Class Notes Navigation

Class Notes

By:
Comments Off

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.

By:
Comments Off

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.

By: Comments Off

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. 

By:
Comments Off

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. 

Main Image
By:
Comments Off

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).

Read More…
By:
Category:
Comments Off

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.

Main Image
By:
Category: , ,
Comments Off

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.

Read More…
Main Image
By:
Category:
Comments Off

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.

Read More…
Main Image
By:
Category:
Comments Off

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!

Read More…
Main Image

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. 

Read More…
By:
Category:
Comments Off

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.

Main Image

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.

Read More…

Ari Kaplan (BS '92)

After creating and leading the Chicago Cubs analytics department, they finally won the World Series and it was great to be part of the journey along the way. I moved over to the Baltimore Orioles to rejoin my first boss I had after graduating Caltech (Dan Duquette), and have had the best record in the AL working with a smaller budget than the big markets. Aside from that I enjoy all things data science, and spending time with my family (kids are now 13, 12, 11 yrs).

Eli Botkin (MS '51)

Eli Botkin, MS in Physics, has published a chapter titled “Still Finding Pleasure After 90” in a new book on aging, Aging Wisely . . . Wisdom of Our Elders, by Irving I. Silverman and Ellen Beth Siegel. The book is a compendium of essays by an extraordinary group of 75 seniors and the professionals who care for them, on a wide range of topics about how we age and how we can do so better.

Main Image

Thomas Santoro (MS '69, PhD '77)

Retired for over six years, but still maintain the swimming and diving skills I learned back in the CIT scuba program in Pasadena. Now I just free-dive off the light house at my local beach in Watch Hill, Rhode Island as in the photo. Not as interesting as those great dives off Catalina, but I still love it.

Read More…
Main Image

Lisa D. Zhang (BS '10)

I am an Intellectual Property Litigation Associate Attorney at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.  It's been great - we represent technology companies in enforcing their intellectual property rights or defending against the claims of others.  My cases have touched upon pharmaceutical drugs, genetic testing kits and methods, commercial UAVs, network routing and security, caching, LEDs, and image sensors, to name just a few areas.  In fact, one of our clients is Caltech!

Read More…

Donald Remer (MS '66)

Donald S. Remer (MS '66, PhD '70) has retired after 42 years of teaching, research, and consulting as the Oliver C. Field Professor of Engineering at Harvey Mudd College. He is continuing as the President of the Claremont Consulting Group, which he cofounded in 1979, that presents short courses in Project Cost Estimating, Business Case Analysis, and Project Management. He and his wife have traveled to about 50 countries. They enjoy traveling and spending time with family.