Growing up, Katie Brennan didn't have a lot of opportunities to travel. So when she started her biology studies at Caltech, one of her main goals was to explore the world. Thanks to a plenitude of funding from the Institute, Brennan—a graduating senior—can now cross two more continents and the mountains of Washington State off her list.
A rover designed and built by Caltech undergraduate students will compete later this week in the RASC-AL Explorational Robo-Ops Competition at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The four-wheeled robot will be controlled by a group of students who will be located back on campus, in the basement of Spalding Laboratory.
Caltech senior Arvind Kannan has been selected to receive a Churchill Scholarship, which will fund his graduate studies at the University of Cambridge for the next academic year. Kannan, a chemical engineering major and English minor, was one of only 14 students selected to receive the award this year.
The Keck Institute for Space Studies has announced that it will fund a new student-led mini program, giving a handful of undergraduate students the opportunity to help develop instruments for an extreme-terrain rover called Axel, which could one day be used to explore the moon, Mars, or an asteroid.
Seven finalists, named the best speakers out of 290 who presented their research on SURF Seminar Day in October, competed in the third and final round of the Doris S. Perpall SURF Speaking Competition on January 19. Three juniors won the top honors, with Kevin Gu in first place, Anum Jang Sher in second, and Matthew Mayers in third.
Seven Caltech undergrads will do their best to impress, inform, and generally dazzle the audience and judges in the final round of the Doris S. Perpall SURF Speaking Competition Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Beckman Institute auditorium.
A team of undergrads recently received accolades for their research at an international competition in Boston. Their studies, which earned them a gold award at the 2011 International Bio-Molecular Design Competition, started out as a summer undergrad research fellowship (SURF) project. The group also received a third place ranking in the "best wiki" prize category, based on a series of web pages that explained their project, "DeoxyriboNucleicAwesome."
Their summer research is about to take a group of Caltech undergrads SURFing across the country for a global competition. The students, gold medal winners in last month's International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) regional competition, are headed to MIT this weekend for the world championship jamboree.
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.