Hands-on Experience for Tomorrow’s Astronomers

The Caltech Associates Innovation in Education Fund helped Associate Professor of Astronomy Dimitri Mawet introduce a new course for astronomy students and modernize the Cahill Optics Laboratory, where researchers experiment with the technology that will be used to explore the universe and search for life elsewhere. “Technology in observational optical/infrared astronomy is evolving at a fast pace, and it is vital that students are introduced to the latest techniques in the field early on,” Mawet says. “For many students, it will be their only contact with instrument hardware, and for a few it will be the spark that will make them the instrument builders of tomorrow.”

“With this funding, I intend to change the status quo this coming year, and instead of introducing students to key instrument concepts on the board, I will do it in the lab, interactively, with the hardware in front of me.”
- Dimitri Mawet, Associate Professor of Astronomy

The Innovation in Education Fund was established in 2009 to underwrite new courses, facilities, and other teaching enhancements for undergraduates’ educational experience at Caltech.

Read a Q&A with Professor Mawet on the Caltech Associates website.

Giving Priorities