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Break Through: The Power of Big Ideas

Break Through: The Power of Big Ideas


I came to Caltech for multiple reasons
the most pertinent of them is just the collaborative nature and the strong
sense of identity and most important to me is the research-based education. I’d felt a yearning one might say always to come back to Caltech after graduating.
There was something very special about Caltech which was a really true and
passionate love of science that I felt here. This is really not just uncommon
but non-existent anywhere else. What you could see about Caltech is that people take on problems that might seem impossible. I was so naive I didn’t
really know how difficult it was to engineer proteins reliably but because I
was in a place where people routinely did that I wasn’t afraid of doing it. So I’m particularly interested in self-propelled nano particles. I use
computer simulation to really understand how these things work. There’s no
potential that you’re the first person to really look at this behavior and then
being like the person who’s actually pushing the boundary forward is kind of
why I get up in the morning. The division of Geological and Planetary Sciences wanted to bring someone to Caltech who had an interest in studying questions related
to the history of life on the planet but for that person to be able to bring
tools of molecular biology to bear on those questions. And that was something
that I was beginning to develop and they took a chance on me and hired me. Caltech is a very adventurous place.
They love risk-taking. People are not afraid to
fail and in my case I’m interested in combining neuroscience and economics
which are two fields that are traditionally very far apart but there’s
a lot of interesting stuff to do there. Caltech realizes that some of the most
important questions facing our society today are ones that are not going to be
solved overnight. They’re questions that demand innovation at every level.
It takes time to do that. Time to sit and concentrate which is one of the most
valuable resources a scientists at least a theorist can ask for. What LIGO has done is to open up for the first time an ability to see this aspect of the
universe that lives side by side with stars and planets and yet has never been
seen before. It gives humans for the first time the
possibility to learn about the warped side of the universe. My research is in computational biology. It’s not just that we do experiments and then go and
analyze the data. The computer science is developing the technology and
experiments and they can be used to better understand the molecular biology
of the cell and also developing diagnostics for health applications. I combine quantum information theory with thermodynamics. This combination informs
our basic fundamental understanding of the flow of time, how efficiently we can
process information, and other fundamental ideas. You can make an
incredibly long list of the awards that have been won by Caltech faculty and
alumni. It reads as a who’s who of science. But what does that mean? That
means that their work has had a huge impact on the way science is done, on
technology, and on the way we live today. Caltech is changing the world in a
number of different ways. One is just the cutting edge research which leads to new
technologies, but I think also the students that come out of Caltech too.
These students go to other places and take what they’ve learned here and they’re
able to share that knowledge. Caltech does train the next scientists and I think
it’s really cool to be part of that group. I feel like every time I turn
around, I see someone who has invented a new field. It makes me want to strive to
make the quality of my work not just very good, but extraordinary. Break through, the theme of our campaign,
reflects the courage of those who are in our environment to be able to push
themselves to break through to the next level.

  • Can Caltech guide, How can I become part of this extraordinary tribe? I am 28, B. Tech in Electronics & Communications (But IT professional) and will love to start over again with undergrad course on Physics in Caltech.

  • There are many rotten things about engineering education in the USA.  First, they minimize the number of students that can study it, second they orient the bulk of the students to be the robots of major corporations. You can see it in the cars that are available on the market.  They are made so the average owner cannot do repairs that decades ago were commonplace. That allows the dealerships to screw up the car or charge for things they don't even do.  Make a car that won't rust out by putting on sacrificial anodes all over it that can be replaced by the owner and make it so it can be easily maintained without the dealership.  If Russia or China or NK would make one, I would buy it. The other big thing that is needed is to promote technology that promotes local economies.  For instance, prior to the industrial revolution families would make cloth and clothes that they could offer for sale.  It promoted skills and economic independence.  What local communities need is small scale textile technology, to turn flax, hemp and other materials into cloth that could be used locally by small firms and families to produce clothes for local sale.

  • Caltech jeers anyone refuting general relativity and cognitive dissonantly denies the evidence supporting this contention.
    It states without evidence that gravity is always attractive.
    It assumes this is the self evident experience of every student.

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