Hanwen (Lily) Zhang Receives 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Computation and Neural Systems student Hanwen (Lily) Zhang, advised by Professor Thanos Siapas, is a recipient of the 2019 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Her research interests include exploring how different brain regions interact to give rise to goal-oriented behaviors and our ability to learn, remember and generalize our knowledge to novel situations. This summer, she will be working as a SURF fellow to explore the hippocampal dependence of auditory associative learning. 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
Hanwen (Lily) Zhang
125th Commencement Ceremony
Caltech’s 125th commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 14, 2019. This year's speaker was Dr. France A. Córdova, a distinguished astrophysicist, director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and Caltech alumna (Ph.D. ’79). “Córdova brings to the Institute perspectives on governmental and academic leadership, grounded in her scientific training at Caltech,” Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum said in his announcement to the Caltech community. Caltech celebrated the accomplishments of 586 graduates: 240 bachelor's degrees, 139 master's degrees, and 207 doctoral degrees. [Watch the recorded ceremony] [Caltech story]
Winners of the 2019 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced
The student winners of the 2019 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes were announced at the end of this academic year. Anupama Lakshmanan, advised by Professor Mikhail Shapiro has received the prize in Biotechnology. Her research is in engineering of acoustic protein nanostructures for non-invasive molecular imaging using ultrasound. Seyedeh Mahsa Kamali, advised by Professor Andrei Faraon has received the prize in Nanotechnology. She focuses on changing paradigms in optical design through engineering materials at the nanoscale. Linqi (Daniel) Guo, advised by Professor Steven Low has received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Source. His research quantifies the impact of transmission network topology in electrical power system robustness against disturbances and failures. Chris Rollins, advised by Professor Jean-Phillippe Avouac has received the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection. Chris studies the way that the Earth deforms gradually over periods of years and decades and uses this to shed light on how earthquakes work, where and how often they might occur in the future, and the hazard they may pose. Nicholas Flytzanis, advised by Professor Viviana Gradinaru has receive the prize in Entrepreneurship. His research is in engineering viruses to serve as next-generation gene therapy delivery vehicles for the treatment of human disease.
Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes
"Neural Lander" Uses AI to Land Drones Smoothly
Professors Chung, Anandkumar, and Yue have teamed up to develop a system that uses a deep neural network to help autonomous drones "learn" how to land more safely and quickly, while gobbling up less power. The system they have created, dubbed the "Neural Lander," is a learning-based controller that tracks the position and speed of the drone, and modifies its landing trajectory and rotor speed accordingly to achieve the smoothest possible landing. The new system could prove crucial to projects currently under development at CAST, including an autonomous medical transport that could land in difficult-to-reach locations (such as a gridlocked traffic). "The importance of being able to land swiftly and smoothly when transporting an injured individual cannot be overstated," says Professor Gharib who is the director of CAST; and one of the lead researchers of the air ambulance project. [Caltech story]