Maegan Tucker moves people. As a first-year graduate student in mechanical engineering at Caltech, she developed an accessory for walking canes that vibrates to alert users when they may be in danger of falling. She researches ankle exoskeletons that could help people with ambulatory impairments walk farther with less effort, and full-body suits that could return mobility to those who have lost it.
Imagine if you were paralyzed and unable to communicate. Your loved ones and doctors would have no way of knowing whether you felt at peace or were suffering. Currently, brain scans could not tell us how you feel. Ralph Adolphs (PhD ’93) would like to change that.
The Amgen Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the biotechnology company, has committed $7.5 million for a suite of graduate fellowships in biochemistry and molecular biophysics that will provide Caltech students exceptional latitude in their studies of the molecular basis of life. The fellowship program is in the name of Caltech president emeritus and Nobel laureate David Baltimore.
How can economists verify the accuracy of their elegant theories in a dynamic, irrational world? Grounded in mathematics and defined assumptions, economic theories can yield insights into human behavior. They can help decision-makers predict how everyday lives may be affected by their interventions, from tariffs, subsidies, and business incentives to voting rules, tax structures, and methods for allocating public assets.