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A team of Olin students won a gold medal in the second annual University Physics Competition, an international contest for undergraduates.
As part of the competition, students worked in teams of up to three students at their home institutions all over the world. They spent 48 hours during the weekend of November 4, 5 and 6 analyzing an applied scenario using the principles of physics and writing a formal paper describing their work.
The Olin team, consisting of Rebecca Schutzengel ‘13, Patrick Varin '14 and Brendan Quinlivan '14, won top honors by tackling the challenge of calculating the initial velocity and spins a basketball player would have to impart to the ball to make a basket from the three-point line standing at a specified angle. This was one of two problems posted November 4, kicking off the competition. A total of 77 teams took part in the contest, with only two gold medals awarded—one for each problem.
Yevgeniya Zastavker, associate professor of physics at Olin, served as faculty advisor to the team.
"This is an incredible achievement, and I am very proud of our students," said Prof. Zastavker. "This honor demonstrates once again that Olin's holistic, student-centered approach to education helps to develop students' autonomy and provides them with exceptional problem-solving abilities."