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Newsletter - Fall 2013-14

Reminder: Add Day is Approaching

Just a friendly reminder that the last day for adding courses and removing incompletes is this Friday, October 18th. Please remember to bring your add cards to the Registrar's Office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday.

Annual Notification of FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records and the Institute is required to notify you of this. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records within 10 days of the day the Institute receives a request for access.
  • The right to request an amendment to their education records that they believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
  • The right to provide written consent before the Institute discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Institute to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Additional information regarding FERPA, including the Public Notification of Directory Information, can be found on the Registrar's FERPA page.

 2013-14 Catalog Now Online

The new 2013-14 catalog is available online at There are two new graduate options available: Medical Engineering and Neurobiology. The undergraduate option in Biolengineering has moved to the renamed division of Biology and Biological Engineering (BBE).

Core Institute Requirements for Continuing Students

Students are held to the Core Institute requirements defined in the catalog published in the student's first year of enrollment. While sophomore math and physics are no longer a Core Institute requirement for students who entered Caltech this fall, continuing students must complete those requirements. (Note: for many students those courses will be required within their option requirements.) Likewise, you should refer to your Catalog year for the regulations on grading schemes required for Adv Hum and Adv SS courses as well as how foreign language courses apply in the HSS requirements.

 Academic Unit Limits for Frosh

The first two terms of freshmen year students are limited to 45 units of academic courses. Students may take up to 51 units with 6 remaining units to be used for frontier ("pizza") courses, PE, PA, or research.

E 11 Open to EAS Students Only

Please note: E 11, "Written Technical Communication in Engineering and Applied Science", will be offered winter and spring term. It is one of the courses available which can fulfill the Institute scientific writing requirement. It will only be open to E&AS students during these terms. Any non-E&AS students who enroll during online registration will be dropped.

Non-E&AS students should choose another scientific writing course offered within their division: Ay 31, BEM/Ec/SS 20, Ch/ChE 91, En 84, Ge 13, Ma 11 or Ph 70.

Excellent TAs from Spring Term

We'd like to congratulate and recognize a few outstanding TAs from the past quarter:

Nikita Sinha, TA for Bi 9 - Nikita graduated last June with a BS in Biology. Many students expressed their gratitude for the time and care Nikita took with answering questions. Others appreciated the perspective she brought as an undergraduate student herself, understanding not only the course and material, but the stresses of undergraduates at Caltech. One student stated, "Nikita has been the best TA I've had at Caltech thus far."

Tristan McKinney, TA for Ph 001C - Practical - Tristan is a G3 in Physics. Tristan's use of interesting and applicable examples was extremely helpful to the students who attended his section. One student shared, "He is the reason I even get physics." Students acknowledged over and over again his dedication to teaching. Many were hoping he'd move with them to Ph 2 this year!

Joshua Buss, TA for Ch 102 - Josh is now a G2 in Chemistry. "Absurdly dedicated to student education", many students remarked how great Josh was at explaining concepts and also extremely patient with them. It was noted that he went above and beyond the call, remaining at his office hours until one in the morning to help. As one student put it, "He explained problems really well, not necessarily giving us the answers, but helping us reach the right answers on our own."

Thanks Nikita, Tristan and Joshua for making a difference in the academic lives of our students. We appreciate all the time, effort and enthusiasm you put into your work with students.

Class Scheduling Reminders

Faculty are reminded to leave the 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 4:00-10:00 p.m. time slots open so that students can have time for meals and can participate in sports (4:00-6:00 p.m.) and performing and visual arts programs (7:00-10:00 p.m.).

Graduate Student Degree Progress

The Graduate Office, the Registrar's Office and IMSS are nearing the end of development on an online graduate degree progress application within REGIS. Graduate students, advisors, option representatives, division chairs and option administrators will soon be able to view the approved program of study for the MS or PhD degrees as well as admission to candidacy, written and/or oral examination requirements, committee membership, final examination, and thesis information. We hope to make more announcements about the project timeline and anticipated go-live date shortly. 

Important Dates

October 18 Last day for adding courses and removing incompletes
October 30 - November 5 Midterm examination period
November 11 Midterm Deficiency Notices due - 9:00 a.m.
November 20 Last day to drop classes or to exercise your P/F option
November 21 First day of registration for winter term
November 22  Last day for admission to candidacy for the degrees of Master of Science and Engineer
November 28-29 Thanksgiving (Institute Holiday)
December 6 Last day of classes and last day to register for winter term without a $50 late fee
December 7-10 Study Period
December 11-13 Final examinations
December 13 End of fall term 2013-14
December 14 - January 5 Winter Recess
December 18 Instructors' final grade reports due - 9:00 a.m.
January 6 Beginning of instruction winter term

udpated 10/16/2013