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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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Meet the Team

Photo of Andrew Wang

Andrew Wang

Andover, MA

Phillips Andover Academy

Grade: Junior


Running, reading and writing, playing clarinet and piano, programming, playing chess, and exploring new places


Varsity Track Team (110HH and 300IH), Math Club, Astronomy Club, Physics Club, Dorm Proctor, Co-Founder of Hack New England High Schools (hackNEHS), Science Study Center Physics Tutor


4x USA(J)MO Qualifier (2013, 2015, 2016, 2017), USAPHO Silver Medal 2016, PUPC Silver Medal 2016, HMMT 2016-2017, HMNT 1st place team 2015


My formative years were spent in the wonderful town of Thousand Oaks, California, where I learned to read, solve math problems, keep my eyes open to the wonders of the world, and, perhaps most importantly, to pursue my goals relentlessly, no matter what hurdles I face along the way. This last point applies in both a physical and a mental sense. I joined the local track and field team in middle school and decided to run the hurdles, the 400- meter dash, and the 4x400 meter relay. From each of these events, I learned an important lesson. I found out very early on that hurdles, no matter how high, could be overcome with self-discipline, dedication, and a willingness to work hard. Every time I ran the 400-meter dash, my legs went numb and my lungs burned, but I had no choice but to resist the pain and to keep sprinting to the finish line. Then there was the 4x400 relay, which would have been just as painful as the open 400 if not for all of my teammates shouting and cheering me on as I ran down the last straightaway. I was a part of a team, something bigger than myself, and that fact made my own struggles feel much more manageable.

The steadfast pursuit of excellence that I gained from track has carried over to my intellectual pursuits, where I relentlessly search for solutions to challenging problems and for a greater understanding of the world around us and the world beyond us. My love for cosmology and physics came from reading Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time in 7th grade. Participating in math competitions while in middle school allowed me to hone my problem solving abilities and build the mathematical foundation that enabled me to pursue physics successfully upon arriving at Phillips Academy, where I have taken advantage of every opportunity to study physics. Through a calculus-based introduction to Mechanics and E&M, a college-level course on Fluid Mechanics, and a term of advanced classical mechanics, I gained a sense of physical intuition that complemented my mathematical background. Moreover, I have had the invaluable opportunity to apply my problem solving skills through research in biophysics and astrophysics throughout the past two years, and I am excited to see where physics takes me next.

Now, in high school, I run over much higher hurdles, and the hurdle races are longer and far more taxing. But my resilience and dogged pursuit of learning and self-improvement are still with me, and that is true whether I am running on the track or trying to find the key idea to a physics problem. Life is simply a series of hurdles, some higher than others, but all surmountable. Needless to say, I look forward to joining this team of brilliant physics students and overcoming new hurdles at the training camp.

Finally, thank you to Ms. Odden, Mika, and Ms. Yao for your wonderful teaching, and thanks to my parents for your endless love and support.

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