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Chris Gage ’13


NOT MANY STUDENTS GET TO CATCH A SHARK and call it schoolwork, but Chris Gage ’13 did so while working on a summer research project. Te physics major spent two summers—2011 and 2012—


working with computer engineering Professor Chris Clark on a proof-of-concept project to determine whether sharks could be tracked using an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Gage wrote code for an acoustical communication system that allowed two torpedo-shaped AUVs to talk to each other and a boat-based computer. To test the system, the research team needed a shark. Gage


joined them for four days in Seaplane Lagoon, near the Port of Los Angeles, where he helped catch, tag and release a one-meter- long Leopard shark. Te AUV system successfully tracked the shark, proving


as effective as the current method of humans in boats using directional sonar receivers to follow tagged sharks. It also has the potential to allow scientists to follow sharks for longer time periods, across farther distances. “It was extremely satisfying to see all my


hard work on the communications system come to fruition,” says Gage. “Te work I did was really enjoyable, and it combined a number of my aca- demic passions, mostly electron- ics and a little bit of computer science.” Gage’s other great passion is


track and field. Now in his fourth season as a Claremont-Mudd- Scripps athlete, he is the defending conference champion for the ham- mer throw. Last spring, Gage earned First Team All-SCIAC honors for winning the hammer throw event. Te physical nature of the sport not only keeps him fit, but also offers a nice break from his studies. Hiking is also a favorite pastime,


and Gage has served as the Pre- Orientation hike leader for the past three years.


Balance tip: Naps, lots of naps. Sleep definitely helps to focus the mind.


He organized the 2012 hike in Sequoia National Park, where he pilot tested a new group that ventured out daily from a base camp. Gage credits the flexibility of his major and the collaboration


among Te Claremont Colleges for allowing him to pursue di- verse interests. “My major allows me to get a good grounding in physics, while being free to pursue other academic interests such as electrical engineering and computer science. Collaboration among CMC, HMC and Scripps allows me to compete on an incredibly good team and meet people from the other schools.” He hopes to work in electrical engineering, especially with


sensors or instrumentation, and possibly to pursue graduate studies.


My major allows me to get a good grounding in physics, while


to pursue other academic interests such as electrical engineering and computer science.


being free


“ ”


FALL/WINTER 2012 Har vey Mudd College 23


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