Prize Recipient


Angel Tovar Yanez
Rice University


My name is Angel Tovar Yanez, and until I was fourteen, I lived in a small rural community located in central Mexico. Less than half of the adult population living in the place where I grew up had completed ninth grade—in fact, both of my parents were only able to complete sixth grade—and no one in the area had gone to college. Four years ago, my family and I moved to Sulphur Springs, Texas, after becoming legal U.S. Permanent Residents. Needless to say, I will be among the first-generation in my family to go to college as I begin my studies at Rice University this upcoming fall.
I believe that my love for science resides in the fact that I am interested in knowing how the world works. In the case of physics, it takes little more than to observe a dropped object fall to the ground to appreciate the extent to which physics affects our daily lives. Even enormous celestial objects—stars, planets, and nebulas, just to name a few—are greatly affected and shaped by physical forces. I think that is the reason why I want to major in physics. It is a science that is involved in all aspects of the univers