Connect & Learn
The Associates are invited to join engaging, exclusive events showcasing Caltech faculty, students, and alumni who are pushing back the frontiers of science, technology, and engineering.
With 20+ dynamic events each year in Southern California, Northern California, and New York City, the Caltech Associates program offers regular opportunities to learn about what's new and what's next directly from the people defining future directions in a broad range of disciplines. Event Q&A sessions afford the chance to gain even more insight. For event registration or information about becoming a member, please contact us at (626) 395-3919.
Guest policy. We welcome guests interested in joining the Caltech Associates to accompany a member at up to two Associates events before deciding. Members should always attend events with their registered guests. Please note that reservations for guests unaccompanied by a member are subject to cancellation.
Thursday, September 28, 2023, 10 am • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Founded by Caltech researchers and now managed by the Institute, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a leader in robotic space exploration.
Our program will begin with brunch at The Athenaeum and a presentation by JPL's chief scientist and Caltech's John W. and Herberta M. Miles Professor of Geophysics, Mark Simons, who will talk about the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). Launching within a year, this satellite mission will observe Earth's surfaces. Professor Simons will provide examples of how we can use NISAR to study earthquakes, aquifers, glaciers, and the effects of severe weather.
Following the presentation, we'll depart by chartered coach for our private afternoon tour of JPL, where we'll visit the mission control center and spacecraft assembly facility.
SAN DIEGO / ORANGE COUNTY
Saturday, September 30, 2023, 11:00 am • Segerstrom Center for the Arts
Cameron Mackintosh presents the acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's Tony Award-winning musical phenomenon, Les Misérables. Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit.
As a prelude to the matinée performance, we will enjoy brunch at Avenue of the Arts Hotel, followed by a presentation, "The Laws of Les Mis," from Jocelyn Holland, professor of comparative literature. Professor Holland will discuss the themes that shaped Victor Hugo's sprawling 19th-century novel and its 20th-century Broadway adaptation: popular uprisings, abuses of power, and the question of the law. To help us develop a deeper understanding of the questions that inform Les Misérables and how its musical score can shape our response to them, she also will consider "the law" in its moral, civil, and divine forms, how these aspects intersect in mid-19th-century France, and how they connect to our present-day perspectives.
DAY TRIP: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
Igniting Fusion Energy
Friday, October 27, 2023 • National Ignition Facility & Retzlaff Vineyard
In December 2022, a team at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) conducted the first controlled fusion experiment to reach "breakeven," producing more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it. On July 30, 2023, the team succeeded again, yielding even better results.
Dr. Tammy Ma (BS '05) leads the Inertial Fusion Energy Institutional Initiative at LLNL. In her presentation to us, she will review the NIF, the world's largest, most energetic laser, as well as the latest experimental results and the scientific and technological advancements that made this breakthrough possible. She will also discuss the implications for future research, in terms of both national security and how this achievement lays the groundwork to explore laser inertial fusion as a path toward clean energy and energy security.
NEW YORK CITY
Our Quantum Future
Wednesday, November 1, 2023, 6:00 pm • New York Athletic Club
Advances in quantum science have already led to remarkable technologies such as lasers, magnetic resonance imaging, and billions of transistors packed onto a single microchip. But these technologies barely scratch the surface of how quantum theory has altered our view of what's possible in the universe.
Join us for a discussion with John Preskill, the Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics and holder of the Allen V. C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair for the Institute for Quantum Science and Technology, about the challenge and promise of quantum technology, and learn about the potential for powerful quantum computers, unhackable encryption, and astonishingly precise measurement devices.
FAMILY DAY TRIP: SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS
Annenberg Wildlife Crossing
Saturday, November 4, 2023 • Agoura Hills, California
When completed in 2025, the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing will be the largest wildlife corridor in the world. Overcrossing U.S. Route 101 to reconnect the Santa Monica Mountains and the Simi Hills in Agoura Hills, California, this bridge will help restore and protect what is considered a biodiversity hotspot—one of only 36 such places in the world—and allow mountain lions and other wildlife to freely move throughout a habitat that was bisected by human development.
Our family-friendly day trip to the Annenberg Wildlife Crossing will include brunch and a presentation by Julia Tejada, assistant professor of geobiology, who will explore how geological processes, climate change, and biotic interactions have changed and shaped the structure of mammalian communities through time.
NEW YORK CITY
President's Circle Dinner
Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 6:00 pm
In celebration of their generous support of Caltech, President's Circle Associates members are invited to enjoy an intimate dinner in Tracy and Sharon's home, where President Thomas F. Rosenbaum will share news about recent Institute successes.
Thursday, November 30, 2023, 6:00 pm
Ammonia has been a transformational fertilizer source for more than 150 years, supporting the food supply for billions of people worldwide. It also has untapped potential as a fuel source for combustion engines. However, the industrial process of creating ammonia is costly in terms of its environmental impact, consuming up to 5 percent of the world's natural gas production. Technologies are needed to produce ammonia more sustainably using renewable energy.
Jonas Peters, the Bren Professor of Chemistry and director of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, and his team at Caltech are developing new methods for producing ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen through a process known as nitrogen fixation, ultimately driving towards a process akin to artificial photosynthesis. Such a method, if scalable, would have profoundly positive impacts on both food (via fertilizer) and fuel production. Professor Peters will talk about this research and the progress a collaborative, multidisciplinary team at Caltech is making toward the goal of efficient and sustainable ammonia production with generous support from the Resnick Sustainability Institute.
Thursday, December 14, 2023, 11:30 am • The Athenaeum
Our annual holiday luncheon is an opportunity to gather with friends, faculty, and fellow Associates in the cheerful ambiance of The Athenaeum's seasonal decor.
This year, we are delighted to welcome JPL Director Laurie Leshin (MS '89, PhD '95), Caltech Vice President and Bren Professor of Geochemistry and Planetary Science, as our special guest speaker. The Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and the first woman to serve as director of JPL will update us on the latest developments there.