Hello, there!This post is about things wrapping up, in a good way, and I’m so excited to be sharing these experiences with you! I apologize for not having a new one in a while, and won’t have a cooking one - missed Asian Week so I could pack for my interview.
Speaking of interview, I have officially FINISHED interviewing this year! I just got back from the University of Washington, and had a great whirlwind weekend. Thursday was crazy, flying in and right away talking to some really cool professors! I got to visit the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (which is world-renowned for their work!) and be in Seattle on a beautiful weekend! There was a break in the clouds so someone a bit de-sensitized to gloomy weather (like me) enjoyed the change of scenery! I was really excited to describe in one interview what I think makes an ideal Caltech student, and this is what I said (what I say on all my tours!):
A Caltech student MUST love math and science. Not like, but love it. Want to immerse yourself in it for four years of your life. If you’re not sure what you think of math and/or science (or engineering, which is both!), I don’t recommend you come here. Our core curriculum really stresses a fundamental understanding of science, and it’s tough. But having that passion for science is key to making the time so much more enjoyable.
Also, you have to love research! Coming to Caltech and NEVER taking advantage of research would be like going to Rome and not seeing the Colosseum… it makes no sense. The opportunities are endless, but you’ve got to go out there and grab it. I thank Caltech for giving me such opportunities, and if you want the same, I definitely encourage you to come!
So now… I am done interviewing and now just waiting. Can’t believe it’s been such a long process. By the numbers:
Flights Taken: 26
Miles Traveled (approx.): 30,000
Days From First to Last Interview: 126
But you’re more concerned with the pictures, so here they are!
The other way that this title is fitting is that the third term class schedule just came out! It’s kind of bittersweet, because it is my last term at Caltech. But it’s exciting, because the end is now in sight. Needless to say I don’t have much left to do so I can finish my double degree. I have two humanities classes: one “advanced social science” (for which I am planning on taking The Neuronal Basis of Consciousness, a biology/psychology class) and one “any humanities.” For the latter, I’m more divided. Either epic poetry (I do love The Aeneid!) or Saints and Sinners in the Middle Ages. Hmmm tough choice! Also, I’ll be continuing to do some research. And most importantly, prepping for DITCH DAY!!!
Time to unpack and RELAX for a bit! :)
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.