Benjamin L Michel
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, MA
Cello, frisbee, those "book" things, watching Seinfeld, ping pong, eating stuff (usually food)
Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, math team, Science Bowl team
National Science Bowl regional winner, AIME, Mandelbrot Competition, National Merit Scholar, other even more mundane things
I was born on February 18, 1988 just outside Boston, MA on what may or may not have been a dark or stormy night. At age four, I moved from the city to the 'burbs (to the hamlet of Lincoln, best known for being between a bunch of more famous towns like Lexington and Concord) where I have lived ever since. My early childhood was largely spent walking into blunt objects (like walls), which probably explains a lot about me but not why I continue to do so to this day. It was at around the age of five that I started to play cello, although I was initially under the impression that a cello was a trumpet and was very disappointed when I was handed this big wooden instrument instead of a shiny metal one. One night when I was seven, after going to the Boston Museum of Science planetarium and seeing a program on black holes, I had a nightmare in which I was sucked beyond the event horizon in a split second. And so as I tried to console myself by reading more about this phenomenon, I discovered that I was actually interested in what was going on with this weird space thing, and in physics in general; the rest, as they say, is history.
In my copious free time, I still play the cello in a variety of contexts (classical, jazz-fusion and klezmer). I also watch entirely too much Seinfeld, play frisbee, and enjoy eating ice cream (my favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip, although I do appreciate a good pistachio). And I love books, especially ones by Dostoevsky or Bulgakov or Kafka (or Camus or Orwell or Marquez…). Wow I'm abusing parentheses here. I'm very interested in other cultures and languages; I spent last summer living in Japan and hope to spend some time abroad in a Spanish-speaking country during college. Speaking of college, I have no idea where I'm going to go, but I'm deciding between Harvard, Yale and MIT, where I'll probably major in some combination of physics and something else. And that's just about it.