Academics & Research

Cougar receives 2012 Goldwater scholarship

UH junior Mason Biamonte has been named a 2012 Goldwater Scholar, a scholarship awarded to undergraduate science students.

Biamonte, physics and mathematics major, is being recognized as one of the nation’s top science students.

“It is very satisfying to be recognized for the work that I have carried out in the research lab and in the classroom by such a prestigious institution,” Biamonte said.

“At the same time, there is a huge responsibility associated with carrying this distinction because it means that I am supposed to be one of the top scientists in the country.”

Originally a chemical engineering major, Biamonte realized his passion in fundamental science and changed his major to chemistry but remained unsatisfied.

“Realizing that physics explained everything about modern chemistry, my curiosity could not be satisfied without having a deeper understanding of why chemical reactions proceeded the way they do,” he said.

“I chose to double major in mathematics to strengthen my physics education and progress in research.”

Biamonte, who also serves as the vice president of the UH chapter of the Society of Physics Students, began working in Cullen Distinguished Professor Donald Kouri’s theoretical chemical physics group writing computer programs to solve for the behavior of quantum particles confined to small regions of space before his first semester.

”I published paper on supersymmetric quantum mechanics applied to the hydrogen atom and co-authored a textbook chapter involving my study of system-specific coherent states for arbitrary bound quantum systems,” he said.

Biamonte then began working with Cullen Distinguished Professor of Physics Arthur Weglein in the Mission-Oriented Seismic Research Program, a theoretical geophysics research group.

Winning the Goldwater Scholarship has given Biamonte the pressure to advance more in his studies and research work.

“I must keep pushing ahead, learning new things about nature every day,” Biamonte said, “and thinking of creative ways in which this understanding can be used to benefit humanity as a whole in order to make sure that I deserve to be labeled as a Goldwater scholar.”

The Goldwater scholarship program, established by US Congress in 1986 in honor of former Senator Barry M. Goldwater, awards scholarships to students who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics and engineering.

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