Issue 2: March 2017

Acts of Mentorship

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. Read on!


The Adventure Continues

You may have heard of Carver Mead. But even if you haven’t, your day-to-day world is shaped by technologies that can be traced back to him and his protégés at Caltech. Such as the device you’re using to read this story.

Have a Mentor, Be a Mentor

At Caltech, one in five undergraduates plays a varsity sport, and many students also find a counterpoint to the academic rigors that come with being a Techer in the university’s more than 100 clubs and organizations. On the field, court, or stage, students find opportunities to be collaboratively ambitious—and ambitiously collaborative. In this video, Mandy Gamble, head coach of the Caltech men’s and women’s tennis teams, joins women’s co-captain Sophia Chen and men’s co-captain Morgan Lebby to reflect on how success comes from knowing how to be both a leader and a team player.

DIY: Two Mentors Create Opportunity

If you want to know what’s special about a Caltech education, talk to Professor Tom Soifer (BS ’68).

“We prize giving students opportunities to do something new—giving them freedom and responsibility,” he says. “Caltech encourages people to do spectacular things.”

The Human Side of Engineering

Mentors in the Caltech course Design for Freedom from Disability gave students Stephanie Moon and Lawrence Lee a new view of the power engineers have to benefit others.

Says co-instructor Andy Lin: “It’s gratifying to see that the work I’m helping with is making a difference in students’ lives and the lives of people with disabilities. At the end of the course, I get teary-eyed. I see how the students want to maximize their engineering skills to help people.”




How was your Caltech experience shaped by a mentor?

We asked some alumni—including fellowship donors and a Nobel laureate—about their faculty advisers.