Fool Me Twice

Julie Jester (BS ’14) wanted to make Caltech history—specifically the history of Caltech pranks. As president of the Prank Club, the electrical engineering major knew she had a tradition to uphold. Caltech undergraduates have been devising elaborate and inventive goofs for decades upon decades.

Adding a new chapter to this history took hard work, collaboration, and engineering knowhow. But Jester (yes, that is her real name) and her partners-in-mirth pulled off two major pranks in 2014. One was a tribute to a couple of classics deftly executed in 1961 and 1987. The other revived the mischievous tit-for-tat between Techers and their counterparts across the country at MIT.

Jester—now a spacecraft electronics engineer at JPL and a donor to the Caltech Fund—reflects on the tradition, explains some engineering that went into a headline-grabbing gag, and talks about how the prank is just one of many ways Caltech people dedicate themselves to “doing things that are just one step before impossible.”

Giving Priorities

Empower