Winners of the 2021 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced
The student winners of the 2021 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. David Brown, advised by Professor Viviana Gradinaru and Professor Matt Thomson has received the prize in Entrepreneurship. His research is in molecular and computational strategies for both understanding variability in the human immune system, and characterizing the on- and off-target profile of gene therapy delivery at the resolution of individual cells. Hsiao-Yi Chen, advised by Professor Marco Bernardi has received the prize in Nanotechnology. His research is in the development of ab initio methods to investigate exciton radiative emission and ultrafast dynamics. Tatyana Dobreva, advised by Professor Matt Thomson and Professor Viviana Gradinaru has received the prize in Entrepreneurship. Her research is in single-cell sequencing to interrogate the human immune system, characterize immune response to recombinant Adeno-Associated Viruses (AAVs), and engineer immune cells. Zachary Lee, advised by Professor Steven Low has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources. His research involves developing a suite of tools and algorithms to enable smart electric vehicle charging at scale. Valère Lambert, advised by Professor Nadia Lapusta has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. His research is in developing and using physics-based numerical models that combine laboratory insight and theoretical developments to simulate sequences of earthquake ruptures and slow slip that match field observations, thus illuminating physical properties of faults and building towards predictive modeling.
Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes
127th Commencement Ceremony
Caltech’s 127th commencement ceremony was held on Friday, June 11, 2021. The keynote speaker was Norman R. Augustine, a longtime leader in the aerospace industry and former head of Lockheed Martin. Speaking to the class of 2021 on the theme of "resilience," Augustine acknowledged the odd circumstances of this ceremony. "You will always receive special attention as a member of the class of 2021 that earned its degrees under the extraordinarily trying circumstances that surround a pandemic," he said. "Few classes before you have been called upon to summon the endurance, resilience, and grit that you have exhibited." The Institute honored graduates with 476 degrees: 227 bachelor's degrees, 104 master's degrees, 145 doctoral degrees; and celebrated 50 additional graduates whose advanced degrees (12 master's and 38 doctoral) were awarded by the Board of Trustees in October 2020. [Watch the Ceremony] [Caltech story]
Winners of the 2021 New Horizons Award Announced
The student winners of the 2021 New Horizons Award were announced at the end of this academic year. Sara Beery was recognized for her passion, energy, and fearlessness to improve the CMS program by founding the Women in CMS group, organizing events and discussions on racism in academia, and advocating for the support structures that improve the educational experience for all CMS students. Abigail (Abby) Jiang was recognized for her commitment to enhance the campus environment through her leadership of the Caltech Asian Pacific Islander Desi American student association (APIDA+) and of PRISM, the Caltech LGBTQ+ association, and her advocacy for other campus diversity initiatives. Daniel Mukasa was recognized for his dedication and leadership of Black Scientists and Engineers of Caltech, which catalyzed campus engagement, reflection, and reform, and for his mentorship of undergraduates through the WAVE program. Alexander Choi, Leah Ginsburg, Marcus Lee and Victoria Lee, were recognized for their collective engagement and sustained dedication to improve the quality of life for MCE graduate students that culminated in the initiation of a seminar series, an option-wide climate survey, the appointment of a Diversity Liaison, the creation of a MCE community statement, and formation of www.deiinitiatives.caltech.edu, a campus-wide data base for DEI activities.
Recording Brain Activity with Laser Light
Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, has demonstrated for the first time a new technology for imaging the human brain using laser light and ultrasonic sound waves. The technology, known as photoacoustic computerized tomography, or PACT, has been developed as a method for imaging tissues and organs. Now, Wang has made further improvements to the technology that make it so precise and sensitive that it can detect even minute changes in the amount of blood traveling through very tiny blood vessels as well as the oxygenation level of that blood. [Caltech story]
Hrishika Basava Receives 2021 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Hrishika Basava, advised by Ali Hajimiri, Bren Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering; Co-Director, Space-Based Solar Power Project, is one of four recipients of the 2021 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Hrishika is interested in many different aspects of electrical engineering, and specifically applications in robotics and aerospace. She does research in inverse design techniques for nanophotonics with Ali Hajimiri. Hrishika has also worked on the Caltech Racing electrical team and has done research on the explosion mechanism of supernovae at the Carnegie Observatories. At Caltech, she has particularly enjoyed taking hands-on project classes, as well as being a teaching assistant in electrical engineering courses. This summer, Hrishika will be interning at Nuro, a robotics company working on a self-driving car. After graduating she plans to pursue higher education and eventually work in the technology industry. 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.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Luis Pabon Madrid Receives 2021 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Mechanical Engineering student Luis Pabon Madrid, advised by Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aerospace and Civil Engineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist; Co-Director, Space-Based Solar Power Project, is one of four recipients of the 2021 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Luis is interested in the intersection of robotics and aerospace with a focus on space exploration. Luis does research on aerial manipulation for a Mars science rotorcraft with Joel W. Burdick, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist. He has previously worked as a Research and Development intern at Honeywell Aerospace and contributed to Caltech and JPL’s efforts for the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. He founded the Caltech AIAA Student Branch, which was selected as finalist for the NASA BIG Idea Challenge and awarded a grant to develop lunar dust mitigation technologies under the advisement of Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace and Control and Dynamical Systems; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Research Scientist. This summer, he will be working as a SURF fellow under Professor Chung, to continue his work on the challenge and explore the control of multirotor swarms. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. 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.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Luis Pabon Madrid
Alexander Wang Receives 2021 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Computer science and economics student Alexander Wang, advised by Adam Blank, Teaching Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, and by Antonio Rangel, Bing Professor of Neuroscience, Behavioral Biology and Economics, is one of four recipients of the 2021 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Alex is interested in mathematical and computational modeling and financial markets, as well as neuroscience and decision making. He has previously worked as a quantitative research intern at the quantitative hedge fund Cannon Global Investment Management and as a data science intern at the biotechnology startup Metagenomi. He has also conducted computational neuroscience research at Caltech, studying the pharmacokinetics of neuropharmaceutical drugs with Henry Lester, Bren Professor of Biology, Neuroscience, and Biological Engineering, and studying the mechanisms involved in adeno-associated viral (AAV) transduction with Viviana Gradinaru, Professor of Biology, Neuroscience, and Biological Engineering. This summer, he will be working at Susquehanna International Group as a quantitative trading intern. After graduation, he plans to pursue graduate school in neuroscience, with a focus on computational neuroscience. 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.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award