AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Team Facts & News

From 1986 to 2017, the United States Teams have brought home: 61 Gold Medals, 43 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions. — AAPT.ORG

2016 Physics Olympics Team Banner
 

Meet the Team

 
Photo of Tiffany Huang

Tiffany Huang

Saratoga, CA

Saratoga High School

Grade: Junior

Hobbies

playing violin (and attempting to “play” other instruments), running, eating, drinking boba, listening to music, watching random videos, chatting friends, wasting time on Facebook

Clubs

Math Club, Computer Science Club, Coach for Redwood Middle School Math Club, History/Quiz Bowl Team, Cross Country Team, California Youth Symphony

Experience

AIME Qualifier (2014-2017), USAJMO Qualifier (2015), USACO Platinum Division (2016-2017), History Bowl Nationals (2015-2016), MathCounts (NorCal) State (2014), Math Prize for Girls (2015), USAPhO Semifinalist (2016-2017)

Bio

You learn something new every day!

—or so I strive for (not in the ironic “This is actually really obvious” kind of way, of course). My curiosity has been a motif present throughout my life. It’s gotten me into some trouble, I’ll admit (see: preschooler Tiffany Huang, a highway, a car door), but, so far, my love and appreciation for “learning for the sake of learning,” as they say, has shaped my life and myself in ways that I am surely proud of. It’s left me pondering the inner workings of machines and incessantly asking my parents silly questions about anything I can think up. It’s allowed me to be swept in rolling waves of experience contained in novels and kept me awake during history documentaries that left my classmates drooling. But above all, it’s led me to the shining beacons of academics in my life: math and science.

It started with math, like many “physics-ing” kids. Elementary school was a time when I barely knew my lefts and rights (still get it wrong sometimes) and my friends looked at me weirdly when I said I didn’t know how to multiply fractions. But it was also when I first dabbled in contest math, namely Math Olympiad. An environment that encouraged an interest in math soon began to solidify around me.

The next breakthrough came in middle school, with my discovery of the AMC series and MathCounts. My first two years were without significant results, but after a disappointingly subpar performance at the MathCounts Chapter competition in 7th grade, my interest in math became combined, in a true power-couple relationship, with a drive to prove myself. The desire to achieve and the passion for discovering further the raw but perfect beauty of, the complex yet simple approaches to the mathematical world launched my budding talent forward.

Then, I found physics. The perfect combination of math and scientific theory. The magnificent and beautiful explanation for the universe around us. The subject required appreciation, and I dove right in. After devouring sufficient knowledge, I tackled the F=ma exam sophomore year. And with the months of study I had embarked on beforehand, I managed to slip through and qualify for the USAPhO semifinals. I thought that was the end, my limit, for that year, and I was happy with the accomplishments of my first try. Then came the surprise e-mail, an invitation to be on the 2016 U.S. Physics Team. The experience invigorated me. Being surrounded by people who shared my passions and filling a week with lectures, labs, and problems only spurred me on.

I pushed forward. The experience gave me awareness of my potential, and I strove to achieve that potential. I buckled down for another year of learning, pushed forward to hone my skills, pushed forward to broaden my knowledge. And here I am.

Through the hustle of junior year, the precarious balance between studying and a social life, and the overconsumption of boba (or bubble tea as we’ll call it in Maryland), I’ve arrived at another opportunity to attend the physics training camp, and I am both proud and immensely grateful.

« back to the team

Disclaimer: Information in Physics Team profiles is provided by the Team members and is in no way a reflection of AAPT's opinions or views.

 

Contact Information

For more details and information about the US Physics Team, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org