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Fresh from some of the country’s top PhD programs, postdoctoral scholars bring energy and creativity to Caltech. When you fund a postdoctoral fellowship, you give these aspiring scientists the freedom to design projects on the basis of impact rather than the availability of federal funding, empowering them to develop professional skills and research independence while accelerating investigations that push science forward.
Since its public launch in April 2016, Break Through: The Caltech Campaign has broken Institute fundraising records. While Break Through looks to secure Caltech’s future as a source of discovery for the world, the campaign already is making an imprint on campus and beyond by supporting Caltech people who are pursuing big questions and bold ideas.
Break Through, publicly launched just over a year ago, is already the most successful campaign in Caltech’s history. In the first year of the public phase alone, gifts exceeded $400 million. And total contributions—over $1.4 billion—have surpassed the goal of Caltech’s last campaign.
Welcome to the second edition of The Caltech Effect. Explore the unique relationships that inspire Caltech people to achieve the extraordinary. An adviser models unorthodox research. Undergrads evolve from solo stars into team leaders. Postdocs help others at a time when personal achievement is paramount. A junior is encouraged to launch a hedge fund from his dorm room. Real users and industry experts help students invent wheelchair technologies. Astronomers pass the torch of discovery from one generation to the next.
Nature makes it look so easy. Sunlight and carbon dioxide go in, greenery grows, and oxygen comes out. For our contemporary society hooked on fossil fuels, deriving power from abundant, natural sources is an alluring idea. But how can humankind mimic nature? Caltech is committed to figuring it out.
Nobel laureate Donald Glaser (PhD ’50) and his family have made a pair of significant commitments to the Caltech community. Scroll down for a slideshow of archival images that trace Glaser’s scientific path and highlight art and music inspired by his work.
The United States Navy decided where Howard Jessen would go to college. Because he was well qualified, they enrolled him at Caltech along with roughly 500 other naval students. “They said, ‘Do you want to join the Navy’s V-12 college training program? Sign here,” Jessen remembers. “There was no college visit, just off you went.”
“The instructorship gives me complete freedom to teach far beyond what is normally taught in a history department and to design the courses, which is amazingly liberating,” says Keith Pluymers, Caltech’s inaugural Howard E. and Susanne C. Jessen Postdoctoral Instructor in the Humanities. Pluymers recently taught a course titled Rivers from Sumeria to Los Angeles.