The Role of Leadership in the Journey to Gender Equity
In celebration of Women’s History Month, a panel discussion was organized to explore the steps taken to date by JPL and Caltech leadership to recruit, retain, and promote a diverse talent pool. The panel was moderated by Cinzia Zuffada, the JPL Associate Chief Scientist. The panelists were Caltech Professor Melany Hunt, JPL Director for the Office of Safety and Mission Success Jan Chodas, and JPL Deputy Director Larry James. The panelists shared some accomplishments in gender equality over the last decade, and highlighted the next steps. Professor Hunt broadened the topic beyond Caltech to share successful approaches used by MIT, Harvey Mudd, and Boeing. She emphasized the importance of changing the culture and environment to be more accepting and encouraging to women and minorities. For example, training supervisors on ways to effectively mentor under-represented groups and identify their own biases as they sit on evaluation and promotion committees. [Event details]
Dr. van Zyl Receives Honorary Doctorate
Dr. Jakob J. van Zyl (PhD ’86 EE), Caltech Senior Faculty Associate in Electrical Engineering and Aerospace, as well as the Associate Director of Project Formulation and Strategy at JPL, will receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering (DIng) degree from Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Dr. van Zyl was born in Outjo, Namibia and received his first degree in electrical engineering from the University of Stellenbosch . He then came to Caltech where he obtained his Masters and PhD in electrical engineering.
Jakob van Zyl
Caltech and JPL Collaborate with Indian Space Program
The Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Charles Elachi, and the Chair of Caltech’s EAS Division, Ares Rosakis, recently hosted the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan. The visit focused on plans regarding a joined Earth-orbiting mission that will be the first radar mission to systematically and globally study the solid Earth, the ice masses, and ecosystems, all of which are sparsely sampled at present. While at Caltech Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan visited research facilities and delivered the Klein Lecture in Aerospace. In his presentation he highlighted the long history of connections between engineers and scientist at Caltech and in India. Dr. Radhakrishnan prides himself to be the last student of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who participated in the creation of India's space program. “Caltech has been instrumental in the training of many international space leaders,” explains Chair Rosakis “these include Satish Dhawan who was pivotal in the creation of the Indian space program and Qian Xuesen (also known as Tsien Hsue-Shen) who was the father of Chinese rocketry.” Last year the Indian Department of Space and ISRO established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Satish Dhawan to further encourage the training of Indian students at Caltech and specifically at GALCIT.
In a recent symposium hosted at Caltech in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, computer scientists, artists, and designers gathered to discuss what they called the "emerging science of big-data visualization." The speakers laid out their vision for the potential of data visualization and demonstrated its utility, power, and beauty with myriad examples. Data visualization represents a natural intersection of art and science, says Hillary Mushkin, Visiting Professor of Art and Design in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and one of the co-organizers of the symposium. [Learn More]