On Friday, I got to stage four of five on my summer project, submitted a pull request, and went home (a little early!). My roommates and I coordinated a fancy dinner: sauteed shrimp and lemon quinoa with a side of twice-baked potatoes. I love cooking with people, it’s so satisfying. We get all together and set the table all fancy. Also it tastes really good.
After dinner we watched Fargo, which Tago (my roommate, a Caltech EE) recommended. I had heard that it was a comedy. It was not. Whoever told me that was either a psychopath or a filthy liar. I could barely sleep that night.
The next day was a sort of slow day. It was an errand day. I made crepes for breakfast, and we cleaned house and went grocery shopping. JD (boyfriend dearest) came over and we watched Galaxy Quest (which is entertaining, unlike the horrifying bloodbath that was Fargo).
Sunday was more exciting. We got up at 7 in the morning and went to the train station, taking a train down to my parents, who met us with a truck. They had also loaded this truck with a small barbecue, matches, and towels. We (me, JD, and my roommates Laura and Chet) drove down to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
I love my beaches! We actually went on a house beach trip last term. I’m glad we got to do this while I’m here.
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.