Information for fellows

Project reports

Guidelines for LIGO SURF project reporting are the same as those for all Caltech SURFs.

Students are required to submit two written progress reports, an abstract, a final technical paper, and a final oral presentation. These reports help students develop good communication skills, focus on progress toward their research goals, and synthesize the work done over the ten-week period.

Progress reports

Follow these progress report writing requirements. The deadline for these reports is 5:00 pm on July 6 and August 3. These must be signed by your mentor.


Abstracts are compiled in an abstract book for each of the scheduled seminar days. Please follow these abstract writing requirements. The deadline for the abstract is 5:00 pm on August 3.

Final technical paper

Follow these final report writing requirements. Please read and follow them carefully. Deadline is the fourth Friday in September.

Final oral or poster presentation

All students are required to give an oral or poster presentation on one of the regularly scheduled seminar days. However, some students may arrange to give their presentations at other times.

The SURF Talk Book provides assistance in the preparation of the oral presentation. The purpose of the book is not a speech textbook providing useful information for all types of speaking presentations, rather its focus is for undergraduate students presenting highly technical information to a general audience. For guidelines, access the SURF Talk Book.

Seminar Day in October is the first round of the Doris S. Perpall SURF Speaking Competition. Presentations by Caltech students will be evaluated, and the students giving the best talks in each session will advance to a semi-final round. (Judging criteria for Perpall competition)

Failure to complete all of these requirements by the deadline will jeopardize future applications, recommendations, and the posting of SURF on a Caltech transcript.