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David Shields (BS '66)

Retired mathematician (BS CIT ‘66) and computer scientist (PhD, Courant Institute)

I’m looking to attending my first Caltech Reunion, especially to attend the Page House Reunion. I would greatly appreciate some help in getting in touch with emeritus Prof. Rocchus Voght. Feynman was my freshman physics prof, Voght my TA. I was failing physics when he took me under his wing and encouraged me. I would NOT have graduated from CIT without his help.

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Jim Price (BS '74)

With 19 years now in working for the California Independent System Operator (ISO) on electricity market development, I have seen our electric market extend from initially real-time operations to add a robust day-ahead market, and now extend from California to serving most of the western US. I'm not retired yet since I'm having too much fun being part of this company. In the meantime, looking toward retirement in late 2020, and after winning several awards in national and international mead (honey wine) competitions, I am starting Sierra Foothills Meadery. On other fronts, my wonderful wife Bev and I celebrated our 30th anniversary in December, just after our daughter's wedding (and several months after my step-daughter's wedding).

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Greg Evans (BS '69)

Fifty years. Wow. Looking in my life’s rear view mirror, among the numbers that determined its course since 1969 — the number of my wives (1), the number of my full-time employers (2), and the number of my children (3) — none looms larger than my draft lottery number (44). Like others in our class, my response to an unwelcome invitation from our government to serve in Vietnam set my life on a different course from the one I had in mind upon graduation.

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John Cummings (BS '69)

Dr. John Cummings received his BS (1969), MS (1970), and PhD (1973) degrees from Caltech. His PhD research involved the development of a cryogenic shock tube and the study of strong shock waves in gaseous and liquid helium. His advisor was Prof. Hans W. Liepmann – who became his life-long friend. Dr. Cummings married Ellen Curtin in 1968.  John and Ellen have two grown sons and eight grandchildren.  They split their time between Colorado and Washington where they are involved in church and volunteer activities.

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Stephen Wilkowski (MS '81)

Stephen Wilkowski (MS ‘81) has joined LGS Innovations in Florham Park, NJ where he works with other alumni of Caltech. He started his engineering career with Bell Laboratories in 1980 and eventually retired from Nokia with over thirty-five years of service. Between positions at Nokia and LGS Innovations, he has done temporary work at IEEE and at Verizon.

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Clifford M. Will (PhD '71)

Clifford M. Will (PhD ‘71), Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Florida, has been awarded the 2019 Albert Einstein Medal by the Albert Einstein Society in Berne, Switzerland.  The medal recognizes his “important contributions to General Relativity, in particular including the Post-Newtonian expansions of approximate solutions of the Einstein field equations and their confrontation with experiments”. 

First awarded to Stephen Hawking in 1979, the medal has been awarded annually “to deserving individuals for outstanding scientific findings, works, or publications related to Albert Einstein”. Previous awardees include eight Nobel Laureates, Kip Thorne (BS ‘62), and the LIGO Collaboration. The presentation will take place in June in Berne.

Additional information may be found at http://www.einstein-bern.ch/en/einstein-society.

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Kamran Vakili (BS '00)

Kamran Vakili has been promoted to counsel at Irell & Manella LLP, effective Jan. 1, 2019. 

Kamran focuses on intellectual property law, particularly patent litigation, asset creation and strategic counseling. He has worked closely with a variety of U.S.-based and international clients to develop, manage and protect global patent portfolios. He has extensive experience prosecuting patent applications before the USPTO, as well as representing plaintiffs and defendants in litigation before state and federal courts at the trial and appellate levels, the U.S. International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). 

Kamran earned his J.D., magna cum laude, from Fordham University School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as a member of the Fordham Law Review. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in physics from Princeton University, where he studied self-organizing behaviors of electrons in two dimensions, and received his B.S. in physics, with honors, from the California Institute of Technology. 

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Annita Zhong (PhD '01)

Annita Zhong has been promoted to partner at Irell & Manella LLP, effective Jan. 1, 2019. 

Annita focuses on patent post-grant proceedings, patent litigation and licensing. She has deep experience handling inter partes review proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, where she has an extraordinary track record of success. She has also litigated patent and trade secret-related cases before federal and state courts, the International Trade Commission, and arbitral panels. Her experience spans technologies such as semiconductor fabrication and packaging, computer architecture, telecommunication network, wireless communication, standard essential patents, chemistry and materials. She also advises regarding the evaluation and exploration of patent portfolios. She was named to the Southern California Rising Stars list in 2018. 

Annita earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, her Ph.D. in chemistry from California Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in chemistry and chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before attending law school, Annita worked as a senior research scientist. She is a co-author and co-inventor on peer-reviewed journal articles and issued patents. 

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Ronald Peterson (BS '67)

I have recently completed my autobiography: An Introvert Learns to Fly.

Caltech grads will enjoy seeing how a shy nerd from Minnesota survived Caltech and Lloyd House and grew into a leadership role in a major corporation. Essentially, my whole life was an experiment. Learn more, or buy the book at my website: ronsreadingroom.com or through Amazon.

