Friday, 16 October 2015

California Institute of Technology

Caltech is frequently cited as one of the world's best universities. Despite its small size, 33 Caltech alumni and faculty have won a total of 34 Nobel Prizes (Linus Pauling being the only individual in history to win two unshared prizes) and 71 have won the United States National Medal of Science or Technology. There are 112 faculty members who have been elected to the National Academies. In addition, numerous faculty members are associated with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute as well as NASA.
The California Institute of Technology (abbreviated Caltech) is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Although founded as a preparatory and vocational school by Amos G. Throop in 1891, the college attracted influential scientists such as George Ellery HaleArthur Amos Noyes, and Robert Andrews Millikan in the early 20th century. The vocational and preparatory schools were disbanded and spun off in 1910, and the college assumed its present name in 1921. In 1934, Caltech was elected to the Association of American Universities, and the antecedents of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech continues to manage and operate, were established between 1936 and 1943 under Theodore von Kármán. The university is one among a small group of Institutes of Technology in the United States which tends to be primarily devoted to the instruction of technical arts and applied sciences.


Caltech's 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located in Pasadena, California, approximately 11 miles (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is within walking distance of Old Town Pasadena and the Pasadena Playhouse District and therefore the two locations are frequent getaways for Caltech students.
In 1917 Hale hired architect Bertram Goodhue to produce a master plan for the 22 acres (8.9 ha) campus. Goodhue conceived the overall layout of the campus and designed the physics building, Dabney Hall, and several other structures, in which he sought to be consistent with the local climate, the character of the school, and Hale's educational philosophy. Goodhue's designs for Caltech were also influenced by the traditional Spanish mission architecture of Southern California.
New additions to the campus include the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Center for Information Science and Technology, which opened in 2009, and the Warren and Katherine Schlinger Laboratory for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering followed in March 2010. The Institute also concluded an upgrading of the south houses in 2006. In late 2010, Caltech completed a 1.3 MW solar array projected to produce approximately 1.6 GWh in 2011.


Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphasis on science and engineering, managing $332 million in 2011 in sponsored research. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. First-year students are required to live on campus, and 95% of undergraduates remain in the on-campus house system. Although Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations. The Caltech Beavers compete in 13 intercollegiate sports in the NCAA Division III's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Caltech is a small four-year, highly residential research university with a slight majority in graduate programs. The Institute has been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges since 1949. Caltech is on the quarter system: the fall term starts in late September and ends before Christmas, the second term starts after New Years Day and ends in mid-March, and the third term starts in late March or early April and ends in early June.
The United States National Research Council released its latest Assessment of Research Doctorate Programs in 2010, and 23 of the 24 graduate programs of Caltech were ranked within the top four programs in the nation in their size quartile as determined by both the R95 and S95 rankings. Of particular note, programs that were placed within the top 10% of all size programs in that field based on an average of the R95 and S95 rank order include Aeronautics, Astrophysics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Bioengineering, Biology, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science and Engineering, Geology, Geophysics, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Planetary Science, and Social Science (Economics).
In 2013 a paper published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics ranked Caltech 2nd in the U.S. (after Harvard) for revealed preference. The sample of the study was 3240 high achieving students (students ranked in the top 10% of public high school class or top 20% of private high school class). Rankings were based on number of students who accepted offered admission.

Organization and administration

The Institute is organized into six primary academic divisions: Biology and Biological Engineering, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Engineering and Applied Science, Geological and Planetary Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy. The voting faculty of Caltech include all professors, instructors, research associates and fellows, and the University Librarian. Faculty are responsible for establishing admission requirements, academic standards, and curricula. The Faculty Board is the faculty's representative body and consists of 18 elected faculty representatives as well as other senior administration officials. Full-time professors are expected to teach classes, conduct research, advise students, and perform administrative work such as serving on committees.
Caltech is incorporated as a non-profit corporation and is governed by a privately appointed 46-member board of trustees who serve five-year terms of office and retire at the age of 72. The current board is chaired by David L. Lee, co-founder of Global Crossing Ltd. The Trustees elect a President to serve as the chief executive officer of the Institute and administer the affairs on the Institute on behalf of the board, a Provost who serves as the chief academic officer of the Institute below the President, and ten other vice presidential and other senior positions. Former Georgia Tech provost Jean-Lou Chameau became the eighth president of Caltech on September 1, 2006, replacing David Baltimore who had served since 1997. Dr. Chameau's compensation for 2008–2009 totaled $799,472. Chameau served until June 30, 2013. Thomas F. Rosenbaum was announced to be the ninth president of Caltech on October 24, 2013, and his term began on July 1, 2014. Caltech's endowment is governed by a permanent Trustee committee and administered by an Investment Office.