2012 team

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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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Photo of Suhail Farooqui

Suhail Farooqui

Sacramento, CA

Mira Loma High School

Grade: Sophomore


Programming, solving math problems, teaching, reading science/politics, drama, playing video games, watching anime


Norcal ARML team (SFBA B1), Mira Loma Science Bowl, Math club, Mira Loma Comedy Sportz club, Pursuit of Excellence in Science, UC Davis Math Circle


American Mathematics Competitions, ARML, California MathLeague, mathleague.org Local/State Competitions, Mandelbrot, 3rd Place Regional Science Bowl, Zero Robotics 2011 High School Tournament (12th place Tier 1), Chemistry Olympiad regional qualifier 2011, Math Olympiad for Elementary and Middle School competition (MOEMS) top 5%


Hi, I am Yash and I live in Sacramento, CA. I go to Mira Loma High School. I love Math and Physics. I think I enjoyed Math since I was young. I remember how happy I felt when I learned fractions while I was in 2nd grade, and the teacher was actually teaching a 3rd grade class! I know it is kind of silly, but maybe that happiness led me to learn new and interesting concepts in math! Even today, I continue to have fun with solving math problems and I am excited to learn new concepts or new ways of addressing the problems.

In 5th grade, I also learned about another one of my passions, computer programming. Specifically, I wanted to learn programming so that I could create new video games as I loved to play them. Throughout my middle school years, I programmed many video games and spent much of my free time working on them. I started out using tools such as Multimedia Fusion 2, but eventually taught myself C# and Java.

My first exposure to physics came about two and a half years ago, when I was working on programming a videogame and wondered how to program a realistic projectile motion with gravity. This led me to learn about basic kinematics and use it in my game. At that time, I did not pursue physics much further.

One year later, at Mira Loma High School, I learned physics for Mira Loma's science bowl team. Although I did not make the A team that year, I befriended and received guidance from the members of the 2011 Mira Loma Science Bowl team throughout the year and in the following year. I first learned about USA Physics Olympiad in my freshman year but was not able to compete.

This year, I began to teach myself physics using the textbook "University Physics" as a reference. I also used a series of lectures from Professor Walter Lewin from MIT OpenCourseWare.

For me, learning physics was eye-opening. Through physics, I could see how and why things worked. The most exciting thing about physics for me is its amazing ability to explain the physical world through simple mathematical models. Newtonian mechanics is one particularly elegant example of this, relying on three fundamental laws and Maxwell's equations are equally simple and powerful. I am sure many on the team share my sentiments.

Over the past two years, I also became a lot better at mathematics competitions. Ninth grade, doing high school level math competitions was enlightening and made me realize the vast knowledge still left to be learned. Since then, I have been working to become better at math competitions as well as non-competition mathematics.

Outside of academics, I still love to do programming and program videogames. Recently, I made a videogame utilizing procedural generation to randomly create game levels which the player could explore.

I am excited to be part of the USA Physics Olympiad team and look forward to meeting my fellow team members at training camp in June. I am thankful for this opportunity and I am committed to doing my best at the camp.

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