News & Events


Celebrating 50 Years of the Argon Ion Laser


William Bridges, Carl F Braun Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, discovered and patented the Argon ion laser on February 14, 1964, while at Hughes Research Laboratories. Today noble gas (argon, krypton, xenon) lasers are used in a variety of applications including DNA sequencers, cell sorters, eye surgery, and laser light shows. Professor Bridges' research work with lasers involved an airborne night reconnaissance system (AN/AVD-3), space communications systems, early high power laser weapons (the carbon dioxide gas dynamic laser), and hydrogen maser clocks for the global positioning system. He also holds the patent for the Ionized Noble Gas Laser. [Oral History of Prof. Bridges]

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Professor Gerald Whitham Passes Away


Gerald B. Whitham, Charles Lee Powell Professor of Applied Mathematics, Emeritus, passed away on Sunday, January 26, 2014 at the age of 86. Professor Whitham was a pioneer in the area of nonlinear waves. His research focused on fluid dynamics and the study of wave phenomena, including sonic booms, supersonic flow and shock-wave dynamics, and ocean waves. He was also instrumental in setting up Caltech's applied mathematics program in 1962, which is now part of the Department of Computing and Mathematical Science . [Caltech Obituary] [History of Department]

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Everyone Starts Small: How Metals Learn to Behave


In his upcoming Watson Lecture Assistant Professor of Aerospace Dennis Kochmann will explain how controlling a material's complex structural details from the atomic scale up can affect its behavior in everyday life. [Interview with Professor Kochmann] [ENGenious article]

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Caltech: secrets of the world’s number one university


What keeps Caltech at the top of the Times Higher Education university rankings? In a series of highly candid and extraordinary interviews with EAS Chair Ares Rosakis, BBE Chair Steven Mayo, and their faculty colleagues, the editor of the Times reports on the Institute. He observes: "While diminutive scale may be a disadvantage for some institutions, for Caltech, it is at the heart of its being, and perhaps the single most important aspect of its extraordinary global success." [Read the full article] [pdf of article] [10 reasons why...]

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Nanoscale Materials and Big Solar Energy


As a high school student during the oil crisis of the 1970s, Professor Harry Atwater recognized firsthand the impact of energy supply issues. Inspired to contribute to renewable energies, his research at Caltech today works to develop better thin-film photovoltaics—cheaper, lighter, more efficient alternatives to the bulky cells now used in solar panels. [Interview with Professor Atwater]

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Moving from Data to Information to Action


Caltech has created a new graduate program in Computing + Mathematical Sciences that trains students to apply algorithmic thinking to a wide range of problems. Algorithmic thinking is emerging as a fundamental tool for all researchers and drives disciplines ranging from engineering and science to economics and the social sciences.  The graduate program aims to build the student's mathematical and algorithmic foundations required to move from data to information to action. [Rigor + Relevance Blog] [Academic Program Information]

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25th Anniversary of First Asynchronous Microprocessor


Twenty-five years ago, in December 1988, Professor Alain J. Martin's research group at Caltech submitted the world’s first asynchronous (“clockless”) microprocessor design for fabrication to MOSIS. MOSIS is the oldest integrated circuit foundry service and one of the first Internet services other than supercomputing services and basic infrastructure such as E-mail or File Transfer Protocol. Professor Alain describes this landmark project in his recent paper "25 Year Ago: The First Asynchronous Microprocessor."

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Professor Dimotakis Receives AIAA Fluid Dynamics Award


Paul E. Dimotakis, John K. Northrop Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Applied Physics, has been selected to receive the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Fluid Dynamics Award for 2014. The award is for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the behavior of liquids and gases in motion as related to needs in aeronautics and astronautics. Professor Dimotakis is being recognized for "Fundamental contributions to turbulent mixing and combustion through careful and thorough experiments using novel techniques."

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Professor Vahala Elected Fellow of IEEE


Kerry J. Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics, has been elected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Elevation to IEEE Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors given by the IEEE, which is the world's largest professional association.

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Caltech Undergraduates Organize Hackathon


Last weekend two thousand top student programmers came together for 36 hours to produce websites, apps, and hardware using open-source libraries and application programming interfaces (API). All code had to be written during the hackathon. HackTech, a partnership between Caltech's and UCLA's networks of hackers and entrepreneurs, was the host of the event which is being called the biggest student-run hackathon ever. [LA Times Article]

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