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Student Spotlight

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Homeschooled Teen Wins Gold at Physics Olympiad

Name: Evan Erickson


Grade: 11

State: Minnesota

Became Mu Eta Sigma member in: 2021

Describe why you enjoy math: I enjoy the process of working from starting assumptions and to be able to get new results. I love problem solving, whether in math, science, or elsewhere.

Describe how you anticipate using math in your future: I hope to work in the field of physics, which is very math intensive. I’d also like to continue helping school math teams.

I have been involved in my community through the following service projects: Coaching my local middle school math team and creating and running an online middle school math camp (MN MOC).

My favorite project was: founding an online middle school math camp (MN MOC) with a friend, for the following reason: it was a large project, we had to design the camp from scratch. We contacted organizations to help spread the word, enlisted the help of other students as TA’s, and designed the lectures and worksheets. It took a significant amount of time, but the camp was extremely rewarding; we had 90 middle school students register and the camp was a success.

I have set the following goals for myself for the next:

·         1 year:
By the time I graduate high school, I would like to find way to make sure MN MOC can continue to run. I also hope to decide which college to attend.

·         5 years: I am planning to pursue at least a master’s in physics at college, but by this point, I would like to be involved with research.

My parents have inspired me to consider: How to help and be considerate of others; my mom taught me that “No one cares about how smart you are if you’re a jerk”.

My favorite subject in school is: Physics. Physics is heavily math based, but also has real world applications. It is very satisfying to work with equations to learn more about how reality works.

My favorite extra-curricular activity is: My favorite extra-curricular activity is participating in math competitions. I have competed in the Minnesota High School Math League but also in collegiate competitions with friends from the Canada/USA Mathcamp.

The most challenging thing I have ever experienced is: Learning how to cope with failure has been a major struggle, being able to productively move on without getting in a rut has been an important lesson I have learned.

My greatest accomplishment to date has been: Perfect ACT score in 9th grade