AAPT: American Association of Physics Teachers

AAPT Member Spotlight

Meet Sylvester

I never dreamt I would have 22 students in a “summer class” where there are three Brown University undergraduates, three Caltech undergraduates, three students from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, one in Abu Dhabi, one a recent B. S graduate who just finished his degree program at Pepperdine University, and the remainder are undergraduates from the University of Maryland. But these are the young students I have been engaging since the first week of June. Of course, this is possible due to the technological platform we use…Zoom.

How in the world did this happen? Let’s go back to the beginning, at least as it is relevant to this story.

During the summer of 1999, my colleague, collaborator, and friend Prof. Vincent Rodgers (a member of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa) came for a visit to College Park. This was not unusual as we were collaborating a lot in those times on joint research papers related to the topics of supersymmetry and string theory. That summer, he was accompanied by one of his graduate students, Takeshi Yasuda, and a student named Carina Curto. Carina was an undergraduate at Harvard but had gone to high school in Iowa City, where Vincent had been her mentor. Her dad was Vincent’s dean, Prof. Raul Curto (Mathematics)!


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