So I actually made it back to California last Sunday! After two long weeks of interviewing at various places in the Eastern Time Zone, I flew back into LAX to the RAIN! I will not go on at length about that because you can read about the craziness in the other blogs, but let me say it was not what I was looking for after leaving a chilly, rainy day in NJ. Fortunately, we had off for MLK Day, so I was able to catch up and unpack before going back to class. And my did I go back to class?! OK I only went to one (Polymer Chemistry), but I was totally confused. I guess that’s what happens when you miss two weeks!I then was immersed in my TA’ing job. This term I’m TA’ing Ch 4a (an introductory chemistry lab). It’s fun to see the young chem majors get their first taste of the lab environment. And there are 6 TA’s total in the class of 20 or so. So in any given lab period there are 3 TA’s for about 10 students. What personal attention we give!
Fortunately Wednesday was a much more chill day. No class, so I could prepare for what was to come and then go enjoy Cooking class at night! I’m actually going to be posted to a new blog about Caltech’s Cooking Basics class, so I’ll keep that updated too! It was a fun time and I enjoyed the Mac and Cheese we made. I won’t forget my camera next week so I can show you all the fun that ensues!
But wait? You may be asking why I’m “just kidding” about the being back. Well, because at 4 AM on Thursday I was picked up by the Super Shuttle to go to yet ANOTHER interview! Yup, after two days of school I was in the air again. I’m actually blogging right now from the warmth of my hotel room in COOOOOOLD Minnesota. I’m at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. It’s actually a “warm” winter right now. By warm I mean 30. Crazy, right!? Anyway, the Clinic is beautiful and it’s a lot to take in. And everything’s connected on the inside, so I didn’t have to go outside, but I’ll just say it’s not the prettiest of days out there.
Well, now I’m back at Tech for OVER THREE WEEKS! What am I going to do with myself? Go to school?! Yeah, I guess I will :P.
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.