I am a rising senior at Cornell University in the Applied & Engineering Physics program. Ever since I was young, I have always been interested in science and mathematics. Some of my earliest memories are of wandering around the neighborhood looking for interesting rocks, reading any book I could find about astronomy, and watching Bill Nye the science guy (a Cornell alum - go figure). At Lower Merion High School I competed in Science Olympiad and was part of the Technology Student Association (TSA) as well as our newly-formed FIRST Robotics team. Physics has always been the subject that most excites me because I believe that explaining the fundamental workings of the world around us is one of the most worthwhile things we can do in our time.

Having read biographies of Feynman, Einstein, and Oppenheimer, I know that physicists can be interesting and engaging people in their own right. Thus, I try to make my life as varied and vibrant as possible without overextending myself: at Cornell I am part of an a cappella group (the Class Notes) in addition to the Cornell Glee Club, and I work at the faculty computer support center. The environment at school is great because I get to talk to people from all seven colleges, and it's cool to be around people with wildly differing interests. I did an REU last summer at the University of Maryland in which I did some plasma modeling, and I am excited to gain a footing in another field that I don't know about - optics and laser cooling. It will be nice to have seen the breadth of research available when applying to grad school in the fall.

Jacob Chamoun

Laser Teaching Center