Anneila Sargent (MS ’67, PhD ’78), Caltech’s Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, has made a gift to establish the Wallace L. W. Sargent Fellowship. With this fellowship, she is supporting tomorrow’s scientists and engineers while also honoring her late husband. Wallace “Wal” Sargent, former Ira S. Bowen Professor of Astronomy, served on the Caltech faculty from 1966 until his death in 2012.
The ballerina is an avatar of certain qualities—among them the ambition, skill, and courage to take bold leaps. Offstage, ballet lover Rachel Theios has infused those same characteristics into her budding research career in astronomy. Pursuing her first publication as a Caltech graduate student, she has shown the vision and bravery to question some of the fundamentals of her field.
Caltech graduate student Manuel Razo Mejia wants to predict how evolution occurs in organisms ranging from microbes to humans. Until recently, evolution has been considered a random process, but Razo Mejia believes we might detect certain patterns by applying the principles of physics and mathematics. To unravel the mystery of how biological systems change over time, he observes gene regulation in single-celled bacteria, whose brief life cycles enable him to witness change at an accelerated rate.
When asked what makes his alma mater special, Roger Davisson (BS ’65, MS ’66) frames his thoughts with a literary allusion. “Walt Whitman wrote, ‘I contain multitudes,’” he says. “Well, Caltech contains multitudes. The Institute has some of the brightest and best minds, and they gather across disciplines in a way that I don’t think happens elsewhere. For a small school, the amount of stuff that’s going on is truly remarkable.”
HD 187123 b is Cam Buzard’s favorite planet. About 160 light years away in the constellation Cygnus, it circles a star about as massive as our sun—only so close that a year flies by in three days. It weighs more than 150 Earths and sizzles at about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.