A belated Happy Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day) to everyone! Forgive me if I have a lot of bad puns throughout this blog, but Caltech can be quite the “romantic” place because of all the types of bonding that occur between different subsets of the population.
On Tuesday morning I woke up to find a really sweet gift near my door (and there was one for my roommate, too). The Avery guys made cards and cookies for all the girls and delivered them in the morning.
The card and the cookie. I am happy they spelled my name correctly. *
At Caltech we uphold the concept of an “n+1” table. This idea comes from proof by induction (every Ma1a student knows this technique on the back of their hand), where you prove the base case, then assume the statement is true for a generic “n” case, then prove the assumption is sound and true for the “n+1” case, therefore proving the statement true for all integers. At Chandler, based on the n+1 concept, we managed to fit 12 people on a round table for 5.
Later (at around 11:30 PM) that night, I was working in the SAC on my Ph8 lab. I was working on my circuit earlier in the week, but I needed clarifications that I couldn’t clear up until 10:40 that night (I had returned from symphony practice at Occidental, and office hours for Ph8 sadly are from 8 to 11 PM). I had to also finish a couple questions on my physics problem set (Tuesday nights are notoriously known as late nights at Caltech). I even managed to burn myself with the soldering iron.
Every other Thursday, the Center of Diversity holds lunches for freshmen females to bond and talk with special guests. Two lunches ago we met with an administrative official about declaring our options (majors) and seeking advisors. They also hold fun events. We were supposed to have a girls’ slumber party, but that got canceled because of other campus events. This last lunch (on 2/16) we had a special chocolate-tasting lunch. It was great to taste chocolate from different parts of the world (I loved that Caribbean chocolate).
My schedule this quarter was extremely forgiving to me. I have free Friday afternoons, so I decided to relish the warm California sun (after a few anomalous days of rain) and work outside!
Friday afternoons are also the beginning of seeing random people wearing tuxedoes and prom-like dresses. The Athenaeum, Caltech’s fancy club where professors dine (the food is really good, by the way) and celebrities host posh events (like NBC Universal had a night a few weeks ago, where celebrities like Maya Rudolph came, the press was flashing their cameras, security and colored lights were abundant, and Blacker students—called Moles—left with an NBC ice sculpture), also hosts weddings because of Caltech’s picturesque campus.
**Quote of the day: **This was quite popular on Facebook. Several kids were asked about topics of love. The purest ounce of wisdom I got was for the question “What do most people do on a date?” The answer came from eight year-old Lynnette, who said “Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen to them long enough.”
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.