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Good News: CUNY Nobel Science Challenge Winner March 4, 2012

Posted by peterxu422 in education, Science.

I have the great pleasure and honor of winning 2nd place in the CUNY Nobel Science Challenge in the Physics category. The goal of the challenge is to get CUNY students to contribute to science literacy in New York City and become aware of the important scientific discoveries that these Nobel Laureates are making. The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt, and Adam Reiss for discovering the accelerating expansion of the universe, a discovery that is literally of cosmic proportions.

The winning essays can be found here on this site: Winning Essays

There are categories in Chemistry, Physiology/Medicine, and Economics as well. In the previous year, I submitted an entry but was not received as a winner. I was somewhat saddened, but content that I tried anyway. I got to learn a little bit about the previous year’s Nobel Winner’s exciting work which was in graphene, a 2-dimensional sheet of carbon atoms. It was a rewarding learning opportunity. This year I was hesitant about submitting an essay, but I decided to go through with it anyway. The previous year’s experience intrigued me so much about the Nobel Prize and the science behind it that I approached this more as a learning experience than as a competition. Fortunately, I came upon one of those blessed moments where fun and interest met reward.

The Award Ceremony was equally exciting. It was held at CUNY’s Central Office on the far East side of Manhattan and 1st Ave. The building was beautiful. Food was great too. They presented the award to each of the winners individually and spent some time on each one reading their bios and talking about their essays. Winners received an award encased in a beautiful frame and a very generous gift prize. I won an iPad2! Other winners received Kindles and iMac computers, and the grand prize winner received an additional $3,000. It was also a wonderful networking opportunity, as many higher order faculty of the CUNY system were there. I spoke to other fellow CUNY students and someone in charge of the Postdoc program who gave interesting advice about career paths. I was also privileged to meet Chancellor Goldstein and Tracy Day, co-founder of the World Science Festival. She was kind enough to thank me for volunteering during the summer as well as provide me her contact information so that I may be in touch with her this summer as I do an internship in China.

This essay challenge was a very wonderful idea and I am grateful to all of those who were involved in making it happen. Their efforts to raise scientific literacy and interest are evidently quite successful. I encourage everyone to participate in this challenge, not for the sake of winning, but for the sake of being informed. Even though I was unsuccessful in my first attempt, winning it the second time was more special because it solidified my resolve to remain informed about the happenings within the Nobel community every year. Though it seems like the iPad is one of the most valuable things in the world today, it can never replace the rewards of enlightenment and experience.

Photos From the Ceremony

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   1. Prof. George - March 16, 2012

Wow. Congratulations!

   2. Peter - March 16, 2012

Thank you!

   3. infilnation - March 26, 2012

Tonight I catch myself scrolling through your blog wondering to what great heights you may reach one day. You’re destined for the cosmos and beyond, congratulations Peter!

   4. Peter - March 27, 2012

Wow, I’m very touched…Thank you for your kind words. I hope wherever that may be, I’ll be bringing some real value to the world.

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