From Tom Berto

Dear Doctor Acosta –

I apologize for taking so long to write.  A friend and I, on a recent Sierra backpacking trip, discussed our favorite and most significant college professors.  In my case, you are both of those. 

At Caltech, I had the unalloyed pleasure of learning fluid mechanics from you in my junior year, and heat transfer from you in my senior year.  Those two classes began what has become my lifelong love affair with mechanical engineering – and let into an ongoing career of 34 years.

I appreciate the wisdom and the inimitable, graceful style with which you taught those classes.  At times, I was transfixed, and at all times, I was learning.

Over the years I’ve been able to apply that experience in my career as a mechanical engineer.

You also provided direct and clear guidance to me at the end of my senior year, in regard to the choice between starting my professional career immediately, or continuing on in academia for a Master of Science degree.  As you put it: “You can work for the rest of your life.”   I remained a student for a while longer, attained my Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley, and never regretted any aspect of that experience for a moment.  I appreciated, then and now, your thoughts at that crucial time in my life.

I thank you, sir.   

Most sincerely, a devoted former student –

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