previous experience about 1: how to actually put things on Millikan roof and 2: how to be safe while doing it. I helped earlier in the night, as they were lacking manpower at first. However, people finished their other work and commitments quickly, so I was able to go back and sleep at a regular time. There were however people working on it until past dawn on the next day. The prank was very well done; when they finished the morning after, it looked really good.
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.
This summer, from the confines of my Brooklyn apartment, you could find me typing away on a tiny 13-inch laptop screen. At times I was looking for answers on countless Stack Exchange pages, editing a Jupyter notebook, or making blood flow measurements on a software called Arterys. This was my 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURF) experience.
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.