Caltech is a world-renowned research and education institution focused on science and engineering, where faculty and students pursue new knowledge about our world and search for the kinds of bold and innovative advances that will transform our future.The scientific, engineering, and technological contributions of Caltechs faculty and alumni have earned national and international recognition, including Nobel Prizes, National Medals of Technology and Innovation, and National Medals of Science. Each year, Caltech faculty are granted nearly 140 patents; its faculty and alumni have started more than 130 companies since 1995.Caltechs 300 professorial faculty members offer a rigorous science and engineering curriculum to approximately 1,000 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students, providing one of the nations lowest student-to-faculty ratios.Caltech undergraduate students hail from across the globe and represent the top tier of high school graduates - 98 percent placed in the top tenth of their senior class. Caltech offers generous financial-aid packages to ensure that a Caltech education is accessible to all students; more than half of Caltech students receive need-based assistance.Student life at Caltech revolves around the eight campus Houses, each of which embodies a distinct personality and has unique traditions; the Caltech student body as a whole has a long history of planning and carrying out elaborate pranks both on campus and across the country. Caltech students can choose to participate in any of more than 100 clubs that represent a wide range of interests, or compete in 17 NCAA Division III varsity sports. The Honor Code governs life at Caltech, affording students such privileges as take-home tests, permission to collaborate on assignments, and the keys to campus buildings.Caltechs 124-acre campus is located in the city of Pasadena, 10 miles from Los Angeles. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, and owns and operates large-scale research facilities such the Seismological Laboratory - one of the worlds foremost centers for geophysical research - and a global network of astronomical observatories that includes the Palomar Observatory and the W. M. Keck Observatory.