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Newsletter - Winter 2012-13

Reminder: Add Day is Approaching

Just a friendly reminder that the last day for adding courses and removing incompletes is this Friday, January 25th. Please remember to bring your add cards to the Registrar's Office by 5:00pm on Friday.

Save the Date! 

The Biennial Student/Faculty Conference has been scheduled for Thursday, February 14, 2013. Mark your calendars! More information will be forthcoming from the ARC. This year’s conference will be discussing the core changes and its impacts on option requirements. Please plan to attend and participate in these important discussions.

Freshmen Progress Reports and Midterm Grades

With Add Day approaching, right around the corner is the February 19thdeadline for Freshman Progress Reports, shadow grades for freshmen, and midterm grades for everyone. It is essential that students have feedback on their work in classes prior to Drop Day which is February 27th. If you are teaching classes in which freshmen are enrolled please do take the time to jot down a comment about the students' progress. TAs with access to REGIS can make a great contribution to the freshman’s experience by entering narratives about the student's work to date. Some of the most constructive comments that freshmen receive are from dedicated TAs. Also to dispel any rumors – shadow grades for freshmen and midterm grades for other students are never released to a third party without the student's written consent. Questions? Come by the Registrar’s Office and chat or send an email to

TQFR Prize Winners and Excellent TAs for Fall Term

Many thanks to all of the students who evaluated their courses through the TQFR. Your feedback and comments are very helpful to the faulty and TAs. Here are the lucky prize winners of $20 gift cards to from fall term:

Kristen N. Anderson, Freshman
Stephanie Y. Kwan, Senior
William P. Letsou, G1
Patrick F. Nikong, Freshman
Wesley S. Swank, Senior
Albert H. Yang, Freshman
Melissa L. Zhang, Junior

We wanted to also congratulate two outstanding TAs who really made an impact on the undergraduate students.

Adam Neumann, TA for ACM 95a/ACM 100a – Adam is a G3 in the PhD program in Bioengineering. He received many, many positive comments from students in the class. Lots of students praised him as “AMAZING”, “great” and “excellent”. The comment that summarized his dedication said: “Adam Neumann has been extremely helpful, providing a great balance between conceptual appreciation and practice for problems sets and exams. He went above and beyond the call of duty and is the paragon of what a TA should be.”

Mu Wang for Ch 151a – Mu is a G2 in the PhD program in Chemical Engineering. Students really appreciated the additional office hours as class materials became more difficult. Described as “very knowledgeable”, “very helpful”, and “awesome”, Mu provided excellent lectures during office hours. One student commented: “Wonderful helpful! Mu really knows his material, and his expertise is reflected in the clarity of his explanations…The many example problems he presented during TA session were very instructive in building off of the lecture material. Always prompt about grading, answering questions. Always cheerful, too.”

Thanks Adam and Mu, for making a difference in the academic lives of the undergraduates. We appreciate all of the time and effort that you put into your work with students. Again, thanks so much for doing such a great job in the classroom!

Clarification of Changes in Requirements

There have been a series of changes to Caltech’s academic requirements over the past two years that we wanted to clarify.

For students who entered Caltech in Fall 2011 the following applies:

Courses used to fulfill Advanced Humanities must be taken on grades and may NOT include foreign language. Likewise courses used to satisfy Advanced Social Sciences must be taken on grades. Freshmen will be held to 45 units of academic credits for their first two terms.

For students who entered Caltech in Fall 2012 the following applies:

Courses used to fulfill Advanced Humanities must be taken on grades and may NOT include foreign language. Likewise courses used to satisfy Advanced Social Sciences must be taken on grades. Additionally, students may NOT use BEM 102 Accounting as an Additional HSS course. Freshmen will be held to 45 units of academic credits for their first two terms. Students who entered in Fall 2012 must pay tuition for all 12 terms and there will be no reduction in tuition when underloading.

Some Interesting Facts

This year we have the largest undergraduate student body that Caltech has ever seen, 997 students enrolled in our BS programs.

  • The most popular undergraduate majors are Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

  • Several options have more women than men: Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Bioengineering.

  • The largest graduate options are Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Biology, and Chemical Engineering.

  • Among the graduate student body, we have 39% international citizens, from 57 countries. The countries sending the most students are China, India, Canada, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Important Dates

January 25 Last day for adding courses and removing incompletes
February 6-12 Midterm examination period
February 18 Presidents' Day (Institute Holiday)
February 19 Midterm Deficiency Notices due - 9:00 a.m.
February 27 Last day to drop classes or to exercise your P/F option
February 28 First day of registration for spring term
March 13 Last day of classes and last day to register for spring term without a $50 late fee
March 14-17 Study Period
March 18-20 Final examinations
March 20 End of winter term 2012-13
March 21-31 Spring Recess
March 27 Instructors' final grade reports due - 9:00 a.m.
April 1 Beginning of instruction spring term