Adam Jermyn was no stranger to awards or recognition while he was a Caltech undergraduate just last year. His work in at least five major research projects ranging from biophysics to artificial photosynthesis, to particle physics, stars, and black holes has been no less than impressive, gathering awards such as the Goldwater Scholarship, Marshall Scholarship, and Hertz Fellowship, among others. Having graduated from Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts in 2011, while at Caltech, Adam managed to successfully work with five faculty members including a Nobel Laureate. "A lot of what makes Caltech special is tied up in the breadth the undergraduate program provides in the sciences," Adam concludes. "[All you have to do is] be curious and keep an open mind."
Today, we are proud to announce that Adam has won another award for his special time as a Caltech Undergraduate. This time, he is awarded with the prestigious American Physical Society LeRoy Apker Award. This highly coveted recognition is given to someone who exemplifies outstanding achievements in physics as an undergraduate student, and is an inspiration to young physicists all over the world. Adam definitely fits the bill, and the Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy is honored to have hosted such a bright star. "Adam has impressed me by his eagerness and ability to learn, his work ethic, and above all, fearlessness and creativity. He has a remarkable breadth of knowledge, combined with technical and computational ability and precocious common-sense," remarks Sterl Phinney, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics and Executive Officer for Astronomy. "Simply put, Adam is far and away the most remarkable undergraduate that I have ever encountered," adds Jason Alicea, Professor of Theoretical Physics and another of Adam's advisors and collaborators.
While putting many of his scientific talents to work at Caltech, Adam was also involved with the Council for Undergraduate Education, the Faculty Board's Honor Code Committee, and the Curriculum Committee, not to mention that he was a terrific teaching assistant for several physics classes. "While science is a huge part of my life, it is not all that there is: I am an avid science fiction fan (Asimov especially), I am always trying to take a photo which I feel represents more than its apparent subject, and I love my family," Adam reflects.
This becomes very obvious when, instead of flying to Chicago on August 28 to give his Apker presentation to the selection committee, Adam makes special arrangements to give his presentation over the phone and computer from rural Vermont, where he committed to be best man at his brother's wedding. "[Adam is] a remarkably pleasant, modest person with a very kind temperament. He simply loves physics and has a strong sense of community," professor Alicea writes, only solidifying the already strong case that Adam is an absolutely exceptional person.
"We've had a number of outstanding undergraduates win the Apker Award, which is a very important recognition in physics. I'm thrilled for Adam and for PMA, and wish him great success as he joins The University of Cambridge as a Marshall Scholar," says Fiona Harrison, Benjamin M. Rosen Professor of Physics and Kent and Joyce Kresa Leadership Chair, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy.
Written by Olga Batygin