Meet Dan Liebling (BS ’02)
We asked the senior research software engineer at Microsoft about his favorite memories of Caltech and why he volunteers for the Caltech Alumni Association to host events in Seattle.
What is your favorite Caltech memory?
There are so many. I remember being pleasantly surprised by my experience as Lloyd president, and the way classmates interacted with me. Since classes could often be demoralizing, it was nice to be validated on a different dimension.
What movie, TV show, or book would you recommend to a fellow Techer?
I'll recommend two books. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman invites us to question our own decision making by covering the implications of a wide range of psychology and decision making experiments. One of the things Caltech taught me was to constantly question and evaluate my own ideas. Speaking of ideas, The Death and Life of American Cities by Jane Jacobs, a modern classic, redefines urban planning. As our cities once again become epicenters of modern life, it's worth reading Jacobs to get a perspective on the elements that influence vibrant cities. Since I read this book while living in New York, I look at streets and neighborhoods with a new eye.
How has the Caltech community helped you since graduation?
Meeting alumni of various eras at different events has opened my eyes to the world beyond science and engineering, and the career options that are open to smart, creative people.
What would you like to learn next?
I want to continue learning Chinese, or maybe play an instrument again.
Why do you volunteer for the CAA?
I became involved accidentally, but soon found that I was the main organizer for events out here. I stay involved because I feel that we need to build a stronger alumni community. I enjoy connecting with other Techers. We all have a certain way of thinking that nobody else quite understands, so when you meet another alumnus/a, there's an immediate understanding.
But we're only as strong as our volunteers. I would highly encourage anyone interested to become involved.