Members of the Environmental Science and Engineering program broadly participate and collaborate with the following centers at Caltech:
Currently Active Centers
Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies
The Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST) promotes interdisciplinary research and the exchange of ideas in the expanding area of autonomous systems. These systems include, but are not limited to, drones and robots for use in science, industry, and medicine. The research conducted by the center addresses sensing, control, vision, and other emerging areas. The center promotes a synergic environment where machines and humans share the workplace. It also serves as an arena for ideas to translate into reality and be demonstrated to academic researchers as well as to the general public through educational outreach.
Center for Data-Driven Discovery
The opportunities and challenges of data-driven computing are a major component of research in the 21st century. The Center for Data-Driven Discovery (CD3), in strong partnership with JPL, helps the faculty across the entire Institute in developing novel projects in the arena of data-intensive, computationally enabled science and technology.
Center for the Mathematics of Information
CMI is a home in which unfettered development of the mathematical foundations of information and computation can be influenced by, and influence in turn, progress in engineering and science.
Computational Mathematics + X
CMX is a research group aimed at the development and analysis of novel algorithmic ideas underlying emerging applications in the physical, biological, social and information sciences. Research is aimed at the development of foundational mathematical understanding, and the deployment of this understanding to impact on emerging scientific and technological challenges.
Center for Social Information Sciences
CSIS studies how markets and other social systems aggregate large amounts of information that is widely distributed.
CSN is a new earthquake monitoring system based on a dense array of low-cost sensors. The goal of the system is to produce block-by-block estimates of strong shaking.
Decision, Optimization, and Learning at the California Institute of Technology
DOLCIT brings together people from machine learning, optimization, applied math, statistics, control, robotics, and human-computer interaction to form an intellectual core pertaining fundamental and applied research in "Decision,Optimization, and Learning at the California Institute of Technology (DOLCIT)." DOLCIT envisions a world where intelligent systems seamlessly integrate learning and planning, as well as automatically balance computational and statistical tradeoffs in the underlying optimization problems.
Institute for Quantum Information and Matter
The Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM) at Caltech is a Physics Frontiers Center supported by the National Science Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. IQIM researchers study physical systems in which the weirdness of the quantum world becomes manifest on macroscopic scales. Their research programs span quantum information science, quantum many-body physics, quantum optics, and the quantum mechanics of mechanical systems; their faculty are drawn from Caltech's departments of physics, applied physics, and computer science. IQIM also conducts outreach programs to acquaint high school students and the general public with the wonders of the quantum world.
Information Science and Technology
IST is the first integrated research and teaching activity in the country that investigates information from all angles: from the fundamental theoretical underpinnings of information to the science and engineering of novel information substrates, biological circuits, and complex social systems. IST is home to three centers: CMI, CSIS, and the Lee Center.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a research and development center and NASA field center located near the northern border of Pasadena. The Laboratory's primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft, though it also conducts Earth-orbit and astronomy missions. It is also responsible for operating NASA's Deep Space Network.
Keck Institute for Space Studies
Established at Caltech in January 2008 with a $24 million grant over 8 years from the W. M. Keck Foundation. The Institute is a "think and do tank," whose primary purpose is to bring together a broad spectrum of scientists and engineers for sustained technical interaction aimed at developing new space mission concepts and technology.
Kavli Nanoscience Institute
The Kavli Nanoscience Institute
The KNI is an intellectual hub that emphasizes efforts which transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries. It is home to an advanced nanofabrication and characterization facility that supports nanoscale research and technology on the frontiers of electronics, photonics, quantum matter and information, medical and bio-engineering, and sustainability. The KNI has been a critical element in building interacting systems capable of unprecedented emergent functionality across areas such as photonics, materials science, and biotechnology.
The Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science
Founded in 2008 to address the complex issue of global climate change from a wide range of disciplines. The Center unites faculty from chemistry, engineering, geology, environmental science, and other fields. Many of the faculty members associated with the center teach and research in Caltech's Environmental Science and Engineering Department—a multidivisional program of graduate and undergraduate study.
Molecular Programming Project
The Molecular Programming Project (MPP) began in 2008 as an NSF Expedition in Computing—a collaboration of 6 faculty developing computer science principles for programming information-bearing molecules like DNA and RNA to create artificial biomolecular programs of similar complexity. In 2013, the team grew to 11 faculty and was awarded a second Expedition with the mandate to develop molecular programming into a sophisticated, user-friendly, and widely-used technology for creating nanoscale devices and systems.
Resnick Sustainability Institute
The Resnick Sustainability Institute is Caltech's studio for sustainability focused on the breakthroughs that will change the balance of the world's sustainability. It marries bold creativity and deep scientific knowledge by encouraging original thinking and orthogonal ideas. Through research, education and communication, the Institute address critical challenges in renewable energy and sustainability science directed toward outcomes that have the potential to make a global impact.
The Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center
The Rosen Bioengineering Center is an interdivisional center that advances both basic scientific exploration and development of engineering analysis and synthetic approaches. Its administration is shared by the Caltech Divisions of Engineering and Applied Science, Biology and Biological Engineering, as well as Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.
Rigorous Systems Research Group
The Rigorous Systems Research Group (RSRG, pronounced "resurge") studies the design of computer systems, but it's not your ordinary systems group. RSRG is distinguished by its rigorous/analytic approach to design. The group develops new theory, uses theoretical results to provide new design tools and methodologies, puts these new design tools and methodologies into practice, and develops new theory motivated by practice, thus closing the loop.
Sensing to Intelligence
Across academia as well as industry, sensors and algorithms traditionally are developed independently of one another. But Caltech takes an unconventional, holistic approach. On campus and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which Caltech manages for NASA, researchers work across disciplines to design sensors and algorithms together. The goal is to detect and understand phenomena that once were undetectable, from neural circuits in the brain to rocks on Mars. Caltech's Center for Sensing to Intelligence (S2I) will strengthen existing projects, initiate new collaborations, and train generations of researchers to unite the development of theory, algorithms, and sensor technology. Just imagine the impact this approach will have on human health, scientific discovery, and sustainability.
Theory of Computation Group
Theoretical Computer Science is concerned with rigorously quantifying the computational constraints on processes. Commonly, theoreticians analyze the runtime, space requirements or communication requirements of algorithms for given computational problems; devise new algorithms; or show lower bounds on the inherent resource requirements of problems. Beyond these types of problems, the theory group at Caltech also studies the limits of computation by quantum devices, evolutionary processes, economic markets, and more.
While the centers below are no longer active, their websites contain many interesting and useful resources.
Center for Advanced Computing Research
CACR exists to ensure that Caltech is at the forefront of computational science and engineering (CS&E). CS&E is the practice of computer-based modeling, simulation, and data analysis for the study of scientific phenomena and engineering designs.
Lee Center for Advanced Networking
The purpose of the Lee Center for Advanced Networking is to create a global communication system that is reliable and robust. Current wireless communication systems are plagued by static and lost connections. But Lee researchers envision a global system as reliable as a basic utility—like tap water, sewage or natural gas—which consumers will take for granted. The skeleton of this new global communication system will consist of a combination of wireless radio frequencies and high-speed fiber-optic cable.