California Institute of Technology – The California Institute of Technology (Caltech, Caltech, Caltech) is a relatively small educational institution, however, it is included in the list of the most productive among technical colleges around the world, sharing 1st place with MIT . Despite the main direction of study – the exact sciences and engineering, the university includes the departments of humanities and social sciences, and prepares graduates in the fields of music, art history and creative writing. However, all students, without exception, take a 5-semester course in higher mathematics and physics.
History of the California Institute of Technology
September 1891 can be considered the starting point of Caltech. In Pasadena, a philanthropist named Amos Thrup rented the Wooster Block to found Troop University, which later became Caltech. Already in November, Troop University opened its doors to 31 students and 6 professors. In 1907, the famous astronomer George Hale co-founded a small private college, which grew into a first-class research institute. With the outbreak of the First World War, the Research Council was established at the institute, the main activity of which was directed to military production. This move attracted a huge amount of funding, which allowed the creation of first-class laboratories and the organization of research in the field of physics, which attracted outstanding researchers.
By 1921, renowned chemist Arthur A. Noyes and physicist Robert A. Millican joined Hale, and Troop University was renamed the California Institute of Technology, finally establishing the main course of its development. By 1920, thanks to the economic boom in California, Caltech had become one of the strongest universities in the United States. By 1923, faculties of geology, humanities and social sciences appeared, while research in the exact sciences attracted more and more scientists from all over the world. In 1932, Albert Einstein visits Caltech to research general relativity.
Also one of the most active universities in the development of military goods during the Second World War, Caltech remains a leading research university in other areas. After the end of the war, the priority of development was again transferred to the exact and natural sciences, remaining there today.
Scientific achievements of the California Institute of Technology
- By 2010, in cooperation with the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, Caltech is establishing an interdisciplinary course aimed at researching solar energy sources, which should receive more than $ 122 million in funding over 5 years of its existence.
- Caltech is one of the largest centers for the study of earthquakes and seismic activity. It is from the sources of this university that most media take information on upcoming earthquakes around the world.
- In 2013, Caltech researchers created a chip capable of self-healing: after repeated experiments, during which the chips were burned with a strong laser, within a second they returned to normal functioning, restoring their previous structure.
- In the spring of 2014, a paradoxical connection was found between the absence of the corpus callosum in the structure of the brain and the occurrence of autism. The study of the link between the two diseases is the only one in the world.
- In May 2013, Caltech researchers developed a 3-step system for creating nano-structures. The prerequisites for the initial study were the discovered hardened skeletons of the inhabitants of the ocean, the density of which significantly exceeded the strength of most materials ever created by man. The successful completion of the project marked the beginning of a series of ongoing research to create new materials and improve nanotechnologies.
- In May 2014, significant progress was made in the study of protein synthesis in vivo – Caltech scientists found the ability to visualize the process to a new level using fluorescent lighting.
- In November 2014, Caltech geologists, in collaboration with the China Earthquake Administration, discovered an ancient canyon near the Yarlung Tsangpo River, the existence of which refutes the popular theory of the origin and development of the Himalayan mountains.
Benefits of Studying at Caltech
- The university is one of the most funded in the world on a per student basis – with approximately 2,000 students, Caltech receives $2 billion in funding.
- Current research, especially in the field of cosmology, has long been one of the priorities of the university. Caltech works closely with NASA, launching most of their spacecraft.
- The motto of the university “The truth shall make you free” forms the code of honor, which is one of the most influential aspects in the life of students. The moral side of education is served not only by students and professors, but also by special incident investigation bureaus. Sticking to your motto makes learning less stressful. Even control and examination papers are often given to students at home, so the final score is mostly on the conscience of the student, rather than the professor.
- The form of study at the university differs significantly from the traditional rivalry of American students – Caltech’s policy encourages teamwork and homework, thus stimulating cooperation at the student level.
- For the most comfortable transition of students from school to the university regime, no grades are given in the first year of study, and the entire certification system is divided into pass / fail. However, shadow grades are given, which allow students to track their progress and see their weaknesses.
