So I’m in a lab class this term; we have take home physics labs which involve deriving equations, building circuits, and measuring values from them. Last Sunday, my partner and I were in the SAC doing our experiment and saw something through the window blinds. Pulling up the blinds, it was a peacock! Like what?
We proceeded to go into the courtyard and view the peacock up close.
I then tried to get a picture of me and the peacock with the help of my lab partner.
It didn’t work out so well because it would only let me get so close before trotting away. But at Lloyd Interhouse, the theme was Up and they had a paper-mache bird so I guess picture with peacock can be checked off from my bucket list.
From left to right, we dressed up as Kevin, Russell, and Mr. Fredricksen.
I was thoroughly entertained because I’ve only seen birds this big at the zoo, and off the internet of course. Apparently they are wild and the nearby city of Alhambra, which is where this one came from.
Note: The SAC is what we call the large underground area under the South undergraduate houses. We have a ton of stuff in the SAC, like study rooms that have really nice chairs, computer rooms with printers, laundry room, DDR room, lots of storage closets, etc.
Thanks for reading my random blog post about a super random sighting! Stay tuned,
Like many students at Caltech, I suffer from a slight boba addiction, where side effects may include over caffeination, minor sugar highs, and of course, a large toll on one’s wallet. This addiction is not helped by the fact that there are at least three boba shops within walking distance of campus. So, after an entire term’s worth of boba runs, I came back from winter break with a new year’s epiphany: it was time to get a job. Rather than try to curb my addiction, I decided to find a way to subsidize it.
Research at Caltech looks different for every student, and can often vary term by term. As a chemistry major, my course requirements are on the lighter side for a Caltech major, and many chemistry majors take advantage of the lighter course load to join research groups. This can be whenever the student wants, but many people join labs during their freshman or sophomore years. Some may work in one lab only, and some may switch between labs during the course of their undergraduate studies, depending on if their interests change.
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.