#SoCaltech: Michaëlle Mayalu


“One piece of advice I received about be­coming a professor is that you want to be able to see how people learn from different viewpoints, different perspectives, to see how people teach, how problems are solved. Here at Caltech, at least in the lab of Richard Murray [the Thomas E. and Doris Everhart Professor of Control and Dynamical Systems and Bioengineering], I’ve noticed there is more emphasis placed on doing research for discovery and scientific advancement than on doing research for publication. In­stead of publishing right away, you can think of alternatives to solve a problem and have maybe a more complete paper that might be potentially more impactful because you’re getting different perspectives and ideas.”

Michaëlle Mayalu, a postdoctoral scholar in computing and mathematical sciences, arrived at Caltech in fall 2017 after a decade on the East Coast, during which she earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD degrees at MIT. Mayalu is also a 2017–2018 California Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate scholar working on ways to use mathematics and control theory to model how genetically engineered cells execute new deci­sion-making behaviors.

#SoCaltech is an occasional series celebrating the diverse individuals who give Caltech its spirit of excellence, ambition, and ingenuity. Know someone we should profile? Send nominations to magazine@caltech.edu.