#SoCaltech: Isabella Camplisson


“Before I started in my lab I was kind of concerned all of the postdocs and grad students would be stereotypical academic types like Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory. That they wouldn’t talk much and it would be really awkward. I thought the other undergrads in my lab would be like that, too. For the first week, it was pretty quiet because we were all getting to know each other, but there was this one day where we realized we were all secretly watching the World Cup on these tiny little screens on our computers and so we just decided to put it on a big screen in the corner and all sit down and watch it together. And that was just a really good bonding experience and we all got really invested in it and somehow every single person in the lab was rooting for England so there was no conflict. It made me realize that there are some really cool people in academia.” 

Isabella Camplisson—who came to Caltech from Sydney, Australia—is studying computation and neural systems. This summer, for her Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), she has been working in the lab of David Van Valen, research assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, where she has been using a type of AI called deep learning to identify and track cells in microscopy videos.

#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.