Expanding science and engineering knowledge is foundational to our mission. Advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion adds new perspectives and illuminates new paths for exploration.
- Edwin H. & Florence G. Skinner Professor of Electrical & Systems Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
From fearlessly entering new fields of science to her passion for science fiction, Lan Yang (MS '00, PhD '05) loves exploring the unknown. Growing up in China, Yang was inspired by the life of Marie Curie, who's groundbreaking work altered medicine and our understanding of radioactivity. Along with her role at Washington University in St. Louis, Yang is also the chief technology officer (CTO) for a company she helped to found and the editor-in-chief of a science journal. Through these positions, Yang continues to pursue the unknown and grow the science community.
- Head Of the School of Physics and Astronomy, Monash University
Stefan Maier (PhD '03) has established a strong track record in community building, from Imperial College London to his current role as the Head of the School of Physics and Astronomy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. His mentorship has had a global academic impact, with over 21 members of his various research groups now holding academic positions. As a researcher, Maier has also made significant contributions to the field of nanophotonics, most notably the use of light together with nanostructures to control and enhance light matter interactions in biosensing and optoelectronics.
- Technology Portfolio Manager, The Aerospace Corporation
Peter Hung's (BS '08, PhD '16) journey in science has taken him from the Science Olympiad competition to The Aerospace Corporation, where he currently serves as a technology portfolio manager. Hung's impact extends beyond his work at The Aerospace Corporation, as evidenced by his 2013-2014 ASCIT (Associated Students of the California Institute of Technology) teaching award and his ongoing commitment to STEM outreach initiatives for students in southern California.
- Chief Scientist, Heliogen
Steve Schell (BS '01) serves as the chief scientist for solar energy company Heliogen, but his interests are not exclusive to our solar system (or our universe). In addition to his professional contributions as a scientist, engineer, and CEO, Schell is a self-professed "lover of sci-fi" and even runs a successful science fiction book club.
- Independent Consultant, Environmental Science and Technical Advocacy
In giving herself permission to take the path less trodden (advice she also offers to others), Gypsy Achong (BS '95) has leveraged her early passion for mathematics into a consulting career focused on environmental science and technical advocacy, with stops along the way.
- Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University
Lei Li (PhD '19), an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University, spent the years 2017-2022 as a graduate student and then a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering; Andrew and Peggy Cherng Medical Engineering Leadership Chair; Executive Officer for Medical Engineering.
- Director and Commodities Quantitative Analyst at Citi
Originally from Cameroon, Landry Fokoua Djodom (PhD '13) welcomes a challenge…and a change of scenery. With a background in math and physics, Djodom came to Caltech to focus on aeronautical simulation and modeling. After Caltech, Djodom did exactly what you'd expect someone with a PhD in aeronautics to do. He went into the financial sector. But Djodom's interest in financial research and modeling isn't a major change in direction, it's an enthralling challenge that leverages the unique benefits of a Caltech education.
- Co-founder and CEO of Ampaire
Curiosity, confidence, rigor, and humility were all potent elements of a Caltech education for Kevin Noertker (BS '09). They also underpin his current pursuit of bringing electrification to the skies. Noertker's company, Ampaire, is developing hybrid-electric systems to power the future of aviation, enabling zero-emission airplanes that offer real economic and environmental benefits. While Noerkter is working to transform the aviation industry, he remains connected to the Caltech community as a mentor.
- Cofounder and Chief Research Officer at Miso Robotics
In a sector eager to cut costs, Ryan Sinnet, (BS ’07) has developed a solution. As cofounder and chief research officer at Miso Robotics in Pasadena, Sinnet sees the untapped potential of a human-robot workforce
- Founder and CEO of Actuate, Former DARPA Director
The most important thing Arati Prabhakar (MS ‘80, PhD ‘85) learned at Caltech was that she didn't want to do what was expected of her. After becoming the first woman to earn a PhD in Applied Physics from Caltech, Dr. Prabhakar did anything but follow the traditional route for graduate students at the time.
- Assistant Professor of Aerospace
Professor Bae's research focuses on the physical understanding and modeling of structures associated with near-wall turbulence. Her main research goal is to develop high-fidelity models that reduce the computational cost to simulate high-Reynolds-number turbulent flows. These models will allow simulations to be utilized in the design cycle of wind farms and aircrafts and in predictions of atmospheric flows, reducing the overall time and effort associated with these processes.
- Georgia will join Caltech in January 2023.
Georgia's research focuses on machine vision, namely teaching machines to see. Her work explores methods for learning from visual corpora to tackle challenging visual tasks with scalable, efficient and generalizable solutions. Georgia's research is centered around object recognition from images and videos as well as object tracking and 3D understanding.
- Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Economics
Eric Mazumdar's research lies at the intersection of machine learning and economics. He is broadly interested in developing the tools and understanding necessary to confidently deploy machine learning algorithms into societal-scale systems.
