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James Lim

Andover, MA

Phillips Andover Academy

Grade: Sophomore


Track (Yes, it can also be a hobby), Cycling, Squash, Enjoying the [spring] sunshine, Web surfing, Reading (Faction/Futurology/Current issues)


Varsity Track Team(300/400/LJ), Math Team, Science Club, Debate Society, Model UN, Entrepreneur Initiative, Economics Team, International Club, Science Tutor Center


USAMO (2008-2010), USNCO, Recipient of the Simmons Award, NACLO (Finalist), Korean Physics Olympiad (Gold), Korean Mathematics Olympiad (Gold), Korean Biology Olympiad (Gold), Harvard-MIT Math Tournament (5th, 2010/Nationals)


I was born in sunny Los Angeles on March 17th, 1993. When I was 2 years old, my family moved back to Seoul, South Korea, where I basically grew up my whole life until last September. My childhood memories are predominantly of my great liking for a great variety of things, such as biking around the neighborhood, subways (I still give the Seoul Metro system and its innumerable stairs substantial credit for my varsity track letter), TV game shows, and social networking. Coming back to reality, I am currently a sophomore at Phillips Academy, MA and so I guess my current residency would be here at Andover (a lovely small town about 25 miles northwest of Boston). Some interesting aspects of me include that I am quite a life enthusiast, that I believe a 400m race is a great representation of life, and that I am an avid city-life advocate (Having grown up in metropolitan Seoul, this makes quite some sense).

Just as a typical PA student would, I constantly strive to find the right balance point between the myriad of passions to pursue, the clubs and organizations to take a hand in, the awesome peers to hang out with, the great [spring] weather to enjoy to its fullest, and of course, a ton of schoolwork. As of now, my life is full to the brim with stuff that keeps me busy 24/7-track, science stuff, and simply having a good time with my friends, just to name a few. Preparing for the qualification process amidst this hectic circle of life was a challenging yet nevertheless rewarding experience.

I first gained interest in physics back in middle school-math was the first subject that I showed potential in, but physics presented a new sense of investigation and application that quickly captured my attention. Frankly, the mere description that we usually attribute to the subject of physics, "Understanding how the world around us works," was enough for a middle schooler who had 'some' spare time and was an all-round life enthusiast. Over the span of a few years, I travelled step by step along the seemingly infinite stretch of physics knowledge, finding the subject to be just as intriguing as it was on the first day I came across it. This year was the first "sprint" I "ran" along the sequence of U.S. Physics Olympiads, and I am very glad to have made it into the Team.

On a final note, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to my family and friends, without whose warm support and encouragement I would not be writing this autobiography right now.

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