News & Events


Sunash Sharma Receives 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Applied physics student Sunash Sharma, advised by Professor Stevan Nadj-Perge, is a recipient of the 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. She is interested in information theory and communication theory and is working on analyzing lossless source coding in the finite blocklength regime with unknown numbers of transmitters. He has wide-ranging interests from biophysics to fluid mechanics to quantum computation. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: APhMS honors Henry Ford II Scholar Award Stevan Nadj-Perge Sunash Sharma

A Network of Support


Early in his freshman year CMS and BEM alumnus Ramsathwick “Sathwick” Pathireddy (BS ’17) realized just how challenging a Caltech workload could be and turned to his housemates and friends for help. “When I had questions about time management, what classes to take, or what internships to go for, I always had someone to talk to,” Sathwick says. [Breakthrough story]

Tags: CMS alumni Ramsathwick Pathireddy

124th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 124th commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 15, 2018. This year's speaker was John Lewis, U.S. congressman and leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Caltech celebrated the accomplishments of 579 graduates. Awarded were 227 bachelor's degrees, 161 master's degrees, and 191 doctoral degrees.

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Laser-sonic Scanner Aims to Replace Mammograms for Finding Breast Cancer


A laser-sonic scanner, which uses photoacoustic computed tomography (PACT) developed by Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, can find tumors in as little as 15 seconds by shining pulses of light into the breast. The laser-sonic scanner provides a safer way for finding breast cancer compared to mammogram technology. Mammograms expose patients to X-ray radiation and requires their breasts to be painfully pressed between plates. Many women avoid having their mammograms taken as often as they should because of the discomfort involved. PACT can provide a clear view of structures as small as a quarter of a millimeter at a depth of 4 centimeters. Mammograms cannot provide soft-tissue contrast with the level of detail in PACT images. The PACT scan is quick, and a clearer image can be developed. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE Lihong Wang

Ethan Pronovost Receives 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Computer science students Ethan Miller Pronovost, advised by Professor John Doyle, is a recipient of the 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award.  Ethan is interested in machine learning and algorithmic design.  He is also working to develop efficient algorithms for causal learning, and apply these algorithms to human brain data.  The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award John Doyle Ethan Miller Pronovost

Behrooz Abiri Wins Charles Wilts Prize


Behrooz Abiri, advised by Ali Hajimiri is a winner of this year's Charles Wilts Prize, for his doctoral thesis "Silicon Integrated Arrays: From Microwave to IR." The Charles Wilts Prize is awarded every year to a graduate student in Electrical Engineering for outstanding independent research.

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EE students Win $100K Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships


Graduate students Ehsan Abbasi and Fariborz Salehi, working with Professor Babak Hassibi, have won a 2018 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. They proposed a new algorithm for data recovery in Massive MIMO systems, which has a near optimal performance while being computationally efficient. Massive MIMO is the key enabler in the upcoming 5G data networks which promise considerably higher data rates in future generations of wireless networks. This year there were 174 submissions to Qualcomm for the fellowship and only 8 winning teams were chosen. Each winning team will be awarded a $100K fellowship and receive mentorship from Qualcomm engineers. [List of winners]

Tags: EE honors Babak Hassibi Ehsan Abbasi Fariborz Salehi

Ares Rosakis Awarded the Timoshenko Medal


Ares J. Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, will receive the 2018 Timoshenko Medal of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for his pioneering work on unveiling the mechanics behind earthquakes. "Many of my mentors and scientific Idols have received this award, so I really feel especially honored and humbled to be recognized with them," Professor Rosakis says. [Caltech story] [List of award recipients]

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Professor McKeon Receives Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching


Beverley J. McKeon, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics, is the recipient of the 2018 Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Prize is awarded to an EAS professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching. A nomination for Professor Mckeon read, “she is a firm believer in the importance of having all students, regardless of their ultimate specialty, participate in laboratory coursework. Her courses serve as a solid foundation for graduate level research across disciplines, both technically and with regards to skills relevant to doctoral and industrial research. She takes tough subjects and uses her colorful approach to make the concept easy to comprehend.”

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Exact Optical Frequencies on Demand


Professor Kerry J. Vahala and colleagues have developed a prototype of a miniature device that synthesizes frequencies on demand with about 1 Hertz accuracy. It combines a frequency comb developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with a "fine-toothed" frequency comb developed at Caltech. To create the finely spaced comb teeth, the Caltech resonator must be about 100 times larger than the NIST device. Its larger size can potentially make this comb very power hungry. "Too much power in a small space can damage any electronics to which the resonator is connected," Professor Vahala says. "Also, in the future, these synthesizer devices could operate on battery power in smartphone-sized devices where they cannot draw much power." But the Caltech comb can generate specific frequencies with minimal amounts of power. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Kerry Vahala