I visited the Broad Museum in LA this Friday! We booked the free tickets a month ahead of time because the museum was so popular and busy. As if to balance out the free tickets, parking was super expensive, around $14 for the first 3 hours and then you pay per 15 minutes after that.
The first thing we did – and everyone else in line – when we first got in was to line up (another line!?) for the iPad sign ups for the Infinity Room. This exhibition lets each person go into a mirrored room for 45 seconds. Tons of little lights are reflected in the water on the ground as well as the fully mirrored walls and ceiling. Our wait time was about 3 hours, at which we received a text message telling us to make our way to the room.
Re-entry into the museum on the same day is free and you don’t need to re-line up, so we left and walked a few minutes to the Marketplace for some gourmet sandwiches.
Returning to the museum, we first visited the temporary exhibition, Oracle, which sought to make visual what is normally unsee-able. Some of the works included paintings that are influenced by random, probability-based strokes or a movie of a ball game during which pentagonal lights are randomly flashed. Another piece was inspired by circuits and geometry to represent social interactions.
The second floor offered a view of the storage rooms and some administrative rooms.
The exhibitions continue on the third floor, where we were greeted by bright Japanese pop art and a giant shiny balloon-like sculpture that was supposed to be “tulips”. We also saw some local art, such as a geometricized image of the Santa Monica board walk.
We also saw some perspective changing art. For example, the Benday dots area showcased pieces drawn in the comic book style of artistically placed and colored dots. Up close, the pieces looked like a mess of dots, but stepping back, an image is revealed.
There was a 3D sculpture in the corner that looked 2D in photos, as well a a painting that made sense both upside down and right side up. At first glance, it looks like the reflection of some riders somewhere above the water, but upside down, it looks as if the riders were on solid ground with a vase suspended in midair.
We also saw a giant table with giant chairs that viewers can walk around under.
On our way out, we also saw some of Basquiat’s works, which I recognized right away from Urban Decay’s collaboration with Basquiat for their new eye shadow palette series.
This summer I had the incredible opportunity to do a 10-week internship at Gilead Sciences in Foster City, CA. For those unfamiliar, Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative medicines.
With 45 Nobel Laureates on its Faculty Roster, it’s not surprising that research is an integral part of the Caltech undergraduate experience. One of the programs that promotes such research is the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). There is no minimum knowledge or experience required to participate in a Caltech SURF. In fact, students can participate in a SURF as soon as the summer after their freshman year. It is not difficult to get a SURF. All you need to do is find a mentor who is working in an area of research that interests you and willing to mentor you through a research project. The mentor can work in a Caltech lab, at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), or at another participating institution. Once you find a mentor, you work together to write a project proposal that you later send to the SURF office for review and approval. About 98% of the SURF proposals get approved. This fellowship is a great way to explore various fields of research and obtain real, hands-on experience where you get to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve learned in class. Not only do you get to work and learn alongside your mentor, but you also get compensated for your time. The length of the SURF is ten weeks, and it starts at the beginning of the summer. However, it is not uncommon for many students at Caltech to continue their research project throughout the academic school year.
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
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.