Hi, my name is Ben Coe, and I am from Oneonta, NY. Ever since my childhood I have been interested in the sciences. Since the dawn of time science and scientists have worked to uncover the truth in the world. This pursuit for knowledge of how the universe functions has always fascinated me. I have always wanted to know how the world around me works and have enjoyed searching for the answers, and the quest to quantify the principles of the universe. Physicists have always been the closest of the scientists to the quantification of the universe. Physics breaks down the motion of the particles of the world to their most basic representations with equations. With these equations physicists are working towards being able to explain and quantify all interactions that occur in the universe. When one considers it, everything in psychology and sociology comes from biology, from basic human instincts. Everything in biology comes, in turn, from chemistry, from metabolic processes to DNA reproduction. Chemistry comes simply from the interaction of subatomic particles, which is just physics. Everything from explosions to water melting to complex human interactions can be explained by physics. This utterly basic view of the universe that comes with an understanding of physics is, I believe, a pure and elegant view of the universe and its inhabitants.

Since I was young, even before beginning school, I have always loved math and science. My grandfather worked for ground control for the Apollo missions to the moon, and by the age of four I had my heart set on being an astronaut, going so far as to making an astronaut costume complete with a shoebox chest-plate and a garbage can lid helmet. This dream eventually waned as I learned more about spaceflight and that it was less like Star Trek than I had imagined, and I turned my attentions to observing the cosmos from the earth. The summer after fourth grade I began attending the Kopernik Space Education Center for summer programs for two weeks a year. I continued attending these programs as well as several weekend programs every year until the spring of 2010. Through these I have learned the basics of sciences from geology to physics to engineering to astronomy and I have enjoyed them all. Science is the search for knowledge that humans have been partaking in since before time was recorded, long before Socrates and the School at Athens. Scientific research came when our ancestors tried a berry and after several of them died for it, they decided not to eat the berry. Any search for knowledge through experimentation is what science is. This search for knowledge is crucial to human development to the point it is at today, and to advance it further as civilization expands and matures.

Math appealed to me because there was a right answer, there was a way it was supposed to work, there was a system that always applied and always worked for a reason, not like English which was full of arbitrary rules that you had to ignore sometimes and sometimes change. Math obeyed the laws of numbers, not letters, and it always obeyed those rules, because that is how numbers always worked, not like letters which could be long or short, soft or hard, or any other variation depending on what word they were used in, and even when spelled differently sometimes they changed rules to sound the same for no apparent reason. But math was even more than that. With math, you learned the rules and once you knew the rules you could go and continue following those rules to wherever you would like them to take you. With math you can expand an equation and know it is right just by being sure that you follow the rules. In English just trying to spell a word based on known rules is not good enough. Many words break some rules but not others, or use different variations of rules, such as 'i' before 'e' except after 'c'. With math, a plus sign always means addition, a circle is always 360 degrees, and 'a' squared plus 'b' squared will always be equal to 'c' squared. This firmness in the rules of mathematics gives each equation and its solution truth that cannot be found in other fields.

Throughout my school career my interest in math and science has continued to grow. I most recently took AP physics and AP calculus and I have learned about optics more in depth from textbooks and various articles and papers. I hope to continue to expand my understanding of the subject and look forward to working with Dr. Noe this summer.