Arrangement of the California Institute of Technology
- The university includes 8 campuses, organized in such a way that communication between students is increased, in contrast to the system of fraternities and closed societies. The only exception is the Avery House, which is closed to freshmen, and life there is much more relaxed than on the other seven campuses, since professors also live there. The cost of living varies from 500 to 1,200 USD , depending on the type of accommodation – a separate accommodation for 1 person or combined with several students. Off-campus accommodation is also possible.
- Each student can optionally participate in the sports life of the university, which has 2 gyms, a cardio room, 2 swimming pools and a SPA, a bodybuilding section, 2 fields for various group games, 8 tennis courts and more. The university has men’s and women’s teams in basketball, sword fighting, swimming and diving, tennis, as well as men’s baseball and football teams.
- The university has 6 libraries, access to which all students have in electronic and physical mode. Libraries are divided into collections – some of them are intended only for students of the humanities, others contain materials on astrophysics, one of them contains only archives – dissertations, research results and other scientific works of students or employees of Caltech.
- The Human Resources Office deals with the employment and internships of students, providing equal chances for career development in the future, regardless of gender, nationality, age and physical ability.
Features of admission to Caltech for international students
- One of the most important criteria for getting into Caltech is an excellent high school diploma – 98% of students who entered in 2013 were in the top ten students in the school. The average GPA score of admitted students is 3.5.
- The university does not accept IELTS results , for admission it is necessary to pass TOEFL . Caltech has no minimum performance requirements.
- For admission to the bachelor’s program, you must pass the SAT in writing, mathematics level 2, as well as a profile exam – molecular biology, chemistry, physics or ecology. For admission to the magistracy, you will need to pass the GRE.
- For first-year students, the package of documents will also need to include a Statement Of Intent, to which documents on taxes paid by parents or guardians must be attached.
- The deadline for submitting documents for admission varies from November 15 to December 15, depending on the faculty. For an early response, you must submit a package of documents before November 1.
- For admission, 3 letters of recommendation are required , including 1 of them must be from a mathematics teacher, and 1 more from a humanities teacher.
International student exchange programs and internships
- The university offers 5 standard exchange programs for its students – Cambridge Scholars Program (UK), London Scholars Program (UK), Copenhagen University & Danish Technical University (Denmark), University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Ecole Polytechnique Scholars Program (France) and Melbourne Scholars Program (Australia). For admission to the exchange program, a student must have a minimum of 2.5 GPA, recommendations from professors and a specific project plan, which will be worked on during the exchange.
- There are 2 exchange programs in a separate group: with the University of Iceland and the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, in which no more than 4 students nominated by the university management can participate. Each student who enters the program is awarded a $6,000 award.
- Since Caltech works closely with NASA, successful students and researchers can take part in ongoing programs at the university. Students who win a JPL Space grant will spend 10 weeks at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Students are also given the opportunity to collaborate with leading NASA researchers in the field of geology of the planets of the solar system.
Interesting Caltech Facts
- Every year at Caltech, a holiday is held among all students without exception – Truancy Day. Fourth-year students develop prank devices that block the way for junior students in the classrooms, campuses and other university premises. Whole teams find solutions to puzzles throughout the day, and classes on this day are abolished.
- Ride of the Valkyries, a famous work by Richard Wagner, is another subject of the Caltech student tradition. On the first day of the exam session, the melody is heard from all campuses, which compete in its loudness. It is interesting that this melody is allowed to be played only during the session – for violation of this rule, the residents of the Blackker house bathe the students who violated them right in their clothes.
- Pranks have been a remarkable part of student life since ancient times. The two most notorious pranks are replacing the letters of the world-famous Hollywood sign with Caltech and broadcasting a non-existent match at Rose Stadium in 1984 in which the University of California team beats the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team (with whom they have a long-standing rivalry comparable to that of Oxford and Cambridge). ) with an absurd score of 38-9.
- Another example of the rivalry between Caltech and MIT is the incident in 2005, when during an event for accepted students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Caltech students used a poster to change the word “Massachusetts” to “Another” right on the main facade of the MIT building.
- A graduate of Caltech is Harrison Schmitt, a member of the first expedition to the Moon, Apollo 17. Even on the moon, he was reminded of the old Caltech tradition, waking up the astronaut on the second day of his stay with the Ride of the Valkyries.