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The Olympiad is a nine-day international competition among pre-university students from more than 60 nations. — AAPT.ORG

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Meet the Team


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Charles Wang

Alexandria, VA

Thomas Jefferson HS for Sci-Tech

Grade: Freshman


Tennis, Reading, Programming


Physics Team, Electronics Club, Poi, Computer Security, Product Design Club


Distinguished Honor Roll for AMC 12 (multiple years), USAPHO Gold (2014), AP Scholar with Distinction Award (2014)


I always sought to know how the world works, driving me to ask countless questions since I was three and a half years old, according to my parents. Astronomy interested me first, which impressed me with pictures of nebulas and galaxies. Once in second grade I discussed science with one of my teachers’ son, a scientist in a particle accelerator lab. At the end of the talk, he gave me the PDG 2010 particle physics booklet that I could not understand, driving me to try to learn particle physics. I learned that to understand particle physics, I needed to learn quantum mechanics first, then differential equations, and so on. This inspired me to start learning math from the ground up.

My strengths are grasping new concepts easily, visualizing concepts, and linking them together into a big picture. Complex theoretical problems intrigue me, and I prefer working on them. In Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (TJHSST), there are many courses involving the tech labs, and I am getting practice with experimental methods. I am excited to learn more about experimental skills and to meet intelligent new people in the USAPHO camp.

As a freshman in TJHSST, I am taking Quantum Mechanics and Electrodynamics, Multivariable, Advanced Matrix Techniques, and DNA I & II. I read the magazines Science and Nature, usually from cover to cover. I have not decided on what field I will go into later on, but I will probably explore interdisciplinary fields.

I would like to thank my preschool teacher Mrs. Bahr for seeding my interest in science; Mrs. O' Connor for fostering my interest in math and science; Mr. Williams for deepening my interest in math; my AP teachers in Chantilly High School for teaching me while I was still an elementary student. Finally, I would like to specially thank Dr. Dell, Dr. Wood, and Dr. Osborne at TJHSST, who have not only taught me in class, but also acted as guiding stars in my life. Without the help of all my teachers, I would not have become who I am today.

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