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In 1986, under the direction of the AAPT Executive Officer, Jack Wilson, the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) organized the United States Physics Team for the first time. — AAPT.ORG

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Vickie Ye

Irvine, CA

Avid Academy for Gifted Youth

Grade: Senior


Running, violin, reading, belting out show tunes, salsa dancing, eating apples


Varsity XC and track, Orange County Math Circle, Math Club, Mu Alpha Theta, SoCal ARML, chamber music groups


USAPhO, USNCO, AIME, some materials science research


I grew up in laid-back, always-sunny Southern California and have spent most of my life being the jack of all trades and the master of none. While this means that the people around me generally have more expertise than I do in whatever subject at hand, I would never give up the objectivity and perspective of being the perpetual outsider. It's humbling and instructive, and I hope I never take myself seriously enough to consider myself the inside expert on anything. That being said, I do hope that I at least understand enough physics to not drown (flailing frantically) at physics camp (again) this year!

In all seriousness though, I am truly honored to have been invited back to camp this year. In the past whirlwind of a year of trying to figure out what's important to me and what I'm going to do with myself after high school, physics has been a constant and a comfort. I'm beyond excited to come have my mind blown, limits tested, and horizons expanded one more time. Last year's camp showed me the beauty, scope, and versatility of this "science of approximations" and the mentality behind it. Physics wasn't just cool stuff I studied all alone; it was something to be discussed with inspiring people and applied to all fields of thought.

Now, on the eve of high school graduation, I'm not quite sure what exactly I'll be doing, but I know I'll forge ahead with the math and physics foundation I've established during high school. I look forward to explore the huge and enthusiastic engineering and research scheme at MIT this fall, and see what happens from there. I'm so grateful for all the opportunities for scientific development I've been given these past years, and I can't wait for many more!

Thank you Mom and Dad and Dr. Li and Mr. Beilin and the Beckman administration for all of your support and help thus far. I don't know where I would be without you.

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