Some highlights:

  • Scoring a record low on a Lloyd House “purity test” on knowledge of sex—eventually figuring it out

  • Convincing Feynman to drop me from a graduate course the day before he made it pass/fail

  • Rooming off campus with Doug Osheroff who later won the Nobel Prize

  • Doing groundbreaking research on low-temperature heat flow, and coatings for solar collectors and satellites

  • Leading technology for all of Honeywell despite being charisma-challenged

  • Helping teenagers build a 900-pound yellow submarine

  • Retiring as a consultant, writer, founder of a huge community garden, and teacher of precocious grandchildren (hoping one will be a third generation Caltech grad).

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Michael Barela (BS '85)

Current Place of Employment: Adafruit Industries LLC

Current Title/Role: Consulting Engineer

Mike Barela (BS EE, '85) has retired from the U.S. Department of State, having served as a Senior Foreign Service Officer and Security Engineer for nearly 30 years.

Mike has started a consultancy, BarelaTech, LLC, and has accepted the role as consulting engineer at Adafruit Industries (adafruit.com) as of April 30th. He and wife Traci returned from their assignment to Germany last August to settle in Northern Virginia.

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John S. Letcher, Jr. (BS '62, MS '64, PhD '66)

John S. Letcher, Jr., of Southwest Harbor, Maine, died May 7, 2018, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. John was an avid life-long sailor, completing six trans-Pacific voyages. Two of these were single-handed in a 20-foot boat, for which he was inducted into the Cruising Club of America. John was involved in several America’s Cup campaigns, including serving as senior scientist on the 1987 America’s Cup Stars & Stripes design team. He authored two books on self-steering and celestial navigation for small sailing yachts, and numerous technical articles on the application of aerodynamics, hydrodynamics, and mathematics to yacht design.

John was an exceptionally kind, courteous, and intelligent man, and a loving husband and father. His family cherishes his memory as a man of broad talents, who could build a boat, solve any math problem, play bluegrass banjo, and bake a cherry pie, all with equal skill and enthusiasm. Though his body and mind were ravaged by Parkinson’s disease, he retained his innate sweetness and good humor to the last.

Condolences may be sent to PO Box 684, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

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David Bryant (BS '73)

After living and working in Denver, Colorado for 38 years, Kathryn and I have retired to the Texas Hill country, where I remain active in the local community as a volunteer with the AARP TaxAide program and for the local public library, and Kathryn stays busy with the Native Plant Society of Texas. I still hear from a few Lloydies now and again.

If you're ever in the vicinity of Canyon Lake and want to get together to reminisce about shared experiences at Caltech, feel free to contact me: davidbryant (at) att.net.

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Nita Losoponkul (BS '01) and Elisa Chiang (BS '01)

Nita (Fleming) and Elisa (Blacker, Fleming) reunited after 17 years to summit Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in March 2018. After tons of planning trying to pick the "right" summit night with the full moon and the best chance of good weather, they ended up attempting in an epic blizzard - but they made it (Elisa quite a bit faster than Nita), windburned and sunburned and all!

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Matthew Kovach (MS '12, PhD '15)

News Release: Matthew Kovach is named assistant professor in Department of Economics

January 29, 2018 -- Matthew Kovach has been named as an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science.

His research focuses on economic theory and behavioral economics, developing psychologically realistic models of human decision-making. Recent projects include studies that show how financial incentives influence beliefs about future events, how consumers allocate their attention, and how the existence of a reference point determines which alternatives a consumer considers.

Kovach earned a bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2010, and master’s and doctoral degrees from California Institute of Technology, both in economics in, respectively, 2012 and 2015. Prior to arriving at Virginia Tech, Kovach was a visiting assistant professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México.

Kovach is one of 22 tenured and tenure-track faculty members to join the College of Science and the Virginia Tech School of Neuroscience this year. 

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Marty Zimmerman (BS '87)

In 2017, Marty was promoted to the title of Engineering Fellow at Commscope, one of only 10 people in this 25,000 employee organization to hold that title. Marty has been with Commscope (originally Andrew) for 18 years. During that time he has held various roles including running the R&D department for the Base Station Antennas group, as its revenue has increased by a factor of 30 during his time with the organization. He currently leads the Antenna Solutions team. He has 28 US and numerous foreign patents.

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Deborah Chung (BS '73, MS '73)

In spite of its explosive market growth, 3D metal printing is challenged by the thermal stress resulting from the high printing temperatures and the layer-by-layer nature of the printing. The stress commonly results in warpage and inadequate bonding between the layers. Therefore, real- time monitoring of the printing is greatly needed to provide better control and a record of the printing. Cameras commonly used for the monitoring is inadequate for looking at the interface between the layers.  A new invention by Professor Deborah D.L. Chung of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, is about to transform the monitoring technology. This invention unprecedentedly provides monitoring without using any sensor, as the printed layers sense themselves.

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