When a Techer’s creativity is unleashed, we see the bold and remarkable things that can happen in the lab and in pranks. And, when senior class leaders join forces with the Caltech Fund to rally students to give, the creativity reaches fever pitch. Learn about the Class of 2015’s clever approach to a longstanding collegiate tradition.
Sometimes all it takes to open up new possibilities for scientists and engineers is the right tool. One example of this principle in action: An endowment that provides discretionary funding enabled Caltech to buy a key piece of equipment that now helps to advance investigations into the history and future of the climate.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Graduate Fellowship Match offers $1 for every $2 invested in endowed graduate fellowships, which support the future of discovery. Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum and his wife, Professor Katherine T. Faber, are the first to participate in this initiative.
Viviana Gradinaru’s (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.
In the human gastrointestinal tract, bacteria can outnumber human cells 10 to one. In other words, on a cellular level we are 90 percent bacteria. Yet until the early 2000s, microbiologists focused predominantly on microbes that cause disease rather than on those that are harmless or even beneficial.
For decades, politicians in Southern California vowed to clean up the foul-smelling health hazard of smog. They were powerless to act, however, because no one knew how smog formed. A partnership between two scientists—one a Caltech biochemist, the other a prominent Caltech alum and benefactor—revealed the secret of smog, and led to bluer skies and cleaner air.
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?
Richard Beatty’s (BS ’77) generosity to Caltech has taken on various forms. He has given of his time, serving as board member for the Associates, the Caltech Y, and the Gnome Club. And he has contributed financially, funding a computer room for Ricketts House during the South Houses restoration, and helping to grow the class of 1977’s 35th reunion year gift.
It takes a Caltech mind to look at a commonplace element like potassium and find properties others see only in gold and platinum. These precious metals are catalysts, and until recently they were the only elements known to be suitable for use in certain essential processes.