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    CaltechAUTHORS offers a searchable and open repository of the scholarly output of the Institute
    Log shows current download count exceeds 10 million

    In late June, CaltechAUTHORS—the Institute's repository for research publications authored by Caltech faculty and affiliated researchers—reached a landmark 10 million downloads since tracking began in July 2008.

    CaltechAUTHORS offers a searchable and open repository of the scholarly output of the Institute, granting users access to the most definitive versions of research that Caltech is permitted to distribute. It contains over 50,000 articles, 8,000 books or book chapters, and 3,300 Caltech technical reports.

    "Researchers are only able to stand upon the shoulders of giants when those shoulders can be reached. CaltechAUTHORS provides both visibility and access to allow researchers to build upon the groundbreaking work performed at the Institute," says engineering librarian George Porter.

    Reaching 10 million downloads is a significant achievement: in comparison, Harvard University's DASH repository has had 11.7 million downloads, while MIT's DSpace repository has logged 7.8 million. 

    That CaltechAUTHORS contains over 65,000 research publications is the result of effective collaboration between the faculty and the Caltech Library. The faculty has embraced the repository's role in increasing the accessibility of scientific research: in 2013, the Faculty Board voted to approve an Institute-wide open-access policy. Seventy-three percent of all materials in the repository are now open access.

    Complementing CaltechAUTHORS, the library has just launched CaltechDATA, a service for storing and sharing data files and software associated with Caltech research. Tom Morrell, a Caltech Library research data specialist, notes that traditional publications cannot always effectively handle diverse types of data files or software. CaltechDATA ensures that users can archive and share their data and software. 

    Porter says these two digital repositories, CaltechAUTHORS and CaltechDATA, are "key to the library's commitment to preserving Caltech research contributions for the long term—and to increasing the accessibility of Caltech research to a broader audience."


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    The event marks the first of several off-campus displays of Caltech art
    Art created by members of the Caltech community will soon go on display in venues around Pasadena.
    Art created by members of the Caltech community will soon go on display in venues around Pasadena.
    Credit: Mike Wong

    Artworks created by members of the Caltech community will go on display Friday, July 21, at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena to accompany a summer chamber music concert celebrating the nation's immigrants.

    Fifteen pieces of art, selected from the 75 pieces displayed in Chandler Café as part of this year's Caltech Art Competition, will be featured on stage during the concert—and in the lobby before and after the performance. They will be displayed for limited periods of time over the weekend before returning to Chandler on July 24.

    The artworks—large pieces that include photographs, paintings, and a collage—were created by a diverse group of students, staff, and faculty from countries across the world and echo the theme of the concert, which focuses on inclusiveness and the nation's immigrant community.

    The concert highlights European immigrants coming through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and will include performances of chamber music those immigrants would have heard on both sides of their journey, including pieces by Johannes Brahms and American immigrants George Gershwin, Curt Weill, and Irving Berlin.

    The event marks the first of several off-campus displays of Caltech art that are being coordinated by the Graduate Student Council's Arts Committee and Caltech Dining, with the aim of building additional support on campus for the arts and better integrating Caltech into the local Pasadena community.

    The free concert (donations will be accepted) will take place at Lake Avenue Church, 393 N. Lake Ave. in Pasadena. Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. performance; the exhibit will be on view Friday, July 21 from 7–7:30 p.m. and 9–9:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 22 from 6:15–6:45 p.m.; and Sunday, July 23 from 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.


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    Caltech physicist Sean Carroll's lecture tackles space and time
    News Writer: 
    Jon Nalick
    Sean Carroll, research professor of physics at Caltech, recently spoke on physics and cosmology as part of the Innovation Speaker Series.
    Sean Carroll, research professor of physics at Caltech, recently spoke on physics and cosmology as part of the Innovation Speaker Series.
    Credit: Caltech

    Most people think about time throughout the day, but Sean Carroll, research professor of physics at Caltech, notes that very few people appreciate just how "weird" time is.

    Carroll points out that in space, for instance, you can go from point A to point B and back again—but once you leave a given point in time, you can never return to that moment. Speaking to a packed Hameetman Auditorium on July 6, he told the crowd, "You could say, 'This is the most boring lecture I've ever heard. I will get up and walk away.' But you cannot choose to have not come to the lecture. Right? You cannot make a choice right now about the past. Why is that?"

    Carroll's 45-minute lecture was part of the weekly Innovation Speaker Series science and technology talks presented each Thursday through August 3 by Summer App Space, a summer program that teaches programming to Los Angeles-area students and teachers while at the same time, they get paid to do fun space-related projects. The speaker series, which features entrepreneurs, researchers, and technologists from Caltech and elsewhere, aims to showcase the ways in which people with science- and space-related backgrounds and education can help change the world.

