** This page stolen from http://alumnus.caltech.edu/~erich/real_genius_refs.html 
I hate linking to pages that vanish as ~edu pages tend to.

Caltech References in Real Genius

Martha Coolidge's 1985 film Real Genius takes place at "Pacific Tech", a thinly disguised version of Caltech in Pasadena, California. Here are some elements of the film that reflect actual elements of Caltech life at the time of filming. (Most of the references are due to alumnus Dave Marvit, who was a consultant to the director and has a bit part in the film.)

Non-Techers may want to read this quick intro to the Tech Student House system.

(Note: I've used the past tense to describe some things, not because they are necessarily no longer part of Caltech life, but because I'm less in touch with Tech undergrad life these days and I'm no longer sure.)

Thanks to Paul Sainte-Marie, Alan Blanchard, Al Petterson, Jason Surace, Jim McBeath, Eve Andersson, Jon Hamkins, Greg Thain, Clare Tector, Neil Lloyd, Joshua Harris, John Denker, Jeff Hartt, Tom Perrine, Chris DiBona, Michael Backes, Brian Melody, Steve Allen, Kevin Fisher, Martha Coolidge, and many other Techers (and others) for help on some of these items.

If any of the above are incorrect, or you know of references I have forgotten, please mail me!

More information on famous Caltech pranks can be found in the books Legends of Caltech and More Legends of Caltech, available through the Caltech bookstore.


erich@alumni.caltech.edu (Updated May 26, 2004)