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
Meet the Team
Rubik’s cubes, IDM Music, Adventure Time, Crossfit
Florida Student Association of Florida (FLSAM), Mu Alpha Theta, First Robotics, Gulliver Engineering
USAMO (2016), USAJMO (2015), USAChO (High Honors/Top 50, 2015), USAPhO (Gold 2016, Silver 2015), Princeton University Physics Competition (second place and Gold Medal, 2015), USAMTS (Honorable Mention, 2016, 2015), ARML, HMMT, PUMAC
From a very young age, while I had a magnificent curiosity about how the world around me worked, I had horrendous grades in elementary school math and science and existed entirely in the Ed Edd n’ Eddy universe. I always was somewhat interested in science, even if I didn't pester my parents with questions about atoms, galaxies, or the Euler-Lagrange equations like many of my teammates might have done. Nature documentaries were always so breathtaking and fun to behold, and Mythbusters was by far my favorite show on television (definitely not for the explosions, right?).
In fourth grade, my mother hijacked my education and invested much of her own time to advance me in math and science. As a result, I was able to accelerate in those subjects in school, finding myself in the local high school at ten years old. We then moved to Miami so that I could continue my advancement in high school, and have been taking post-AP classes at University of Miami since the summer after seventh grade.
I didn’t get serious about physics, however, until I took AP Physics C in sophomore year. It was this class that fully revealed to me the fun, challenging, and rigorous side of the field. Equations weren't simply handed to me; rather, armed with precise definitions and the power of calculus, I could derive these results and understand where they came from. I finally understood the how and why of things like conservation of energy, as well as new topics like torque and cross products. I was exposed to beautiful and challenging problems, the types I felt proud and satisfied to have solved. And in fact, many of these beautiful physics problems can be reduced to beautiful mathematics problems. Looking back, my previous experience with and love for math problem solving ensured that physics would be just as rewarding as math had been. From basic algebra to vector calculus, one cannot do physics without a strong appreciation for mathematics.
These days, when I’m not memorizing Morin’s limericks or trying to understand angular momentum, I do research at the Klein Lab at the University of Miami, which works in analyzing Drosophila larva motion in response to various stimuli to elucidate animal behavior in general. I will be attending MIT in the fall to study computer science and physics.
I am incredibly proud to join the USA Physics Team and hope to represent the United States (and implicitly, my parent’s homeland of Pakistan) on the international stage. I am forever indebted to my parents, who helped lead me to this point; to Ms. Cooper, Dr. Vaida, and Prof. Nepomechie for teaching me all the various types of physics; to my now-retired calculus teacher Ms. Kaplan; and to my fellow teammate Jimmy Qin for his guidance. And finally, I owe a big thanks to the AAPT for supplying me with a slew of rewarding problems to work through, and for inspiring my perpetual quest for more of them.
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