Life in Transition


As she steps down as CEO of the Anita Borg Institute, Telle Whitney (PhD ’85) reflects on her career in tech—and the path ahead for the next generation of women. From Caltech to researcher to entrepreneur to advocate for women in technology, this Caltech alumna’s career has thrived on risk-taking and transition—and she’s inspired and assisted hundreds of thousands of women along the way. [Techer profile]

Tags: EE CMS alumni Telle E. Whitney

TechFest 2017


This year’s CMS Techfest was attended by five hundred members of the Caltech Community and brought together more than thirty companies and nonprofits developing the latest technologies related to the computing and mathematical sciences. Two thirds of the companies attending were from the local area, eight have Caltech alumni co-founders, CEOs, or CTOs. The main goals of the event were to expose students to the latest technologies and a wide range of career options, building and supporting the CMS alumni network, and supporting the local start-up ecosystem. This year’s Techfest involved a demo fair focused on providing startups, companies, students, postdocs, and faculty with a chance for meaningful interactions with each other. The Partners Program company members including as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Northrop Grumman showed off cutting-edge research, and brand new technologies. Students learned about the breadth of applications for CMS across industries and networked with company representatives.

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40 Techers Attend Grace Hopper Celebration


Caltech alumni and members of the Information Science and Technology (IST) Advisory Council covered the cost of attendance for many of the forty Caltech students who participated in this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration—the world’s largest gathering of women in technology. [Breakthrough story]

Tags: CMS alumni

New App Replaces Ultrasound with Smartphone Camera to Measure Heart Health


Professor Morteza Gharib and colleagues including alumni Derek Rinderknecht (PhD '08), Niema Pahlevan (PhD '13), and Peyman Tavallali (PhD '14) and Caltech visitor in medical engineering Marianne Razavi have demonstrated that the camera on your smartphone can noninvasively provide detailed information about your heart's health. "In a surprisingly short period of time, we were able to move from invention to the collection of validating clinical data," says Professor Gharib. [Caltech story]

Tags: GALCIT MedE Morteza Gharib alumni Derek Rinderknecht Niema Pahlevan Peyman Tavallali Marianne Razavi

Building the Artificially Intelligent Future


This fall, three graduate students will enter Caltech as Kortschak Scholars in Computing and Mathematical Sciences. They are the first students in the Kortschak Scholars program, a newly established endowment for incoming PhD students in computer science at Caltech. “We are grateful to the Kortschaks for their vision and generous support enabling our students to identify the research areas where their passion could have the biggest impact. The Kortschak Scholars will be attracted to Caltech by the opportunity to work at the leading edges of computing and mathematical sciences to invent the technologies of the future,” said EAS Chair G. Ravichandran. [Breakthrough story]

Tags: CMS Guruswami Ravichandran alumni Walter Kortschak

Meet Caltech alumnus and Technologist Behind Airbnb “Joebot”


Joe Zadeh is vice president of product for Airbnb. At Caltech, he pursued graduate work in bioengineering, designing biomolecules and created algorithms for self-assembling nucleic-acid structures. Addressing other alumni he states, “Caltech gave you a degree in a field, but it also taught you how to think. What you’re doing is trying to [take] something nebulous and make it concrete. In some ways, that’s what start-ups do. Actually a lot of start-ups don’t look a lot different structurally from most research labs at Caltech.” [Techer story]

Tags: CMS alumni Joe Zadeh

Amori Doctoral Prize in CMS Established


The Amori Prize was established in 2017 by Caltech alumnus Michael Amori (MS 2007) to honor outstanding dissertations in the computing and mathematical sciences during the current academic year. Awardees are selected by a committee of computing and mathematical sciences faculty each spring. The first winner of this prize was Rachel Cummings whose advisor was Professor Katrina Ligett. [Read Dr. Cummings Thesis]

Tags: CMS alumni Rachel Cummings Micheal Amori

IEEE American Control Conference Best Student Paper Award


Postdoctoral Scholar Nikolai Matni and alumnus Yuh-Shyang Wang, working with Professor John Doyle, have received the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE American Control Conference 2017 for the paper entitled System level parameterizations, constraints and synthesis. [Read the paper]

Tags: EE CMS alumni John Doyle Nikolai Matni Yuh-Shyang Wang postdocs

OpenWERX Hackathon Challenge Winners


Caltech student interns were part of the Virtualitics team that took first place in the Bounty Hunter challenge and second place in the Master Maven challenge at the 2017 OpenWERX Hackathon. Bounty Hunter involved predicting geospatial locations based on satellite imagery, and weather patterns. Master Maven involved scraping massive amount of social media and other information to quantify certain relationships. SOFWERX sponsored this worldwide data science competition. Teams were judged on the basis of their machine learning insights, data visualization, and presentation. The Caltech student interns are: Kshitij Grover, Aakash Indurkhya, Nand Kishore, Siddharth Murching, Anshul Ramachandran, Sarthak Sahu, and Richard Zhu [Bounty Hunter video response] [Master Maven video response]

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The Future is Autonomous


On April 19, 2017 Electrical Engineering alumnus Evangelos Simoudis (BS '83) moderated a panel titled "The Road Ahead: A Panel on the Future of Driverless Vehicles," hosted by the Caltech Associates. The panel members were Professors Mory Gharib, Richard Murray, and Pietro Perona, along with Reuters automotive industry reporter, Paul Lienert. They discuss a variety of opportunities and challenges associated with autonomous technologies and systems. Beyond the legal and ethical challenges, several technological obstacles must be overcome before driverless cars become common on the road. One key challenge is teaching driverless cars how to read the behavior of other cars and react accordingly. Professor Perona described the problem of a car attempting to merge onto a crowded freeway. A driverless car would see an impenetrable wall of vehicles, but a human driver could edge forward and wave at other drivers to work his or her way into the line of traffic. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE GALCIT CMS Morteza Gharib Pietro Perona alumni Richard Murray Evangelos Simoudis Paul Lienert