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The Olympiad is a nine-day international competition among pre-university students from more than 60 nations. — AAPT.ORG

Meet the Team

Photo of William Xi

William Xi

Perrysburg, OH

Perrysburg High School

Grade: Senior



Hobbies

Pickup Basketball, Playing the Piano, Competitive Pokemon, Food connoisseur, Listening to Music, Browsing Memes

Clubs

Perrysburg Orchestra, Speech and Debate, THT Basketball, Ohio ARML Team

Experience

USAMO Qualifier (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), MOP (2017), USAPhO Silver (2017, 2018), U.S. Physics Team (2019), USACO Platinum, PUPC Gold (2017, 2018)

Bio

Like many physics campers, my journey into academic competitions started in middle school with Mathcounts. Although nothing notable came out of my three years of participation, I was determined to work harder to become the strongest competitor I could be. I grew up in a very competitive environment. Many of my friends are and have always been amazing athletes that would constantly fight to be number one. This meant I had to try my hardest during what were supposed to be fun pickup basketball games even if it meant getting injuries or getting in scuffles. Although there aren’t any fights in math competitions, that same level of competitiveness translated over into the academic world. Don’t get me wrong, I love math and physics not just because I want to win awards; that would be shallow and unfulfilling. I would never turn down the chance to ponder over a difficult problem or learn something completely new. However, at the same time, I do want to be really good at pondering difficult problems and learning new things.

Right after I came out of middle school, I qualified for the USA Math Olympiad for the first time. Although I’d rather not talk about my score (hint: it’s nonpositive), I finally felt like I had accomplished something. The next year, I gave my shot at doing Physics Olympiads as well. The F=ma and USAPhO competitions were especially exciting because I felt like the problems I was doing actually represented something physical, even if the systems were highly idealized. Learning physics in all of its pure glory was also extremely worthwhile. It was fascinating to learn about all of the ways we can describe the physical world qualitatively and quantitatively and how physicists developed, changed, and reinforced their theories over time. I loved solving both problems that had real-world applications and cool pseudo-physics puzzles. I truly fell in love with the subject.

The past four years have been a whirlwind of excitement and disappointment. Of course there’s always room for improvement, there’s always that thought in the back of my mind that I could’ve done better. But the most important thing that I got out of participating in these competitions were not the awards or material things, it was the amazing people I met along the way (yes, I know it’s cliche, but it’s true).

Thanks to my family for supporting everything that I choose to pursue. I am especially grateful for my father who has spent countless hours of his precious time to help me discover my passions.

Thanks to my day one homies who have been by my side for as long as I can remember. You guys are truly, truly the best friends that I could ever wish to have. I will never, ever forget the memories we have forged throughout the years.

And finally, thanks to the friends that I have made through all of these competitions. You are an inspiration for me to keep working harder and to reach for the stars. Each and every one of you is so talented in countless ways. I will forever try to emulate your dedication and success in vain.

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Contact Information

For more details and information about the U.S. Physics Team, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org