Hope you all had a great weekend!
I definitely did!…some highlights: In-N-Out, hanging out with friends, spending the day in Old Pas, enjoying the nightlife in Downtown Los Angeles, and ballet class. Now, it’s back to work…
I’m currently working on a progress report for my next thesis deliverable due this Friday. In addition, I have been making a lot of progress in the experimental phase of the research. I have been working in the machine shop to alter some parts to bring back up to JPL for testing for the next few weeks.
I initially learned how to machine shop during my sophomore year at Caltech through my ME71 class (Intro to Shop). I was at first, really scared about dealing with the machinery since it can be really confusing to operate….and in there, you really have no room to make mistakes—you’ve got to be absolutely safe, constantly alert and know exactly what you are doing. The class was AMAZING. I would have to say it’s one of my faves I’ve taken at Caltech—I got to build a transmission and a bubble machine! I also found that I have a natural flair for machining…and was able to do well in the course. It’s also very empowering to know that I know my way around these machines down there, can really get my hands dirty and prove myself as a true MechE ;).
Yep…so this is the real deal, guys…hardcore MechE stuff–the other kind of “shop-ping” I’m good at ;)
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.