加州理工学院（California Institute of Technology, 缩写为Caltech）是美国的一所大学，位于加利福尼亚州的帕萨蒂纳，创建于1891年。这所学校规模不大，只有1000余名研究生和900余名本科生，在《美国新闻与世界报道》 2011年的全美大学排名中，次于哈佛大学、普林斯顿大学、耶鲁大学、哥伦比亚大学名列全美大学第五。在2011-2012学年评鑑，英国的《泰唔士报高等教育增刊》将加州理工学院评为世界第一的大学。而在物理、行星科学、地学领域公认为全美第一。美国普林斯顿评论在2006把加州理工学院在全美「最难申请上的大学」裡排名第六。 虽然只有50.18公顷土地面积且专业课程有限的加州理工学院，在1999年获得排名第一的殊荣。
Caltech is located in Pasadena, CA, in Los Angeles County. The city has a population of 133,000, making it the sixth largest in the county. Pasadena has a downtown area for shopping or dining, and is home to a number of artistic and scientific points of interest: the Norton Simon Museum of Art, the Pasadena Playhouse and of course, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (where many spacecrafts are designed for NASA). Pasadena is also known for hosting the annual Rose Bowl.
Students are often so busy that they find it difficult to enjoy the city, but when they do find the time, they can enjoy all that Pasadena has to offer, plus the beaches and other nearby cities, such as Los Angeles itself.
The oldest buildings on campus were designed by Bertram Goodhue, who combined the philosophy of the school with the Spanish mission-style architecture popular in the region. The architecture retains that feel today, though there are also a number of modern buildings scattered about, like the newer labs.
The campus seems very large compared to the small student body, because there are so many research facilities. There are small ponds scattered throughout the gorgeous green campus, and students who aren’t inside their rooms working on problem sets can enjoy the California sun on the nicely landscaped lawns.
Caltech students are assigned to live in houses, similar to the residential college systems of Oxford or Cambridge. More like fraternities than mere living spaces, the students in the various houses have rivalries with other houses, sit down for communal dinners, and generally share a sense of family. Each house has its own traditions, nicknames and mottos, and often members often play pranks on other Undergrads generally stay members of their houses throughout their school careers.
The houses are divided into two groups, the North Houses (consisting of Lloyd, Page, and Ruddock) and the South Houses (Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, and Ricketts). Standing alone is Avery House, the newest in the house system—this house only recently admitted freshmen through rotation and its facilities are open to all members of the school (rather than just house members).
There are also a number of “off-campus” houses, so-called despite actually being located on the campus itself. These houses do not have memberships, though many students of various houses physically live in them if, for whatever reason, they are unable to live in their own houses.
Caltech, founded in 1891, is a private institution. It conducts instruction at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and, including its off-campus facilities, is one of the world's major research institutions. Its mission to train creative scientists and engineers is achieved by conducting instruction in an atmosphere of research, accomplished by the close contacts between a relatively small group of students (approximately 900 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students) and the members of a relatively large research staff of 1,000 faculty members. Because of its size, Caltech is able to offer students the advantages of a three-to-one student/faculty ratio and participation in what has been described as "a community of scientists, a scholarly intimacy that cannot be found anywhere else." Its 124-acre campus is located in Pasadena, 10 miles from Los Angeles.
The school in the movie “Real Genius” is based on Caltech, and many of the subplots and pranks are based on real life events from the school’s history. Caltech has had more Nobel Prize winning professors and alumni per capita than any other school in the country. Notable former professors include Linus Pauling, Richard Feynman, and visiting professor Albert Einstein. Caltech has a 3:1 faculty-student ratio, the lowest of any top 50 research university. Caltech’s honor code is simply: “No member of the Caltech community shall take unfair advantage of any other member of the Caltech community.
Carl D. Anderson (1927) won the Nobel Prize in 1936 for the discovery of the positron.
Frank Capra (1918) was a director of such films as It’s a Wonderful Life.
Chester Floyd Carlson (1930) invented the photocopier and founded Xerox.
David Ho (1974) is a virologist and physician. He serves as the director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center and was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1996.
Sharon Long (1973) is a geneticist and molecular biologist. She is a pioneer in the study of how Rhizobium bacteria infect legume plants and establish a nitrogen-fixing symbiosis in root nodules. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1993.
Benoit Mandelbrot (1949) is a mathematician known as “the father of fractal geometry.”
John McCarthy (1948) is the inventor of Lisp programming language.
Linus Pauling (1925) was the first chemist to explain the nature of the chemical bond. He was the only person ever to win two unshared Nobel prizes: for chemistry in 1954, and for peace in 1962.
Harrison Schmitt (1957) is a former NASA astronaut who served one term as a Republican senator from New Mexico. Schmitt is also, to date, one of the last men to walk on the moon.
Caltech is not known for its sports teams (the basketball team just ended one of the longest losing streaks in history: 207 games lost, dating back to 1996). Like most Division III schools, Caltech does not give out sports scholarships or actively recruit athletes.
Houses do, however, have inter-house tournaments in various sports, both real and made up. Lloyd House, in particular, is known as the athletic house, and has held the Inter-house Trophy for the past five years. 25% of Caltech students participate in some form of athletics.