- Assistant Professor of Materials Science; William H. Hurt Scholar
Joseph Falson's research focuses on the synthesis and characterization of quantum materials that display emergent functionalities. The group specializes in the thin-film growth of high quality crystals and their physical evaluation in extreme environments, including at low temperature and high magnetic field.
- Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Ruby Fu studies subsurface fluid mechanics and how they shape our natural and engineered environments. Her work is applied to a wide range of geoscience problems in energy, resources and geohazards. Her current interests include clathrate and ice formation in porous media, hydrology, geologic carbon sequestration, and volcanic/geothermal systems.
- Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Nickerson Scholar
Mahadev's broad theme of research is in cryptographic possibilities of quantum information, a topic of considerable interest in the field. She has built new quantum cryptographic primitives by adapting and extending techniques from modern classical cryptography and has pioneered two widely acclaimed fundamental breakthroughs: 1) Quantum homomorphic encryption (i.e., computing on encrypted data) and 2) Verifiable delegation of quantum computation. Mahadev plans to focus her future research efforts on exploring problems in the intersection of theoretical computer science and quantum computing.
- Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics
Mohammad Mirhosseini is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics, and previously was a KNI postdoctoral scholar at Caltech. In the past he has worked on entangling distant transmon qubits via microwave waveguides and developed integrated devices for microwave-to-optical quantum transduction. Mohammad did his PhD in the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. His thesis work was on high-capacity quantum communication with structured photons.
- Research Professor of Aerospace and Applied Physics
John Sader joins EAS as a Research Professor of Aerospace and Applied Physics from the University of Melbourne, where he was Professor of Applied Mathematics. John’s research spans many fields, including fluid mechanics, colloid science, plasmonics, mass spectrometry and atomic force microscopy, and he collaborates broadly with experimentalists across the world. John is perhaps best known for developing experimental methods in atomic force microscopy. He has been a regular visitor to Caltech since 2009 and has collaborated with many groups across EAS on nanoelectromechanical systems for mass spectrometry, rarefied gas dynamics, fluid-structure interactions of flags, shape morphing mechanical structures, dynamic stability of thin elastic films for space deployment, and the vortex dynamics of start-up flows. John is an elected fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australasian Fluid Mechanics Society, and the Australian Mathematical Society. His office is in the Firestone Laboratory.
- Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering
Dr. Karthikeyan's research interests lie at the interface of microbial ecology, computational biology and engineering. She builds predictive models that integrate physicochemical and transport data with multi-omic (DNA, RNA and metabolome-level) data to make accurate predictions of microbial community responses to environmental perturbations. (Karthikeyan joins Caltech in Jan 2023)
- Franca will join Caltech in Fall 2022
Franca Hoffmann's research is focused on the interface between applied mathematics and data analysis, driven by the need to provide rigorous mathematical foundations for modeling tools used in applications.
- Postdoc, Mechanical and Civil Engineering
I am a postdoctoral scholar in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, working with Professor José Andrade. My current research focuses on data-driven multiscale modeling of the failure behavior of granular media. Interacting with the Caltech community during these last two years has been a continuous source of inspiration to me. Prior to joining Caltech, I was a doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, working on continuum finite element modeling of quasibrittle fracture, in both deterministic and stochastic settings. My interest in mechanics and fracture phenomena was largely developed due to my father being a physicist. Coming from Greece, I enjoy the California climate, even though it can make me feel nostalgic at times. In my free time, I enjoy going to concerts, socializing, and exploring big cities.
- Undergraduate Student, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Hey! I am a rising third-year undergraduate student majoring in computer science. I have a strong interest in cloud infrastructure and server-side development. For the past two summers, I have been working with NVIDIA on their GPU technology, leading the development of cloud software to improve resource utilization for engineers within a wide span of engineering teams. As for areas of interest outside of academia, I take great pleasure in photography, creating illusive one-shots for my business and bringing visions to fruition. Additionally, I am a part of an undergraduate band known as ÆTHER where I play the bass guitar.
- Teaching Professor, Computing and Mathematical Sciences
Michael Vanier (PhD '01)
Before joining Caltech as an instructor in 2001, I was a graduate student in Computation and Neural Systems (CNS). I'm a self-taught programmer, which has been an advantage for me because programming still feels more like a hobby than a job. My interests include functional programming languages (like OCaml and Haskell), proof assistants, and the implementation of programming languages. I love teaching Caltech students because they are so quick and interested in everything. I enjoy skydiving, music, board/video games, and learning Japanese. My wife, Denise, used to be a standup comedian, and now teaches political science at Pierce College. We bonded over our shared love of comedy. My advice to students is this: find what you love and do that. Students are rightfully worried about getting a good job after graduation, but it’s more important to leave Caltech having a clear idea of what your passion is.
