I have mentioned my daughter, Jessie, more than a few times, and those of you who have been visiting here for a while will recall (and others will learn now) that she skipped high school, graduated from Bryn Mawr at 17, and is now early in her sixth year of graduate work in applied physics at Caltech.
I mention all this, again, because yesterday, with her successful dissertation defense (her committee was not only enthusiastic about her work, but effusive), she became Caltech’s newest applied physics PhD! And in a double whammy, she learned just before her defense that her latest article submission had been accepted by Nature Photonics, a major journal in her field and her second article there within several months (this was the first). And a few days earlier she learned that one of her articles published recently in Applied Physics Letters was selected in the current (December 2009) issue of Nature Photonics as one of 7 or 8 noteworthy recent articles.
All in all, a very successful few days.
Apparently it is a tradition at Caltech — and other places as well, though I was unaware of it — to post notices around campus of scheduled dissertation defenses because parts of them are open to other students and faculty to observe. In any event some of Jessie’s friends, who remain anonymous, created and distributed this rather dramatic poster. The pictures of and references to “rings” refer to the “double-disk” gizmo [non-scientific term] Jessie and her postdoc colleague, Qiang Lin, have developed to some acclaim, and the “spider” and “spiderweb” references refer to its design, which resembles a spiderweb. (In real life the gizmo is quite small, about two microns in diameter).
I better watch myself, or pretty soon I’ll begin to sound like a proud father.