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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 Matthew Guo

Matthew Guo

San Jose, CA

Evergreen Valley High School

Grade: Sophomore


Badminton, playing video games, playing pop songs on piano, drinking milk tea


Math Club Treasurer, Physics Club President, Varsity Badminton Team


California State Mathcounts 2015 Champion, perfect score AMC 10 2016, USAJMO qualifier 2016, USAMO qualifier 2017, USACO Platinum since 2016, USAPhO silver medal 2016


Ever since I was little, I enjoyed challenges of the mind. I would spend my free time putting puzzles together, playing video games that involved challenges, and constructing the most powerful engine ever built in human history with legos that could easily slice through any material with its razor sharp blades and faster than light speed (or so I thought). The exhilaration caused by solving a puzzle or completing a challenge was enough by itself to motivate me to continue down this path.

Eventually, once I had experienced a few years of school, I found that the most enjoyable subject was, by far, math. My expedition into the realm of mathematics began in 7th grade, when my father brought me to my first math competition with high hopes. During the award ceremony, he was pretty disappointed when results were announced, as I didn’t receive anything, but as we were about to leave, we realized that those results were from last month’s competition. We then waited, anticipating the most recent results, and it turned out that I won first place! This was the first time I received any real recognition for my interest in mathematics. This compelled me to continue studying math and read all sorts of math textbooks, and I began to excel.

At this point, I thought it couldn’t get any better. Math was so enticing, unlike any subject I had ever seen before. However, I soon found out I was deeply mistaken when I took my first physics class in eighth grade. I could not have asked for a better instructor. My teacher, Mr. Singhal, realized that I had a special interest in physics and gave me further challenge problems that I found fascinating. Physics was a whole new world to me. Unlike the other sciences, everything just made sense. The workings of the world, all the laws that governed motion, were just so beautiful. Soon afterwards, I started investing many hours every week exploring the vast universe of physics.

Unlike most of my peers, solving the challenging physics problems was an immense pleasure. The first year that I took the F=ma, I passed and was invited to take the USAPhO! At that time, I only had knowledge of mechanics and a bit of E&M, but luckily, the mechanics questions were relatively easy that year, so I managed to land myself with a silver medal! This motivated me to continue studying physics, and I’m extremely glad that all of that hard work paid off.

As to be expected, there are some people I truly wish to thank with all of my heart, because without them, I could not possibly have been invited to enjoy this wonderful experience. Firstly, I would like to thank my parents for always being supportive of my passion towards physics and providing motivation and encouragement to me, especially during hard times. I am also extremely grateful towards my amazing physics teachers, Mr. Singhal and Dr. Tang. Mr. Singhal was a dedicated, extraordinary teacher who instilled his passion for physics into me. Dr. Tang, on the other hand, taught me almost all of the knowledge I have about physics. I would also like to thank David Marasco of Foothill College for creating the opportunity for me to take the F=ma and USAPhO for the first time. Lastly, I wish to give my gratitude to Mr. Lubbs and Anton Cao, for sacrificing their precious time to organize the F=ma and USAPhO tests for everyone at our school to participate in.

I am truly honored to be part of the 2017 Physics Team and am very much looking forward to meet all the other students and the faculty at the camp!!!

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