    During his lecture, Carroll led an audience that included middle- and high-school students—as well as Caltech students, staff, and faculty, who are welcome to attend these public talks—on a tour of physics, quantum mechanics, and cosmology that examined what science can tell us about the origins of existence. Covering theories that delved into what happened before the Big Bang and what might occur when the universe ends, he also discussed how time might frame our perspective of the universe.

    "Is any of this true?" he asked, referring to what happened before the Big Bang. "Who knows? I don't know. That's why we do physics. Physics is not about solving problems that you can see the solution to in the back of the book. It's about asking questions we don't know the answers to, suggesting possibilities, figuring out what those possibilities predict, and going out and collecting data and seeing which one is right."

    • • •

    The Innovation Speaker Series will feature two speakers each Thursday, one at 8 a.m. and one at 8:45 a.m., in Hameetman Auditorium. The schedule for the remaining lectures is as follows:

    Thursday, July 20:

    • 8 a.m.: Adam Lichtl, founder and CEO of Delta Brain Inc.
    • 8:45 a.m.:  Solange Ramírez, associate staff scientist at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute

    Thursday, July 27

    • 8 a.m.: Theoretical astrophysicist Jorge Moreno
    • 8:45 a.m.:  Silicon Valley entrepreneur and Westworld actress Talulah Riley

    Thursday, August 3

    • 8 a.m.: Caltech postdoc and member of the 2017 NASA astronaut class Jessica Watkins
    • 8:45 a.m.: Jessie Christiansen, Caltech astronomer at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute


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  • 07/14/17--14:27: Farewell to the Oak
  • Caltech's 400-year-old Engelmann oak has been removed
    Workers salvage portions of the oak for research and other uses.
    Workers salvage portions of the oak for research and other uses.
    Credit: Caltech

    On July 11, workers dissected Caltech's 400-year-old Engelman oak, which died last year. The wood will be preserved for several uses including: research rounds for GPS paleoclimatology research; historic rounds for display of key science and Caltech milestones; construction of a communal table for the new Red Door Café; and development donor gifts and recognition pieces.


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    News Writer: 
    Shayna Chabner McKinney

    The last remaining occupant in the Winnett Student Center—the Caltech Store—will be closing its doors beginning July 17 and relocating to a temporary location on the first floor of Millikan Library. The move is part of a larger, multi-month effort to vacate Winnett so that the existing building can be demolished to make way for the construction of a new campus hub, called the Hameetman Center.

    The Caltech Store, which sells clothing, souvenirs, office materials, Apple computers, and computer supplies, is planning to re-open in the lobby of Millikan Library the week of July 24, says manager Karyn Seixas. The store's new operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    The Hameetman Center, named in honor of Caltech trustee Fred Hameetman (BS '62) and his wife, Joyce, is scheduled to open in fall 2018. Exterior demolition of Winnett, which has served as the central gathering place for Caltech's community for more than 50 years, is anticipated to begin in mid-August. Over the next month, the building and construction team plans to start clearing and breaking down the interior of the building, in preparation for the complete demolition of the facility, says Greg Norden, the project manager for the Hameetman Center.

    The Caltech Store is just the latest of the relocations of offices and services that were once housed in Winnett. This spring, the Red Door moved to share a space with the campus convenience store, creating the Red Door Marketplace, which will ultimately be housed in the Hameetman Center; Caltech's Ticket Office was moved permanently to the Keith Spaulding Building of Business Services, next to the Post Office Center.

    While access to areas in close proximity to the building site may be limited throughout the construction process, Norden says that they are working to maintain clear and easy passage for pedestrians. For instance, the pedestrian access along the east side of the building will be maintained to allow movement from the Olive Walk to the Red Door Marketplace, Chandler Dining, and the ATM, which will be relocated in August just south of the Red Door Marketplace. San Pasqual Walk will remain open and the grove of sycamore trees with dining tables will remain available for outdoor seating and use. Similarly, the fire lane along the west of the site will be maintained for emergency access.

    Ongoing updates on the construction and its progress will be provided on Caltech Today.


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    The Institute makes significant gains in energy efficiency, water savings, electric vehicle support
    News Writer: 
    Jon Nalick
    The annual report details the goals, successes, and challenges facing the Institute in terms of sustainability.
    The annual report details the goals, successes, and challenges facing the Institute in terms of sustainability.
    Credit: Caltech

    Caltech sustainability efforts paid dividends in fiscal year 2016, cutting water use by 11 percent and trash generation by 5 percent while increasing hazardous material recycling by 11 percent compared to the previous year.

    Those highlights, reported by Caltech Sustainability in its "Annual Sustainability Update 2016" report were among dozens of metrics showing the Institute's progress in reducing its environmental footprint. The report also highlighted areas where improvements could be made, such as increasing carpool usage and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

    John Onderdonk, director of sustainability programs, says that "progress in the last year has been steady and really strengthened long-term positive trends."

