And tautologies are tautologies. But yes, due to Martin Luther King Day, we had a 3 day weekend this weekend, which lead to lots of fun and even more good food. On top of that, my friend Christine had a friend named Helen from another college visiting, so we made sure to give her an especially good time. Combined with beautiful weather (80 degrees and sunny all weekend), we had a lot of fun.
We started the weekend on Friday night by going out shopping in Glendale, which was a short drive away. I didn’t end up buying anything, but some of my friends got some cute things for interhouse parties later in the term. Being the girls we were, we looked at fancy dresses; one thing I thought was really interesting is that Helen said she never needs formal dresses. Here at Caltech, we have a formal dinner every term, so I have quite a collection of dresses stored in my closet (my mom saw my closet when she visited and has since banned me from buying dresses for a while… oops :D).
The next day, my roommate, my boyfriend, his roommate, and I went out for dinner and dessert in San Gabriel. On Friday, I had done several social science experiments (many economics and political science labs run these and use Caltech students as subjects) to earn some extra cash. The first experiment I did, we earned money by selling tickets for certain amounts. In the second (which was much more fun), we did a simulation where we bought and sold stocks based on their behaviors. This sounds nerdy, but it’s really cool to see what you’re learning in Ma2b come to real life! Anyways, by the end of the day, I had accumulated about 50 dollars for less than 2 hours of work… not bad! This is one of the nice things about having such a small campus; it’s very easy to find out about these opportunities and there isn’t a lot of competition to get them. But anyways, with that money in my pocket, dinner was a lot of fun! We got beef noodles for dinner (not my favorite, but that’s okay), and then went to mango shaved ice right next door! Yum! Here’s a picture showing my enjoyment:
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.