122nd Commencement Ceremony
Caltech’s 122nd commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 10, 2016. The commencement speaker was surgeon, writer, and public health researcher Atul Gawande, MD, MPH. He reminded the graduates that, “today, you become part of the scientific community, arguably the most powerful collective enterprise in human history. In doing so, you also inherit a role in explaining it and helping it reclaim territory of trust at a time when that territory has been shrinking.” He also cautioned them and explained, “the mistake … is to believe that the educational credentials you get today give you any special authority on truth. What you have gained is far more important: an understanding of what real truth-seeking looks like. It is the effort not of a single person but of a group of people—the bigger the better—pursuing ideas with curiosity, inquisitiveness, openness, and discipline.” [The Mistrust of Science]
Professor Vaidyanathan Receives Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching
P. P. Vaidyanathan, Professor of Electrical Engineering, is the recipient of the 2016 Northrop Grumman Prize for Excellence in Teaching. The Prize is awarded to an EAS professor who demonstrates, in the broadest sense, unusual ability, creativity, and innovation in undergraduate and graduate classroom or laboratory teaching. A nomination for Professor Vaidynathan read, “he has been an incredibly talented, dedicated, consistent, and responsible teacher throughout his career at Caltech. He is simply a great teacher who not only does a great job of conveying pertinent and important material to the students, but also spends the time to convey the thought process.” One of the students in his course stated, “this is one of the best-taught courses at Caltech. Period. That's especially nice since signals and systems are such important topics. He is a great professor and lecturer. His lectures are extremely well-organized, and you never leave a lecture not understanding the concepts he discussed.”
P. P. Vaidyanathan
Lidan Yu Receives 2016 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Electrical Engineering student Lidan Yu, mentored by Professor Michelle Effros, is a recipient of the 2016 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. She enjoys the breadth and depth of the Electrical Engineering program at Caltech. Over the summer she will be working on a behavioral economics project with Professor Colin Camerer supported by the Caltech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF). 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
Caltech’s Smart Charging Network for Electrical Vehicles
Charging electric vehicles (EVs) can require a substantial amount of electricity (most EVs charge at 7 kilowatts, the equivalent of simultaneously running 70 desktop computers). Steven Low, Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, has developed Caltech's adaptive charging network, which uses a smart algorithm to coordinate the charging schedule with the Institute's existing electrical infrastructure. This program helps minimize energy usage and about 30 percent of the electricity at each charging station is from carbon-free renewable sources. [Caltech story]
New Caltech Trustees
Two distinguished leaders in the computing industry—Michelle "Mich" Mathews-Spradlin, and Sabeer Bhatia (BS '91, EE)—have been elected to the Caltech Board of Trustees. Mich Mathews-Spradlin is an angel investor, primarily in the technology sector. She previously served as a top executive at Microsoft Corp., beginning her career in 1989 as a United Kingdom–based consultant and then joining the company in the United States in 1993. Sabeer Bhatia, a pioneer of web-based email, is cofounder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Sabse Technologies Inc., a mobile-telecommunications company. He was the cofounder of Hotmail Corporation, guiding that company's rise from a 1996 start-up into one of the world's largest email providers. Microsoft acquired Hotmail in 1998, eventually turning it into Microsoft Outlook. [Caltech story]
ENGenious Wins Gold!
The 2015 issue of ENGenious has won a gold award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII in the Awards of Excellence category of Annual Magazines. The award is given by the CASE District VII Board of Directors and the Awards of Excellence Committee to "superior magazines published once a year." First published in 2001, ENGenious is a publication for alumni and friends of the Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS). The goal of the publication is to highlight the contributions of the EAS faculty, students, and alumni in research, education, and industry. [ENGenious]