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Caltech is among a small percentage of private U.S. institutions that make admissions decisions based solely on merit—and keeping it that way is a top priority. Currently, more than half of Caltech undergraduates receive financial assistance. When you invest in scholarships, you help ensure that bright, hardworking students can pursue their dreams at Caltech, regardless of their financial means. Learn about how you can magnify the impact of your scholarship gift through a limited-time matching program.
Like many who come to Caltech to learn and explore, undergraduate Damien Bérubé dreams of changing the world with science and engineering. But his personal vision—the force that drives him in the classroom, the lab, and beyond—is an uncommon one.
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.”
Even our most reliable ideas about how the universe works break down in certain domains. They can’t account for the weirdness of quantum mechanics or the recursive chaos of fractals. Hungry for answers, many researchers—including one Caltech undergraduate and her faculty mentor—aim to come up with a better explanation.
“Growing up in the small town of Marianna, Arkansas, I reached the same conclusion that much of America did when the Russians launched Sputnik in 1957: We have some catching up to do in the space race,” recalls James “Jim” Yee (BS ’65). “I also decided that rocket science was something I’d like to do someday.”