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.
Welcome to The Caltech Effect—a magazine featuring deep dives, illuminating backstories, and human moments arising from Break Through: The Caltech Campaign. In this issue: A pair of hallway-hopping friends point to an undiscovered planet. A doctor seeks medical breakthroughs where there is no med school. A grad student finds her own scientific playground. A Caltech love story, 46 years in the making. An undergrad’s gift starts with a dance party. Keep scrolling to explore.
Let’s say you believe that research conducted by university-educated engineers and scientists spurs valuable economic activity in the United States. And you want to help make that happen.
How would you find the most promising researchers? How would you support their work?
Viviana Gradinaru (BS ’05) has a fascination with the inner workings of the brain that developed when she was a Caltech undergraduate. But as she delved deeper into her research, she encountered a stumbling block: the field of neuroscience lacked the tools she needed to accomplish her objectives.