So Prefrosh Weekend is winding down now, which is very sad. I’ve enjoyed meeting you guys over the past few days!
On Friday I was in charge of the Concert Band’s booth at the ASCIT Club Fair. ASCIT–the Associated Students of Caltech–is our student government, and they help fund a large number of the clubs on campus. Therefore, for the prefrosh, they organized the fair so that all the interesting organizations on campus had an opportunity to present themselves to a new generations of impressionable Techers.
So if you were around for Prefrosh Weekend, you know that there was some confusion as to how long the weekend’s events were. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of prefrosh left early on Saturday morning…but for those that stuck around, there was a full day of events planned. I know about this from emails; I spent almost the entire day getting dinner ready for pretty much the entire campus.
Winter term my freshman year, my house president approached me and asked if I’d be interested in taking a special vegetarian section of the popular cooking class. While at first I was hesitant, I soon realized what an amazing opportunity it was and joined. After having taken the class, I was completely hooked, so now I am a cooking class TA.
Being part of the cooking class means supporting one of the most popular classes (if not the most popular class, Bi 10 lab notwithstanding) on campus.Cooking classis always filled to capacity and then some–Tom Mannion, who runs it (and is also a student life administrator) just can’t seem to say no to people who ask to be in the class.
Being a cooking TA also means I get to help provide food to my fellow classmates. Why is this at all fun, you ask? Why slave over a hot grill for 6 hours cooking ears of corn? Call me crazy, but it’s a great feeling to know that you’re partially responsible for bringing people together over the most universal interest: food.
Of course, post-dinner is my absolute favourite part of cooking…clean up. It was made slightly more enjoyable by the music and comedic stylings of Grand Buffet, making their reappearance at Caltech after opening for Third Eye Blind earlier this year.
Now, more than ever, I miss actually TAing the cooking class–I did it first term, but since it changes days (from Tuesday nights to Wednesdays and then Thursdays), I haven’t been able to TA since. I’ve hear along the grapevine, however, that there might be enough interest to have another vegetarian section–and that I’d love to TA!
In any case, it’s going to be hard to go back to normalcy after the excitement of Prefrosh Weekend (of course, that’s also what I said after going to Disneyland last weekend!). I hope that everyone who came got to know all about Caltech and is psyched to be part of the class of 2014. And, of course, if you were unable to make it, please give the admissions office a call, make an appointment to spend the day here, or just ask your questions in the comments.
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.