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Person Spotlight Listing

Headshot of Jennifer Jahner.
  • Professor of English and Dean of Undergraduate Students

Jennifer Jahner

COVID brought home just how deeply our sense of the world is shaped by faith in the reliability of our forecasting models. The experience had me reflecting on the period I research and asking, What did a ‘forecast’ look like in an era before probability calculus and statistics? I realized that many of the core questions we struggle with today are present in these much earlier periods of history but reveal themselves in different ways—some familiar, some radically distinct.”

Headshot of Viviana Gradinaru.
  • Lois and Victor Troendle Professor of Neuroscience and Biological Engineering; Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair and Director of the Richard N. Merkin Institute for Translational Research

Viviana Gradinaru (BS '05)

Caltech germinates entirely new fields of sciences, through our faculty but also through our students and postdocs in their post-Caltech careers. Through the Merkin Institute, we have a vehicle to channel such discoveries into novel ways to understand and improve the human experience."

Headshot of Caltech graduate student Jieyu Zheng.
  • Graduate student, neurobiology

Jieyu Zheng

Doing a PhD, it's kind of like you are learning and contributing at the same time. You are trying to construct your own science story. You are trying to shine the light on an unknown fact to the rest of the world. And at the same time, you learn all these skills that will help you uncover more in the future."

Shri Kulkarni standing in front of a fountain on Caltech campus.
  • George Ellery Hale Professor of Astronomy and Planetary Science

Shri Kulkarni

The ideal scientist is supposed to ask questions and seek answers—I've never been that. I really like to build instruments, or as I sometimes call them, toys, and play with them to discover the universe. I think it's a very different approach to science, which is, in some sense, based on a combination of engineering and curiosity rather than a more theoretical approach."

Undergraduate student Sanvi Pal on Caltech campus.
  • Undergraduate student, class of '26

Sanvi Pal

Everyone in this school is so genuinely passionate about one specific research interest or academic interest. Their passion is something that you can appreciate and you always learn new things from."

Undergraduate student Albert Huang in nature with mountains in the background.
  • Undergraduate student, class of '27

Albert Huang

Caltech is tough, but we knew that coming in. And yet, we do it anyway. We attend lecture, grind out sets again and again despite—even because of—the challenge. On top of all that, we find time to watch musicals, go on hikes, paint murals, and orchestrate string ensembles. There's something beautiful about that."