News

Caltech Ranks Number One For Smartest College In America

09-20-13

Business Insider computed a new ranking of America's 501 colleges and universities based on the student body's average scores on standardized tests. Caltech was ranked number one with its average SAT scores in math and verbal being 1535. Second place was shared by Princeton, Harvard, and Yale with average scores of 1500. [Business InsiderYahoo Finance]

Molecular Programming Research Wins A Second $10 Million Award

09-17-13

Professor Erik Winfree and colleagues have won a second $10 million award for research in molecular programming. "Computer science gave us this idea that many tasks can actually be done with different types of devices," Winfree says. For example, a 19th-century cash register and a 21st-century computer can both be used to calculate sums, though they perform the same task very differently. At first glance, writing a computer program and programming a DNA molecule may seem like very different endeavors, but "each one provides a systematic way of implementing automated behaviors, and they are both based on similar principles of information technology," Winfree says. This Expeditions in Computing Award will be used to take their work in molecular programming to the next level: from proof-of-principle demonstrations to putting the technology in the hands of users in biology, chemistry, physics, and materials science. [Caltech Release]

Tags: honors health CMS Erik Winfree

Solar Decathlon 2013 Construction is Under Way

09-03-13

Last year a group of students in an engineering project course called Introduction to Multidisciplinary Systems Engineering, taught by Professor Melany Hunt, began planning for the Dynamic Augmented Living Environment (DALE), a joint SCI-Arc/Caltech entry in the 2013 Solar Decathlon competition. This type of multidisciplinary and collaborative experience is important for Caltech students, notes Hunt. "Engineering students need experiences in which they design, create, build, and test," she says. "They also should have opportunities in which they work as part of a team. Most engineering projects require multiple perspectives with input coming from a range of individuals with different expertise and vision." [Caltech Release] [LA Times Article]

Tags: energy MCE CMS Solar Decathlon Melany Hunt

Otis Booth Leadership Chair Established at Caltech

07-03-13

With a $10 million gift, the Los Angeles–based Otis Booth Foundation has created and endowed the Otis Booth Leadership Chair for the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) at Caltech. "The first funds from the endowment will support time-sensitive research that is too high risk for most traditional grants," says Chair Ares Rosakis, the inaugural holder of the Booth Leadership Chair. "I am excited to see what inventions and ideas become realities as Dr. Rosakis and his successors at the helm of EAS use this endowment now and far into the future," says Lynn Booth, president of the Otis Booth Foundation, a Caltech trustee, and a prominent Los Angeles philanthropist. [Caltech Release]

Tags: Ares Rosakis Lynn Booth

Kevin Chen Receives 2013 Henry Ford II Scholar Award

06-20-13

Kevin Chen, an undergraduate student in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, working with Professor Alain Martin is the recipient of the 2013 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Kevin is interested in research in asynchronous VLSI systems and is working with Professor Martin to develop automated synthesis tools for such systems. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to the engineering student with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Alain Martin Kevin Chen

119th Commencement Ceremony

06-14-13

Caltech's 119th Commencement Ceremony was held on Friday, June 14th, 2013 celebrated the accomplishments of 588 graduates, awarding 256 bachelor's degrees, 96 master's degrees, 2 engineer degrees, and 236 doctoral degrees. The graduates were addressed by the University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman. She used the life and career of Caltech alumnus Frank Robert Capra, one of America's most powerful directors during the 1930s and the directory of It's a Wonderful Life (1946), to inspire the graduating students. She emphasized the main message of the movie "that each of us touches more than we can appreciate". [Facts about the class of 2013]

Tags: Commencement

Fernando de Goes Receives a 2013 Google PhD Fellowship

06-12-13

Fernando de Goes, a graduate student in Computing and Mathematical Sciences working with Mathieu Desbrun, has received a Google U.S./Canada PhD Student Fellowship for his research on the development of numerical tools for computer graphics and computational physics based on discrete differential geometry. He is one of only 15 winners in the United States and Canada. The Google Fellowship program supports innovative university research in computer science. [Google Research Blog] [List of winners

Tags: honors CMS Mathieu Desbrun Fernando de Goes

Professor Ligett Receives Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship

06-11-13

Katrina Ligett, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Economics, is one of seven early-career faculty who have received 2013 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowships. Professor Ligett works on algorithms, particularly online algorithms, algorithmic game theory, and data privacy. The goal of the fellowship is to support academics in the field of computer science who are exploring breakthrough, high-impact research that has the potential to help solve some of today’s most challenging societal problems. [Learn More]

Tags: honors CMS Katrina Ligett

Senior Spotlight

06-03-13

Computer Science Senior Judy Mou has been working with K. Mani Chandy and Julian Bunn to develop an Android phone and tablet application that could be used to keep communities informed about crisis situations, such as local earthquakes, fires, and pollution hazards. Her application, called a situational awareness application, combines this hazard information with dynamically updated, individualized content, such as traffic on the user's commute, campus events, or news feeds that the user has subscribed to. "The test-case for the application that she is building is whether her classmates and housemates use the application," Chandy says. "She knows that she is building something valuable, and she's excited about it. That's one of the things I like best about working with her." [Learn More]

Tags: research highlights CMS Kanianthra Chandy Julian Bunn Judy Mou