Caltech senior Wilson Ho spent his summer completing a SURF project in the lab of Robert Grubbs, one of the winners of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Ho tells his nonscientist friends and family that the goal of his project is to develop "stem-cell Band-Aids" that might one day help restore vision in those suffering from macular degeneration.
For many 17-year-old students, the summer before senior year represents a last hurrah before the reality of planning for life after high school sets in. But for Angela Guerrero, the summer before senior year represents an important step in an already flourishing research career. She may be 17, but she's prepping for her final year in college, with plans to pursue an MD/PhD upon graduation.
When summer started, Caltech senior Yuyang Fan was handed a picture taken with a cell phone. The image showed a large box with an array of small fans covering one side. It was a wind tunnel—a simple one, but a wind tunnel nevertheless. Fan's mission? To build one himself as part of his SURF project. And the catch? Other than the picture, he was given nothing. "That's all the information I got," he says.
Like so many things in life, it all started with a girl. In fifth grade, the girl who sat next to Keith Hawkins every day in class would check out encyclopedias and look up subjects in astronomy, admiring pictures of swirling galaxies and colorful nebulae. Hawkins would join her, and the two of them would sit together and gaze at the heavens, one page at a time.
One looks like little more than a stethoscope head attached to a wire; the other seems to be an oven mitt with three metal disks sewn on. Simple, yes, but these prototype medical devices—developed by young Caltech researchers working on a SURF project—could one day save lives.
Building upon the institute's mission to benefit society through research integrated with education, Caltech is opening its doors to 23 diverse and gifted high school sophomores and juniors this summer. The LEAD Summer Engineering Institute, held on campus July 6–27, gives students the opportunity to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (or STEM) careers.
Students from Caltech won a large number of awards this spring, including a Fulbright grant, a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, three Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, two Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, a Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship, and 36 National Science Foundation Fellowships.
If you're a student who's ever wanted to plan a manned space mission—or channel your inner Bruce Willis from the movie Armageddon—now's your chance. This September, Caltech will a host a workshop inviting about 20 graduate and undergraduate students from around the world to design a mission to an asteroid or comet in Earth's neighborhood—a so-called Near-Earth Object (NEO)—that would return a sample of rock or ice.
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."
For many Techers, high-school activities included the Science Olympiad, an academic track meet of sorts that tests knowledge in all areas of science and engineering, from forestry and ornithology to physics and biology. But even though they've now retired from competition, former Science Olympians at Caltech have been giving back, helping to run the contest for today's high schoolers. Last Saturday, April 9, 43 students from Caltech traveled to Canyon High School in Anaheim for the Southern California State Science Olympiad.