LaunchTech: Sept 19 2015

LaunchTech was a very fun day with 19 graduate student participants working on three different projects. After an initial icebreaker and brainstorming of ideas, participants split up into groups and got to work. The group boundaries were fluid and people flowed from one to another. In the end, three projects were launched!

1. Humans of Caltech is a new Facebook page to feature stories of the complex and diverse humans on campus. The mission statement reads:

There is no typical Techer. From Chandler to Ernie’s to cutting edge labs, Caltech is a mosaic more complex than DNA and more diverse than the periodic table. Take a deeper look and you will find a Caltech you may have never imagined or known. Every story, no matter how quirky or inspiring or unconventional, counts. This page is dedicated to these stories and the Humans that lived them. This is what makes us Caltech.”

2. An HVAC feedback app was designed. Participants noticed that many rooms on campus are much cooler than necessary, including Dabney Lounge, where LaunchTech took place! The team is working with Caltech Facilities to determine a way to implement temperature feedback (too hot/too cold/just right) from room occupants.

3. QuantummFinance is an investing algorithm project with a twist: determining trading algorithms that help the world, not just for profits. Their mission statement is:

Traditional investing strategies only look at risks and returns. With data, it is possible to provide an extra quantity–influence on welfare of companies and countries. The goal is to calculate the influence for many existing otherwise equivalent investment options, and also create a few cause-specific algorithms (for causes like environment, closing the wage gap, stopping the warfare) and make them available for investors. It’s like MotifInvesting, but for real.”

You can read more on their blog!

Here are some pictures from the day:

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