2011 US Physics Team Scores Two Gold and Three Silver Medals



Contact: Marilyn Gardner
American Association of Physics Teachers

July 17, 2011 — The traveling members of the US Physics team competed with 393 of the most talented young physicists on the global stage, representing 84 countries, during the 42nd International Physics Olympiad and they brought home two gold and three silver medals. The Olympiad, held July 10-17, was sponsored by the Promotion of Academic Olympiads and Development of Science Education Foundation (POSN), under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra, and Chulalongkorn University (CU), in Bangkok, Thailand.

The gold medalists are Brian Zhang, a senior at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA, and Ante Qu, a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, Princeton Junction, NJ.  Brian scored 8th highest overall in the competition.

The silver medalists are Lucy Chen, a senior at Ames High School, Ames, IA, Andrew Das Sarma, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, MD, and Eric Speiglan, a junior from Naperville North High School in Naperville, IL.  Andrew’s score ranked him as the second highest silver medalist.

Four countries won five gold medals: Taiwan, China, Singapore, and Korea.  These four countries also had unofficial aggregate total scores above the US.  The US aggregate total score was fifth highest. 

Six countries won three gold medals: Hong Kong, India, Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, and Slovakia.

The United States "tied" for eleventh on the medal count with Romania.

The coaches for the 2011 U.S. Physics team are: Paul Stanley, Academic Director/Senior Coach, Warren Turner, Senior Coach/Lab Coach, Andrew Lin, Jia Jia Dong, Quizi Li, David Fallest, and Marianna Mao, Junior Coach.

The U.S. Physics Olympiad Program was started in 1986 by AAPT to promote and demonstrate academic excellence. It continues to be supported as a joint initiative between AAPT, AIP, and the member societies of the American Institute for Physics: Acoustical Society of America, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, American Astronomical Society, American Crystallographic Society, American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, AVS, Optical Society America, and The Society of Rheology.

The 42nd IPhO was organized and hosted through the generous support of the Royal Thai Government and the POSN (The Promotion of Academic Olympiad and Development of Science Education Foundation). The nine-day international competition brought together The IPhO this year, with about 393 participating pre-university students from more than 84 nations.

• Main website of the U.S. Physics Team: http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/2011/index.cfm
• History of the physics team, including past winners: http://www.aapt.org/physicsteam/program.cfm
• The official website of the International Physics Olympiad: http://www.ipho2011.org/
• Screening exams the students had to pass to place on the U.S. Physics Team: http://www.compadre.org/psrc/evals/olympiad.cfm.

Funding for the U.S. Physics Team is supported through donations from concerned individuals and organizations. Contributions are entirely used to support the selection, training, and travel of the team. Donations to the U.S. Physics Team are accepted at www.aapt.org/physicsteam/donate.cfm.

About AAPT
AAPT is the premier national organization and authority on physics and physical science education —with more than 10,000 members worldwide. Our mission is to advance the greater good through physics teaching. We provide our members with many opportunities for professional development, communication, and student enrichment. We serve the larger community through a variety of programs and publications. AAPT was founded in 1930 and is headquartered in the American Center for Physics in College Park, Maryland.