Hey y’all. Sorry it’s been a while. Between wrapping up the semester, a whirlwind of travels, limited internet, and coming back home, it’s been quite a busy month! Since my two final papers and exam were scheduled early in the examination period (which at UniMelb lasts for three weeks!), I had just over a month to spend travelling around Australia before heading back home. I hopped from Melbourne to Western Australia to Cairns, back to Melbourne to reset, over to New Zealand with my friends Holly and Maddi, back to Melbourne, and then up to the Outback with Holly for the final adventure. Not the most efficient route (grab a map and you’ll understand why), but it was the only way to do it considering that no one finished up with exams as early as I did.
So let me tell you about my travels!
I flew into Perth, where sadly I only got to spend one day wandering the city. It was really bizarre to be walking around in shorts and flip flops (fun fact: Aussies call them ‘thongs’) and seeing Christmas decorations in the summer.
[Side note: Can you picture barbecuing and going to the beach on Christmas Day? My Australian friends have told me about it multiple times, and I believe them, but it still doesn’t quite make sense in my head.]
I climbed to the top floor of the Swan Bell Tower for the full bell ringing at noon. It took eight people to ring the bells. At first it just sounded random, but after a few minutes I was able to pick out the different rounds.
I took a nice long walk around Kings Park, which had a variety of landscapes, including the Australian bushland, parkland, and botanic garden. One bushland walk was particularly steep and turned out to be quite the workout!
The parking lot and the street leading up to Kings Park were full of cars, but I never felt like there were many people around because the park was so big.
My allergies usually make being surrounded by flowers a pretty overwhelming experience, but I managed a rare and pleasant stroll through the botanic gardens. I’m not big on flower pictures but these were my favorites:
Tune in next time and I’ll tell you about my tour up the coast of Western Australia!
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.