    For example, he notes that the Institute has made significant progress in reducing demand for and increasing efficiency in energy and water use. Recent achievements in those areas have included: installation of a direct chilled-water loop to connect the campus's central and satellite utility plants to improve cooling in campus buildings; installing dedicated tree irrigation systems; installing low-flow urinals campus-wide; overhauling the 10-megawatt gas turbine in the central plant to bolster efficiency; and upgrading fuel cells providing 2 megawatts to boost their efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

    Here are some other highlights from the report:

    • Caltech now derives 88 percent of its own power needs from on-campus sources—and those on-campus sources are 15 percent cleaner than power provided by the municipal utility;
    • Water features including the Gene Pool and the Watson Lab fountain have been outfitted with systems to use recycled water from air conditioning condensation, saving as much as 200,000 gallons of water annually;
    • The campus now recycles 34 percent of its waste, a 3 percent increase over the previous year;
    • In 2016, the campus installed 61 Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations around campus; the stations are free to use for campus electric vehicle owners as part of a research project led by Steven Low, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, to determine how the Institute can best integrate large numbers of electric vehicles into the campus power grid. The 300-kilowatt stations can fully charge an electric vehicle in about five hours.

    Onderdonk says the biggest challenge remaining is further reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which have plateaued—partly as a result of increased energy demands due to new building construction and research as well as from reliance on natural gas combustion to generate electricity and heat on campus. To address that challenge, the Institute approved an energy resource plan in April that aims to significantly decarbonize the campus's electrical supply by 2025 through the deployment of on- and off-site renewable energy projects.

    The annual report—which details the goals, successes, and challenges facing the Institute in terms of sustainability—can be found at http://www.caltech.edu/content/2016-report-institute-sustainability-released.

    Onderdonk says the report underscores the depth and breadth of the campus's continuing efforts to reduce its environmental impact. "Having detailed metrics and meaningful initiatives across multiple key areas—energy, water, materials, built environment, transportation, and emissions—is rare and certainly shows our commitment to transparency and sustained progress," he says.


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    The Caltech Store's new operating hours will be weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
    Current plans are for the Caltech Store to be part of the Hameetman Center's retail space when the building opens in the fall of 2018.
    Current plans are for the Caltech Store to be part of the Hameetman Center's retail space when the building opens in the fall of 2018.
    Credit: Caltech

    The Caltech Store reopened on Monday, July 24, after moving to its new (albeit temporary) location on campus—in the lobby of Millikan Library. The move was made to allow for the demolition of the existing Winnett Student Center and the subsequent construction of a new campus hub, the Hameetman Center, on that same site.

    Current plans are for the Caltech Store to be part of the Hameetman Center's retail space when the building opens in the fall of 2018.

    "Student Affairs would like to thank the offices of the president and provost, Development and Institute Relations, and the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering for allowing us to use their respective spaces during this transition period as well as for their patience during the construction phase," says Joe Shepherd, Caltech's vice president for student affairs.

    The Caltech Store's new operating hours will be 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


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    The demolition is expected to begin at the end of August
    News Writer: 
    Jon Nalick
     The ATM will remain in place until about August 11, 2017, when it will be moved to its new location south of the Red Door Marketplace.
    The ATM will remain in place until about August 11, 2017, when it will be moved to its new location south of the Red Door Marketplace.
    Credit: Caltech

    Workers have erected fencing and scaffolding around the Winnett Student Center to prepare for abatement of any hazardous materials in the building before its demolition.

    The demolition of Winnett is expected to begin at the end of August, and construction of the Hameetman Center, which will replace Winnett as a new campus hub, should begin as soon as that demolition is complete, says Greg Norden, the project manager for the new Hameetman Center.

    Key services previously available at Winnett have been moved to various locations as follows:

    • the Caltech SAS Store has been temporarily relocated to the lobby of Millikan Library;
    • the Red Door Café is now temporarily located in Chandler Dining Hall, sharing space with the C-Store in what is now called the Red Door Marketplace, and;
    • the Ticket Office has been moved permanently to the Keith Spalding Building of Business Services, next to the post office;
    • the ATM remains in its current location and is still accessible from a path west of the construction site. The ATM will remain in place until about August 11, 2017, when it will be moved to its new location south of the Red Door Marketplace;
    • the prayer room formerly located in the basement of Winnett is now located in the Center for Student Services, Room 248.

    The Hameetman Center, named in honor of Caltech trustee Fred Hameetman (BS '62) and his wife, Joyce, is scheduled to open in late 2018. It will feature a large public lounge, an expanded Red Door Marketplace, Caltech SAS Store, music rehearsal facilities, student club rooms, multipurpose room, and conference room.

    For questions about the project, contact Dimitris Sakellariou, assistant vice president for student affairs operations, at dimitris@caltech.edu.


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