- Visiting Associate, Applied Physics and Materials Science
I am a Senior Research Scientist and Technologist at NASA JPL, where I have worked since finishing my PhD in materials science and engineering at Caltech. I started at Caltech in 2004 as a graduate student after completing my BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering at UC San Diego. My research passion has always been metallurgy, with a focus on manufacturing. After my PhD, I briefly worked in industry before founding JPL’s Metallurgy Facility in 2010, a lab designed to study new materials and manufacturing technologies for extreme environment spacecraft. In 2012, I was fortunate enough to be awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama for my work in this area. I have been teaching continuously at Caltech since 2010, including graduate level Structure and Bonding in Solids and undergraduate level Mechanical Behavior of Materials Laboratory Course. My wife, Carrie, and I met as graduate students at Caltech and now we have four kids together.
- Senior Research Scientist, Applied Physics and Materials Science
Hi, I'm a Senior Research Scientist in the Applied Physics department. I have been with Caltech for 7 years, and I initially joined as a postdoctoral scholar. During my time here, I have focused on making a portable mid-infrared spectrometer and spectral imaging device. This research has led me to start a company. Additionally, I'm interested in nanofabrication and building a vacuum system from scratch. Currently, I'm working on building a next generational deposition system in Linde Hall. When I'm not pursuing these works, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
- Undergraduate Student, Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering
I’m a second-year undergraduate majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in aerospace engineering. I am very interested in the development of novel aerospace technology. This past summer, I completed a SURF with the NASA Big Idea Challenge Team 2022, advised by Dr. Soon-Jo Chung, developing LATTICE, a lunar railroad built to explore craters, and I have been working on the project since. This summer, I will be working on a project at Boeing utilizing a combination of mechanical engineering and computer science. In addition to my aerospace interests, I am deeply committed to writing as a form of expression and outlet for creativity. I enjoy analyzing Black films alongside their historical contexts and connecting them to current trends today. When I’m not working, I’m spending time with friends and family, watching my favorite movies, and playing tennis.
- Graduate Student, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering
Hi there! I'm a first-year PhD student from Taiwan. I received my master's degree from the National Taiwan University in Taiwan before joining Caltech. Now I am currently working in the Caltech Optical Imaging Laboratory (COIL), headed by Professor Lihong Wang. Our research focuses on Photoacoustic microscopy (PAM), an imaging method that detects optical contrast via the photoacoustic effect. With PAM, I try to acquire some ex vivo images from sliced or unsliced biological tissue, which could help the collaborating doctors to diagnose fatal diseases in the future. Our lab also studies Photoacoustic Computed Tomography (PACT), a computed tomography via the photoacoustic effect for various clinical applications. Outside of academic research, I enjoy spending my time cooking, singing, and reading - especially some Chinese classic literature and thought.
- Graduate Student, Electrical Engineering
I’m a PhD candidate in Electrical Engineering, and I joined Caltech as an EAS Chair Scholar. I’m humbled to be the inaugural recipient of the Elachi Fellowship, established in 2023 by the 8th Director of NASA JPL (2001-2016), Charles Elachi, and his wife Valerie. Before coming to the U.S., I completed an MSc in robotics and control at ETH Zurich, and a BE in ECE at the American University of Beirut. I enjoy researching optimal control theory and looking for cool applications in autonomous driving. As my advisor, Professor Hassibi, says: "control is like life; given your past, you take actions in the present and make decisions that influence the future, but... the future is unknown. What to do?" If you’re like me, you’d follow the regret-optimal control strategy, and you would design yourself as a partially memoryless system - your output matrix should be sparse!
- Graduate Student, Applied Physics and Materials Science
I am a G1 pursuing a PhD in Materials Science in Katherine Faber’s lab. In my current project, a collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, I am excited to develop new methods of additive manufacturing via reaction bonding of dense, high-temperature materials for space exploration. Pursuing a PhD at Caltech offers a unique environment for me to support diversity and equity in the next generation of scientists and engineers. As a first-generation student from a rural background, it is important for me to use the many resources available at Caltech to advocate for and reach out to underrepresented communities in STEM fields. With these goals in mind, I serve on the Board of Directors for the GSC; the EAS Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; PRISM's Leadership Team, and Caltech's Health Committee. When not pursuing these efforts, I enjoy spending time with friends and playing guitar and piano.
- Undergraduate Student, Computer Science
I’m a third-year undergraduate from Weston, FL pursuing Computer Science with a minor in Information & Data Science. My interests lie in machine-learning and data analytics. Throughout my time at Caltech, I’ve explored intersections between CS and other areas of science by participating in planetary and economics research. I’ve also explored predictive analytics in gene sequencing devices through my last internship and look forward to continuing my work in industry as a software engineer. I serve as the UG Academics and Research Committee Chair and VP of Academic Affairs on ASCIT where I’ve been spearheading the organization of the 2023 Student-Faculty Conference. As a committee, the ARC has focused on supporting students and faculty with the transition to in-person academics and the renewal of student-faculty relations. My hobbies include playing on the Caltech intercollegiate women’s volleyball team, mentoring through the Caltech Y, and checking out the surrounding areas like downtown LA.