Heh, I’ve been wanting to label a post with that for a while!
At least this time it will make more sense: MAD is the Caltech Y’s annual Make a Difference Day. We organize up to 20 different off campus volunteer projects for 200 volunteers. Usually these projects are tutoring, environmental restoration, working with animal shelters and serving at local homeless shelters. Last year, I led a group to help out at the Red Cross. We cleaned their cars and got to take a ride in one of them! The vehicles, of course, is equipped with much more than a normal car because the Red Cross provides emergency first aid and disaster relief services. This year, I led a group to help out at MACH1, “Move a Child Higher”. This group gives horseback riding lessons to disabled children. One of the regular volunteers there that we met actually used to receive lessons because of his autism. The horses are all very gentle, especially around the children. The organization was founded by a woman who suffered from polio herself, but was able to ride competitively nonetheless. She said that her goal in founding MACH1 was to give every child a “chance to dance” and that learning to ride a horse gave her the courage to overcome her polio. We deweeded, swept and raked the grounds for them, and also got to groom one of the horses, Heidi! Heidi is a Norwegian Fjord, and has a really beautiful cropped black and white mane. Her coat is a sandy tan color and she was very patient with us. We also met the other horses as well as a donkey. After getting freshly groomed, the donkey decided to roll around in the dirt XD
As usual, I took a lot of pictures ^^
After feeding this horse with lots of carrots, Wrigley started nibbling on our jackets and sleeves for more.
I don’t know if you can see it in this picture, but Heidi’s mane is trimmed very short and has a beautiful black and white pattern.
The donkey is being led back to his stall by one of the staff, and in the background, Will O, another pony, is getting his injured foot treated.
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.