Albany Area Math Circle member Schuyler Smith has been named by US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as one of the 141 US Presidential Scholars this year. Congratulations as well to Union College Astrophysics Professor Rebecca Koopman, whom Schuyler has nominated for the US Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award. They will be honored in a ceremony in Washington, DC in June.
Schuyler's official US Presidential Scholar biography appears below:
Schuyler has always been curious about the world around him. He grew up in Upstate New York, and feels more at home exploring mountains than navigating cities. Today he's a National AP Scholar, and the state champion and nationally ranked in many math and science competitions. He's completed most of the math and computer science majors at Union College. In 2008 he started an open source project that has been used to teach physics to high school and college students, and currently works as a teaching assistant for Art of Problem Solving. Each week he volunteers to teach math to middle schoolers. Schuyler has observed on the world's largest telescope, and his research papers on galaxy clusters and evolutionary robotics have been published nationally and internationally. In his free time he enjoys tennis, sailing, clarinet, computers, photography, flashlights, and penguins.
ADDENDUM: It is worth noting that Schuyler is only the second student from this part of the state to be honored as a US Presidential Scholar in recent years. The last Presidential Scholar from our region, Beth Schaffer, selected in 2007, was also a member of Albany Area Math Circle throughout her four years at Guilderland High School, and served as our math circle's co-captain during her junior and senior years. Beth was also a mentor and coach to Schuyler's state championship winning homeschool MATHCOUNTS team back when he was an eighth grader. Beth is now a senior at MIT, where she has been a lead organizer of the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament. She has also been a coach for the Upstate New York AllStar Math Team, which will represent Upstate New York at the national high school math tournament at Penn State next month. Schuyler is a senior veteran member of that team.