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Team Facts & News

From 1986 to 2013, the United States Teams have brought home: 49 Gold Medals, 35 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions. — AAPT.ORG

Meet the Team

Rohan Kodialam

Hobbies

Programming, Quizbowl

Clubs

Academic Team, Science Bowl, Computer Science League

Experience

NJ Physics II League 1st in State, HSNCT 2013 top 33 team, AIME qualifier (2014)

Bio

My earliest childhood memories are of cozy evenings spent curled up in the family room learning math and science from my Dad, an applied mathematician. I so wanted to be like him and when I was six, I thought I had made my first great "original discovery" when I "proved" that except for the first three integers, no two consecutive numbers except 2 and 3 can be prime. My proud but very amused Dad gently told me that this was a well-known fact, and I was so disappointed. But my love of math has stayed with me.

As a child, I was fascinated with trains. I spent hours with the giant Baldwin engine at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. The Franklin Institute also introduced me to the world of Ben Franklin and his inventions and instilled a love of science. I love to read, pretty much any non-fiction appeals to me but I especially enjoy reading about mythology, history and geography.

The summer before high school, I saw a calculus book at home and I started to read it. Unlike algebra and trigonometry that I had learnt at school, calculus spoke about the motion of objects. I was surprised by the fact that most of calculus was initially developed by physicists. I thought that it might be a good idea to learn some physics. Knowing a little calculus helped me understand mechanics but I had a harder time with electromagnetics since I did not know any vector calculus. Then, I found "Grad, Div, Curl and All That" in the library and found that electromagnetics was fun. I decided to take the AP Physics C tests at the end of my sophomore year. Since I had already prepared for the APs, I decided to try out for the Physics Olympiad. I was inspired and helped by Kevin Zhou, a senior in my school who was in the Physics Olympiad team and loved to teach physics to anyone willing to learn. I learned a lot from him. I got a bronze medal in the semifinals and I was truly disappointed that I did not do better.

I continued to learn more physics during my junior year and I discovered the most exciting Physics book: Feynman's Lectures on Physics. Feynman's enthusiasm and the simplicity and clarity with which he explains hard concepts has made me enjoy Physics even more. I am delighted and honored to be part of the team this year. I am really excited to meet other high school kids who love physics and I am looking forward to a great experience at the camp.

I would like to thank my math and physics teachers for everything they have taught me. I'd like to thank my parents and my grandparents for encouraging me and pushing me to do my best. And last but not least I'd like to thank my little brother for all the fun that we have together.

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