Letters to the Editor

The Eyes Have It


Please convey my kudos to the reporters, writers, and editors responsible for the piece on vision-preserving medical interventions in the latest Caltech magazine [Fall 2018]. I write as an astro alum and amateur astronomer who coordinated some coverage of night myopia and LASIK for Sky & Telescope magazine a dozen or so years back. (Since then I have taught physics and astronomy, mostly at the high school level, and worked in the textbook industry. The UV-tuneable replacement lenses could be a “killer app” for amateur astronomy; I’m curious whether they might be available on an elective basis! Anyhow, good stuff. I understand the topic more clearly now.

Joshua Roth (MS ’91, PhD ’94)

What a shock your new format presented! At first I wondered whether I’d like the new look, but became convinced it was more riveting because of all the individuals and their projects depicted.

I was particularly interested in an article in the Fall 2018 issue: “An Eye on Innovation.” It reminded me of an invention my late husband, John C. Evvard (PhD ’73), had patented back in June 1973, and which seems to me like the precursor of the laser equipment now in use. He was an associate director at the NASA Research Laboratory near Cleveland, Ohio, and had many other inventions that were patented by the government.

Thank you for continuing to send me your Caltech publication.

Jean L. Evvard

Fun for Every Age

I am an alum and a parent of a toddler. I just wanted to thank you for making such a quality magazine for such a broad audience. My kid loves the big faces, the colorful art, and searching for his favorite things in the detailed historical photos. I appreciate how the pages are burly enough to be toddler-proof. When my parents visit they learn about Frances Arnold and Richard Feynman and can be proud all over again of where I went to school. It’s a perfect coffee table conversation starter for all visitors (“Is Jupiter hot?”). Please keep doing what you’re doing; it is a big hit with my family.

Eva Rose Murdock Balog (BS ’06)

Staying Connected

I was delighted to get the latest issue of Caltech magazine. It always surprises me how much I get out of it: it allows me to feel, in some small way, as though I am still part of the Caltech community, even though I have not been able to visit in years.

Luke S. Sollitt (MS ’99, PhD ’04)

Start with the facts

With the kind grace of the geology faculty, I took that course a decade later, so a mailman handed me my diploma in 1971.

With great pleasure and thanks, I send you my book Tragic Truth, inscribed to the staff of your excellent magazine, which regularly reminds me of the wonderful institute that shaped my mind so I could write it, more than 50 years later.

A BS in geology should have crowned my 1956–60 undergraduate residency, but in my senior year I did not complete the required course in German, instead spending afternoons founding start-up electronics firm Colorsound, Inc. With the kind grace of the geology faculty, I took that course a decade later, so a mailman handed me my diploma in 1971.

Taught by a constellation of Nobel laureates including Beadle, Feynman, and Pauling, and lesser-known but world-class geologists Allen, Kamb, Lowenstam, Richter, Sharp, Silver, Taylor, and Wasserburg, I learned to start with all relevant hard facts, then hypothecate and analyze before reaching a conclusion.

Pierre Sundborg (BS ’71)