Prize Recipient


Michael Karl Medina
Yale University


My name is Michael Karl Medina; though, most of my friends just call me Karl. I graduated in 2010 from Glenwood High School in Chatham, Illinois. I am a rising junior at Yale University majoring in Intensive Physics. My program of study in physics this fall includes the second semester of quantum mechanics, introduction to nuclear and particle physics, and statistical thermodynamics, along with continued lab experimentation in preparation for a senior research project.  Outside of my studies, I enjoy a variety of activities. In high school I competed in math team, scholastic bowl, speech team, and science and engineering competitions (WYSE).  At Yale I enjoy working as a peer tutor for calculus, especially multivariable, and a tutor for university physics. I also participate in intramural sports, chess club, the Student Physics Society, and engage in activities and debates within the Yale Political Union.  I play piano for relaxation and personal enjoyment. Other chief hobbies are watching movies, working out, and video gaming.

Last summer I interned at NASA’s Langley Research Center where I produced a versatile computer program in Mathematica outputting a highly random pattern of elliptical markers used in optical techniques. This VIC- Visual Image Correlation literally sees shell buckling via pattern changes and distances between ellipses.  This summer (2012), I am participating in the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships (SULI) program at Argonne National Laboratory.  During this 10 week internship I will complete a research project, attend seminars and career development workshops and safety orientation/training courses. My research will be conducted with the Medium Energy Physics group involved in several measurements aimed at understanding the quark substructure matter. There will be data analysis projects on an experiment recently completed by the group that measures proton form factors, which relates to the spatial distributions of quarks within the proton. In addition, preparations for future experiments are underway and I will focus on developing simulations for the experiment and optimizing the runplan with my work group based on these simulations.

I am very appreciative of the APS scholarship and the organization’s recognition of my potential in the field of physics. Thank you!