News & Events


Professor Faraon Receives Adolph Lomb Medal


Andrei Faraon, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science, is the 2018 recipient of the Optical Society (OSA) Adolph Lomb Medal for his seminal contributions to on-chip quantum photonic technologies. The medal was established in 1940 and recognizes noteworthy contribution to optics at an early career stage. [Caltech story] [Past recipients]

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Computer Science Student Selected as KPCB Fellow


Anne Zhou, a junior majoring in computer science, has been selected for this year's Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers (KPCB) Fellows Program. Zhou will spend her summer at DoorDash, an on-demand restaurant delivery service which is also employing drivers to deliver surplus food from restaurants and grocery stores to food banks. The KPCB Fellows focus on technical, design, and product challenges. Though Zhou does not yet know her specific project for the summer at DoorDash, she will likely work with one of three teams: the engineers who design apps and websites, the team that manages customer experience, or the technicians who build and maintain the company infrastructure. [Caltech story]

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Professor Hou Receives SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize


Yizhao T. (Thomas) Hou, Charles Lee Powell Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, and his former postdoc Dr. Guo Luo are recipients of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) 2018 Outstanding Paper Prize for their paper entitled Toward the Finite-Time Blowup of the 3D Axisymmetric Euler Equations: A Numerical Investigation. The prizes are given for outstanding papers published in SIAM journals during the three years prior to the year of the award. [Read the paper]

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Professor Andrade Receives Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize


José Andrade, George W. Housner Professor of Civil and Mechanical Engineering; Cecil and Sally Drinkward Leadership Chair, Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering; Executive Officer for Mechanical and Civil Engineering, has been awarded the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize, the highest civil engineering research award aimed at mid-career researchers who have made notable contributions to their discipline. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has recognized him, "for revolutionizing the field of granular geo-materials" by creating "rigorous multiscale modeling approaches based on scientific understanding of the mechanics and physics across scales and for defining new frontiers for the civil engineering profession including planetary exploration.” [Caltech story]

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2018 Watson Fellow


Electrical engineering senior Michelle Wang, working with Professor Ali Hajimiri and Postdoctoral Scholar Alex Pai, has been selected to receive the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. She will spend a year abroad working on a series of projects related to the augmentation of humanity through machines. "Prosthetics for children need to be flexible, durable, and need to be able to grow with the child so that they don't have to be replaced constantly," she says. "But beyond that, we want to find ways to make them proud of their prosthetics. We don't just want to give them mobility but dignity." [Caltech story]

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Inventor of Smart Concrete


EAS alumna Deborah Chung transferred to Caltech from Wellesley College seeking richer opportunities to study math and science. In June 1973, she became one of the first women to earn undergraduate degrees at Caltech.  She is the inventor of smart concrete, a material in which short carbon fibers are added to concrete so that stress and deformation can be easily detected even before cracks appear. "A broad-based education, that's what Caltech gave me—basic science and engineering," Chung recalls. "With that under my belt, I was able to learn things on my own. I never took any concrete or cement course in my life, never mixed cement in my life. In fact, in my studies, I was more toward the electrical side. Concrete was something totally out of my realm. But, somehow, I married the electrical side with the concrete, and that led to smart concrete. The broadness of the education laid the foundation so that I could really jump across disciplinary boundaries. Most innovations nowadays are really the marriage of two different things that reside in two different disciplines." [Caltech story]

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Winding Back the Clock


Electrical Engineering alumnus Osman Kibar (BS ’93) wants to turn back time. His business, Samumed, makes drug therapies that may reboot the body’s capacity to renew damaged or diseased tissue. If these efforts pay off in full, society will see cures for everything from baldness to cancer. “Caltech showed me that there’s no reason to put arbitrary boundaries between different fields, whether it be science or business,” he says. “If you’re trying to solve a problem, you go at it with everything you’ve got—what you’ve learned in every other field.” [Breakthrough story]

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In Grueling Combat, The Riveters Emerge Victorious


This year's ME 72 design competition consisted of fleets of robot tanks built by undergraduate students climbing hills, capturing bases, and shooting each other with foam balls in an epic series of battles on the Caltech Beckman Mall. After 20 rounds of battle, the Riveters—Mohar Chatterjee, Caroline Paules, Diandra Almasco, and Hannah Chen, who dubbed their team in honor of Rosie the Riveter—emerged victorious, having never lost a single match. They utilized a track-wheeled tank design topped by flywheel-based cannons, and relied on a consistent and effective strategy of capturing two key bases quickly and holding onto them for the remainder of the match. Though the Riveters were the only all-female team, women actually outnumbered men in this year's ME 72 course for the first time in its 33-year history. [Caltech story]

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Build I.T. and They Will Come


When Adam Wierman joined Caltech’s faculty in 2007, he set out to find a new challenge. “I wanted to do something about a problem of fundamental importance,” he says. “Climate is the problem.” To help clean up computing, he decided to design new algorithms for the management of data centers, communication networks, and our power grid. He hoped to find ways to improve the energy efficiency of I.T. infrastructure. But these efforts lead to Jevons paradox—a variation of “If you build it, they will come.” Economist William Jevons wrote in 1865, “It is wholly a confusion of ideas to suppose that the economical use of fuel is equivalent to a diminished consumption.” In other words, as people like Wierman make computing and the grid more efficient, we use more, out-spending the savings. [Breakthrough story]

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Gift Enables Transformative Advances in Health Care


The Heritage Medical Research Institute (HMRI), a nonprofit founded by physician and Caltech trustee Richard Merkin, has extended its partnership with Caltech for a minimum of three more years. “I firmly believe that one person can change the world. Imagine what nine, focused HMRI investigators can do for understanding, diagnosing, and treating diseases,” says Merkin, who has served on the Caltech Board of Trustees since 2007. Caltech’s current HMRI investigators include EAS Professors Hyuck Choo, and Azita Emami. [Breakthrough story]

Tags: EE MedE Hyuck Choo Azita Emami Richard Merkin