Hey,So last weekend was really fun! Well, I mean, there were definitely some boring parts, but for the most part I enjoyed myself.During some of the boring times, I just hung out with friends. And sure, just hanging out can be pretty boring, but it’s way better than just bumming on the computer by yourself. :) Oh! and something we did was watch Youtube videos and I was actually enlightened by a few of them…. Basically, we had a Justin Bieber section of our boredom when we were looking at funny stuff involving him. One of them was this video:
After watching this I was like "Wow. What's our world coming to when our pop stars don't even know what German means!" Umph. Oh wells. I guess we can just file him with the tons of other famous people who don't know basic things. (: Also, if you're super bored you should also check out:3 Year old crying over Justin Bieber. This made me laugh soo much. It's crazy how crazy some people are. Ha!Anyways, onto some events that happened over the weekend. This summer, there's a group of students who are on the SURF SAC committee. These people help put on events that are open to summer students and are free! The event on Saturday was a Luau pool party! However, I was being a bum in my room so I didn't go out the pool part of the party. But, knowing me, I made sure I was in time for the food! :D At first I felt a little bad that I was only going there for the food, but since I also had to take pictures and there were other people just coming for the food, I no longer felt bad. :)
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.
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.