It’s almost prefrosh weekend! I am super excited. It’s in less than a week now. Dabney Hovse will be tie-dying shirts and having “Couch Fort Night” during prefrosh weekend. Couch Fort Night is when we turn over couches, stand up cushions, and fortify our base like we all did at least once when we were young. We also will watch cartoons we haven’t seen since the nineties (man, do I feel old and I’m only eighteen). I’ll blog more about that when it happens. For now, I’ll talk about our preparations for prefrosh weekend, namely, our preparation for tie-dye. Tie-dying is a tradition (sort-of) and we all love to do it. We all try to find cool white shirts to tie-dye with the prefrosh. Sometimes, nothing we have is cool enough, so we just make it ourselves. I’m not talking about iron-on patterns or fabric paint. I am talking about screen-printing. If you have no idea how or what screen-printing is, you WILL learn it if you come to Caltech. It’s such an integral part of Ditch Day (you need to make t-shirts for your stacks!) and it’s pretty much the way we record history here. For example, it will now go down in history that Dabney is the Original Hovse:
We found a screen from a Darb alum and decided to print some shirts with that design, too. However, not only people who want to make t-shirts for fun use the screen printing materials here, the Caltech Y and other organizations use it for all of the free shirts they end up giving away.
Where do we get all these shirts, you ask? They are all available to us. Not for free, of course. We can check them out and pay for them by the honor code. Also, pretty much everyone on campus has access to the art house and the music house. The honor code is a pretty legitimate thing here at Caltech and we all take it seriously so we get a lot of freedom with these types of things.
The art house is something that I am extremely glad we all have access to. I was really into doing art in high school and I thought that I’d have to give that up to come to a very science-oriented school. I was wrong. Even though we only have a few art classes, we do have the freedom and access to all of these art materials. We can also check out digital SLR camera from the digital photography club. There are a lot of Caltech students who are artistically talented.
I’m not sure how many, but a lot of students submit their art to Totem which is the Caltech art publication. They take submissions yearly and give copies of the finished publication to everyone for free. I submitted some photographs I took in high school. I am currently unsure of whether or not they will be in this year’s issue of Totem but I hope they are.
Since I don’t want to bore you with the process of screen printing, I’ll just post these pictures of the process. Don’t worry if you want to learn, you will if you go to Caltech.
Next time I post will probably be during prefrosh weekend. I’m going to make a video of a tour by admissions office tour guides for those of you who can’t show up so stay on the lookout for that (it’ll be on Caltech’s YouUniversity website which you can get to from the admissions website). Until then, I hope you prefrosh and prospective applicants will comment on my posts asking questions or requesting things for me to blog about. I really want to hear your input.
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.