Lead funding from Board of Trustees vice chair Ronald Linde (MS ’62, PhD ’64) and his wife, Maxine, helped bring to life a new home for the Department of Mathematics. According to Elena Mantovan, then-executive officer for mathematics: “This renovation will bring new life and energy to the department.”
This new collaboration gives Caltech doctoral students access to the vast collections of The Huntington Library. The institute will catalyze conversations among historians, scientists, and engineers and improve dialogue between the humanities and STEM.
A Caltech-JPL collaboration, SPHEREx (Spectro- Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer mission), will scan the sky in optical and infrared light to study the birth of our universe, the cosmic history of galaxy formation, and the origin of water in planetary systems. Part of NASA’s Explorer Program, SPHEREx will launch in 2023.
February 21 – March 3
Teagan Wall (PhD ’15), who wrote for TV shows including Bill Nye Saves the World and Young Sheldon, directed a student production of Avenue Q. The puppet-filled play deals with racism, sexuality, and social acceptance with “a built-in sweetness as well as the power to shock,” said Caltech theater director Brian Brophy.
Named in honor of trustee Fred Hameetman (BS ’62) and his wife, Joyce, the new campus hub welcomes students, faculty, staff, alumni, Associates, JPL friends, and neighbors. It houses the Red Door Marketplace, the Caltech Store, and spaces for Caltech musical groups and student clubs.
Video: Rebuilding the Alumni Brick Wall at the new Hameetman Center
Caltech researchers designed a way to levitate and propel objects using light by creating specific nanoscopic patterns on the items’ surfaces. This research could lead to new ways to power and accelerate spacecraft.
This year, 1,445 alumni returned to campus for Caltech’s 82nd Reunion Weekend and Seminar Day. Eighteen faculty members presented their research, and trustee Richard H. Scheller (PhD ’80, DAA ’14), chief scientific officer and head of therapeutics for 23andMe, delivered the keynote.
Breathable molecular oxygen (O2) is hard to come by on other planets, a problem for anyone with dreams of living on Mars. Inspired by comets, Caltech chemical engineers discovered a way to use kinetic energy rather than heat to create oxygen, which could point to new methods for harnessing O2 off-planet.
As founder and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, Caltech trustee Richard N. Merkin focuses on new paths to cures and affordable, high-quality health care. His gift carries that commitment to Caltech by establishing a new hub that will help Institute scientists and engineers turn their breakthroughs into real advances in health.
Commencement speaker France Córdova (PhD ’79, DAA ’07), director of the National Science Foundation, charged the class of 2019 to dream big.
“Wherever you go, remember what brought you here. You had a vision of yourself, the big ideas that motivated you. Hold on to that.”
“In this pivotal role, Dexter [Bailey] will represent the Institute to the world, strengthening relationships with graduates and friends of Caltech,” said President Thomas F. Rosenbaum. Bailey is the former senior VP for university advancement and executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation.
Campus shook during the July Ridgecrest earthquake sequence. Zhongwen Zhan (PhD ’14), assistant professor of geophysics, led a novel effort to measure the aftershocks by firing a beam of light down unused fiber-optic cable near Ridgecrest, creating the equivalent of 6,000 new seismometers.
Devised by Mory Gharib (PhD ’83), the Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Bioinspired Engineering, the Tria heart valve is longer-lasting and less expensive than other options. The first human patient received the valve in July and returned home after a safe and successful procedure.
The alien environment of California’s Mono Lake gives rise to some bizarre biology. Graduate students Pei-Yin Shih (PhD ’19) and James Siho Lee (PhD ’19) described a newly discovered worm that has three sexes, lives in water three times saltier than the ocean, and survives 500 times the lethal dose of arsenic for humans. Such “extremophiles” offer lessons for thriving in difficult environments.
Trustee Stewart Resnick and his wife, Lynda, founders of The Wonderful Company, amplified their investment in Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute with a pledge of $750 million, the second-largest reported gift to an American university. The gift supports collaborative research, education, and shared facilities that will empower Caltech scholars to advance bold new solutions to energy and sustainability challenges.
Supported by Eric and Wendy Schmidt (by recommendation of Schmidt Futures), this three-year pilot program trains science-savvy software engineers and brings software engineering best practices into Caltech research groups. The academy selects recent Caltech graduates in computer science and related fields and hones their skills by embedding them in laboratories across campus for up to two years.
For the first time, members of both the women’s and men’s cross country teams—junior Claire Hu and senior Simon Ricci—qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, where Ricci bested his own Caltech record in the 8K.
The new laboratory will address fundamental challenges in reaching the full potential of quantum computing.
“Caltech has made substantial investments in both experimental and theoretical quantum science and technology over the years, and the new center will provide an extraordinary opportunity to maximize the impact of those investments.”
— David A. Tirrell, Carl and Shirley Larson Provostial Chair and Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering