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From 1986 to 2017, the United States Teams have brought home: 61 Gold Medals, 43 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions. — AAPT.ORG



Meet the Team

Photo of Edward Lu

Edward Lu

Katy, TX

Cinco Ranch High School

Grade: Sophomore


Violin, Tennis, Reading, Playing Video Games


Mu Alpha Theta, Science Bowl, Orchestra, National Honor Society


MOP invitee (2018), USA(J)MO qualifier (2015-2018), USAPHO silver (2017), AMC 10 perfect score (2017), ARML (2015), Primary Math World Contest (2015)


Ever since my primary school years (and also before, from what my mom says), I have always been curious about how the world works. And, not just what makes it work, but also why. Coupled with my natural liking of logical puzzles, this curiosity of mine is what started me into the world of academic competitions. Like many others with similar interests, I began with mathematics, specifically the MATHCOUNTS and AMC lines of competition.

What attracted me to math was the fact that unlike many other subjects, mathematics was logical, and did not require excessive memorization, which I found tedious. Furthermore, math did not just throw results and trivia at me; it also provided an explanation. I could see the sigma’s, pi’s, and delta’s before me working to create the extravagant world of mathematics from a few basic principles. In sixth grade, I was lucky enough to attend Beck Junior High with a well-established math club; there, I met many people with similar interests as mine, a prelude to all the great people I would befriend through a similar interest in math.

As my junior high years came to an end, I started to learn physics. Up until then, I was relatively ignorant of how what was happening around me worked. How did the refrigerator create “cold” out of energy? How did the radio receiver pick up only one channel? Why did the pendulum in the Natural Science Museum spin around an axis? I had no idea of the answers to these questions. When I learned physics, which consisted mostly of watching Walter Lewin’s 8.01 and 8.02 lectures, I was given a light to penetrate the mysterious fog surrounding these phenomena.

Physics is a very intriguing science. When learning physics, I realized just how beautiful the laws of nature were. There are so many instances in physics in which the intermediate steps are messy, yet the final result is incredibly elegant. I find it very enjoyable to work physics problems, as they require me to think hard, yet also allow me to play around with various approaches. Additionally, many physics problems can be elegantly solved by a clever application of a principle (i.e. finding the right torque analysis or exploiting the symmetric nature of a problem).

I would like to thank everyone who has helped me to get to this point. especially my entire family for the constant encouragement they give me, and also Mr. Richard, who organizes and coordinates the F=MA and USAPHO competitions at my school, as well as getting students to love physics through his charismatic teaching skills. I look forward to an exciting physics camp this year!

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For more details and information about the US Physics Team, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org