Professor of English Kevin Gilmartin, who has taught at Caltech for the past 24 years, was honored with the prize that recognizes a Caltech professor annually for demonstrating an "unusual ability, creativity, and innovation" in teaching.
J. Morgan Kousser, professor of history and social science at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), has been awarded the Richard P. Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching—Caltech's most prestigious teaching honor. Kousser was selected for his "exceptional ability to draw science and engineering students to appreciate the intellectual rigors of legal thought."
Sure, that lab breakthrough has impressed your colleagues and won you a MacArthur; but how do you turn it into something people will queue up to buy? "it won't sell itself," insists visiting professor of mechanical engineering Ken Pickar. In his course Entrepreneurial Development, Caltech students learn what goes into starting up a start-up. "'If you build it, they will come'? Hardly. First you identify your markets, assess risks, and strategize. Begin to build a great company. Then maybe they'll come."
Congratulations to Chris Hallacy, Brad Saund, and Janet Chen for their victory March 8 in the 26th annual ME 72 engineering design competition. This year's theme: "Extreme Recycling." The mission: Design, build, and deploy two vehicles and traverse difficult terrain (water, sand, rocks, and wood chips, with one type of terrain in each of four different 6' x 10' boxes) to collect plastic water bottles, aluminum cans, and steel cans.
Caltech has announced the creation of the Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute of Economic and Management Sciences. The initiative will bring together the best scientific minds and the best quantitative business practices, permitting a distinctive and targeted educational opportunity for Caltech's students and providing cutting-edge research opportunities for Caltech's faculty.
Ken Pickar's class, "Product Design for the Developing World," challenges Caltech students to solve some basic problems of the world's poor. The catch: in ten weeks, they must turn rough concepts into workable designs, including financial and market assessments. On December 7, this year's students presented their results. Their visual aids included a typically Caltech-like hodgepodge of pipes, motors, and fans—but as Pickar reminded the audience, "Prototypes aren't supposed to be elegant. They're supposed to be crude and quick."
Caltech undergrads all take the same core curriculum—which includes five courses each of physics and math, among other daunting requirements—no matter what field they'll later specialize in. Thanks to the Innovation in Education Fund, lively new alternatives to traditional introductory classes are being added to the course offerings, and advanced courses with up-to-the-moment topics are being designed as well.
The California Institute of Technology recently announced new awardees for three long-standing programs aimed at increasing diversity in science, engineering, and technology fields. The programs include the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF); MURF, a summer fellowship for undergraduates around the country to conduct research at Caltech; and the Young Engineering and Science Scholars (YESS). Caltech recently selected the awardees for each of these programs.
Zhen-Gang Wang favors the tried-and-true chalkboard for his classroom lectures on thermodynamics and polymer physics. The clarity of these lessons and the admiration of his students have won him this year's Feynman Prize for Excellence in Teaching at the California Institute of Technology.