News & Events


Professor Chandy's Paper Wins Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing


Mani Chandy, Simon Ramo Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, and Leslie Lamport's paper entitled “Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System” has received the 2014 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. This prize is awarded for an outstanding paper on the principles of distributed computing, whose significance and impact on the theory and/or practice of distributed computing has been evident for at least a decade.

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Resonate Awards Honor Global Champions of Sustainability


The Resnick Sustainability Institute has announced five innovators in the fields of energy science and sustainability as the inaugural winners of the Resonate Awards. "We are committed to finding scalable long-term solutions to some of the biggest energy and environmental problems facing the world today," says Harry Atwater, the Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science and director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute. "We started the Resonate Awards because we realized that there is an urgent need to recognize and promote the advances of sustainability innovators." [2014 Resonate Award Winners] [Caltech Release]

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Tricking the Uncertainty Principle


Keith Schwab, Professor of Applied Physics and the Fletcher Jones Foundation Co-Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute, and colleagues have found a way to make measurements that go beyond the limits imposed by quantum physics. "Our mechanical device is a tiny square of aluminum—only 40 microns long, or about the diameter of a hair. We think of quantum mechanics as a good description for the behaviors of atoms and electrons and protons and all of that, but normally you don't think of these sorts of quantum effects manifesting themselves on somewhat macroscopic objects," Schwab says. "This is a physical manifestation of the uncertainty principle, seen in single photons impacting a somewhat macroscopic thing." [Caltech Release]

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Caltech and JPL Collaborate with Indian Space Program


The Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Charles Elachi, and the Chair of Caltech’s EAS Division, Ares Rosakis, recently hosted the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan.  The visit focused on plans regarding a joined Earth-orbiting  mission that will be the first radar mission to systematically and globally study the solid Earth, the ice masses, and ecosystems, all of which are sparsely sampled at present.  While at Caltech Dr. Koppillil Radhakrishnan visited research facilities and delivered the Klein Lecture in Aerospace.  In his presentation he highlighted the long history of connections between engineers and scientist at Caltech and in India.  Dr. Radhakrishnan prides himself to be the last student of Caltech alumnus Satish Dhawan (Eng '49, PhD '51) who participated in the creation of India's space program.  “Caltech has been instrumental in the training of many international space leaders,” explains Chair Rosakis “these include Satish Dhawan who was pivotal in the creation of the Indian space program and Tsien Hsue-Shen who was the father of Chinese rocketry.” Last year the Indian Department of Space and ISRO established a fellowship at Caltech in the name of Satish Dhawan to further encourage the training of Indian students at Caltech and specifically at GALCIT.

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Celebrating with Professor Carver Mead


Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, celebrated his 80th birthday on May 1, 2014. Professor Mead is best known for his pioneering work on VLSI (very-large-scale integration) circuit technology in the 1970s and 1980s, which made it possible to greatly increase the number of transistors placed on a single semiconductor chip. It is no exaggeration to say that the computer era we live in would not have been possible without VLSI technology. He remains as passionate today about science and engineering as he ever was. "There isn't really a time when you're too old to have new ideas," Mead says. [Caltech interview] [Share Your Memories] [ENGenious article]

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Professors Faber and Brady Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Katherine T. Faber, who will be joining the Caltech faculty in July 2014 as the Simon Ramo Professor of Materials Science, and John F. Brady, Chevron Professor of Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, have been elected to the 2014 American Academy of Arts and Sciences class of fellows.  They have joined an assembly that was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholars to provide practical solutions to pressing issues.  [Caltech Release]

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Engineering and Art


Students in Professor Hillary Mushkin’s new media arts seminar (E/H/Art 89 New Media Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries) have put on a unique exhibition highlighting art and engineering. The course provides a platform for an expanded understanding of engineering and an active, project-based engagement with art history. [List of all projects]

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Professor Wierman Receives IEEE William R. Bennett Prize


Adam Wierman, Professor of Computer Science, alumnus Minghong Lin (PhD ’13, CS), and colleagues has received the 2014 William R. Bennett Prize for their paper Dynamic Right-Sizing for Power-Proportional Data Centers. The William R. Bennett Prize is awarded annually by the IEEE Communications Society for the best original paper published in any journal financially sponsored or co-sponsored by the Communications Society in the previous three calendar years.

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Professor Andrade Featured on “You’re the Expert”


José E. Andrade, Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and his research on earthquake-induced liquefaction and granular materials was featured on You're the Expert, a new live show and public radio program. The show uses comedy to make academic research more accessible and exciting. During the live taping at Caltech three comedians tried to guess what Professor Andrade studies. Then they interviewed him about his work, why it's important, and what's new and exciting in his field. [Audio podcast - Granular Materials]

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GALCIT Alumnus Allen E. Puckett Passes Away


Allen E. Puckett (PhD ’49 Aeronautics), pioneering aerospace engineer and chairman emeritus of Hughes Aircraft Co., passed away on March 31, 2014. He was one of the engineers who made Hughes Aircraft into the United States’ leading defense electronics firm which dominated in the markets for air defense, radar systems, tactical missiles and satellites. He began his PhD in 1941 at Caltech at the invitation of Theodore von Kármán. While at GALCIT he helped design a new supersonic wind tunnel, the first of its kind in the country. Later, he produced the calculations that led to the development of delta wing theory, which predicts the aerodynamics of supersonic aircraft and continues to be applied in the production of modern aircraft. [LA Times Obituary]

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