Prize Recipient

Elliot George Aguilar


I, Elliot Aguilar, was born September 2, 1982 in Brooklyn, New York. My parents always stressed the importance of education, first by having my brother and I stay with my grandmother during the weekdays so that we would be able to attend a better school. Thanks solely to my grandmother's instruction, my brother and I were both able to read by the age of three. When I was seven years old my parents decided, in the best interest of my brother and me, to move to Lakewood, New Jersey. Here amongst the vast pine forests my interest in science first developed. It was zoology that caught my fancy first, naming and identifying all of the local flora and fauna became a hobby of mine and learning every detail about their lives and behaviors was my passion. Had I been asked then I surely would have stated that my career goal was to be a zoologist. As I got older I began to broaden my scientific horizons. When I was twelve years old, a socially inept somewhat estranged middle-schooler, I began staying after school to study for an amateur radio license with one of my school's science teachers. I worked diligently at it and at that same age became one of the youngest students in the history of my school system to receive my novice amateur radio license. I owe the lion share of this accomplishment to my eighth grade science teacher Mr. Michael King. His commitment to making the material as interesting as it was easy to understand, was a major driving force in my early physics instruction. As I continued with amateur radio, studying for higher degrees of licenses, I became increasingly fascinated by the science at the heart of the hobby. My burgeoning interest in the discipline of physics soon grew to become my major scientific concentration. In a period of just one or two years books by authors like, Kip S. Thorne, Carl Sagan, and Michio Kaku, soon filled my shelves. It was undeniable that I was 'hooked' on physics. Even as I matured and discovered a very chaotic and flourishing social life in high school, I always kept physics close to the foreground of my thinking. I enrolled in honors Physics as soon as I was academically ready and AP Physics C after that. Along with my dedication to the discipline, I owe my success in these courses to the expert and committed tutelage of my teacher Mr. Ross Todd. With the always present support of my loving parents and grandparents and the instruction of dedicated teachers, I was able to strive to be my best. Luckily this hard work paid off when I was accepted to Harvard University where I plan to continue my study of physics and strengthen my passion for the pursuit of pure knowledge of the natural world.