<caltech students Kenny Duran Megan Durney Felipe Gomez Erik Herrera Karen Pham get Mellon Mays Fellowships>
July 11, 2020 • jainendra joshi • JOBS AND CARRER


The national Mellon Mays program was established by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and counts

nearly 50 schools as members. Over 5,000 students are selected as Mellon Mays fellows since the program

began in 1988. Caltech is that the only member of the program that gives MMUF Fellowships to STEM



 five Mellon Mays students from Caltech graduated.

Kenny Duran

Kenny Duran, a physics student, worked with Glenn Orton, a senior research scientist at the reaction

propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech manages for NASA, analyzing the atmosphere of Saturn; with

Riccardo Comin, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on condensed matter physics

research; and with Peter Capak, formerly of IPAC. He will pursue work on the intersection of computation

and physics.


Megan Durney

Megan Durney, a computing student, conducted research with John Preskill, the Richard P. Feynman

Professor of Theoretical Physics, and therefore the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM),

where Preskill is the Allen V.C. Davis and Lenabelle Davis Leadership Chair. Her research focused on

protecting the info in quantum computers from the noise that's inherent in those systems. She plans to

hitch Google X, Google's secretive lab , as a part of its quantum team. During her time at Caltech, Durney

served as a peer advocate, upperclassman counselor, and secretary in Blacker House, and was a

councillor on the ladies in CMS (Computing and Mathematical Sciences) committee


Felipe Gomez

Felipe Gomez, a physics student, worked with physics professor David Hsieh and President Tom

Rosenbaum on condensed matter physics research, investigating pump-probe spectroscopy and

quantum magnetism. He will attend Harvard and pursue a doctoral degree in physics.

As a student at Caltech, he served as president of CLASES/Club Latino, arranging professional events

for club members. He also was a member of the Physics Club and participated in science outreach to

local high schools.


Erik Herrera

Erik Herrera,  worked with Matilde Marcolli, the Robert F.  Christy Professor of Mathematics and
Computing and Mathematical Sciences; Sarthak Parikh, the Olga Taussky and John Todd Instructor in
Mathematics; and You Qi, formerly of Caltech, on problems in mathematical physics. He will attend U.C.
Berkeley, where he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in mathematics. As a Caltech student, he played
within the Caltech Wind Orchestra, volunteered with Health Advocates and Peer Advocates programs,
and was a member of the Undergraduate Academic Standards and Honors Committee.


Karen Pham

Karen Pham, a geology student, conducted research into the monsoons of West Africa with Simona

Bordoni, formerly of Caltech, and worked with George Rossman, professor of geological and planetary

sciences, on developing a neural network which will identify minerals employing a sort of spectroscopy.

she is going to attend Pennsylvania State University to pursue a doctoral degree in geosciences, with a

search specialise in how the evolution of the earth's environment affects the distribution of species. she is

going to also visit Norway to conduct research through a Fulbright Fellowship. As a student, she worked

with the Caltech Y, as an increase tutor, and served as an envoy for the Student-Faculty Programs Office.

She also participated within the Science Olympiad Club, planning science tournaments for middle- and

high-school students in Southern California.