Ahhhh, the joys of being done with Finals’ Week! As I mentioned previously, I was pretty lucky about having a chill schedule, and took my lone final on Thursday after deciding that there was no more point in re-reading my notes yet again - it was open-book anyway! The exam was a bit more challenging than I expected, however. But I’m not too worried, because a) it’s senior year, and b) it’s over and there’s nothing more I can do about it.As I said before, one of the best things about Finals’ Week is the FLEXIBILITY you have in making the schedule! Because (almost) everything is take-home, that means you can take your exam any time of day (or night!) you want to. That gave me more time to enjoy being with my friends, whether it was studying (see Dannah’s post) or seeing what SoCal has to offer! I got the chance to head over to Glendale (about 20 minutes by car) to the Americana at Brand. This outdoor shopping area was beautifully lit up for Christmas and has amazing stores, choreographed fountains, and restaurants. Too bad I forgot my camera! But fortunately, I still took pictures with my phone to show you what delicious Japanese food my friend and I ate at Katsuya! Yum!**
After turning in my last thing (my Bi 180 lab report), Dannah and I made our way to Old Town to celebrate our completion of our 10th Caltech term! We did some real and window-shopping, but I mostly did the latter. I still hadn’t worn anything from my Black Friday haul, so I just took some pictures of stuff I would like for Christmas!
After a relaxing evening on Friday packing everything up and sending my friends off to their exotic homes in Sheffield (UK), Mumbai (India), and Houston (TX), I got to rest up and fly home! For most people, this trek to LAX is a once or twice-a-term event, but I practically knew all the employees in Terminal 6 after all my traveling! But regardless, flying without any homework hanging over my head was definitely a relief. Now it’s Winter Break (my favorite because it contains CHRISTMAS), and time to relax.
Oh, and while I’m writing this I’m up in Red Sox Country (boooo!!!!) at my Harvard Med School interview. I got to see the “Other” Institute of Technology across the Charles and I was reminded of how drab it looks under the gray sky. And after our dinner tonight, we stopped for frozen yogurt! People, it’s COLD here!! I was even missing the SoCal sun, and I’m a Northeastern Guy! Still, I can never really say no to dessert, so I ended up splurging on some…
I also got a chance to meet up with some friends who go to school here (yes…even one from that school…) and walked by Fenway! I couldn’t resist taking this picture, though I was worried I was going to be attacked by some crazy (misguided) fan!
When I’m done with this…the “real” break can begin! Looking forward to delicious Italian food and family festivities!
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.
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.