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Junior Wins Math and Science Goldwater Scholarship

By Jon Hussey

Goldwater winner Bill Flynn

Bill Flynn, junior, mathematics and physics major (photo by Jeff Watts)

Students like mathematics and physics major Bill Flynn, may help the United States move up in the international testing ranks for math and science. The American University junior, who tutors children in Washington, D.C. public schools, recently won a 2009 Barry M.Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s highest undergraduate award in science, math, and engineering.

The New Jersey native, an honors student with double-majors in physics and mathematics, has maintained a near-perfect grade point average. He also conducts extensive research and regularly teaches science-related topics to young D.C. students.

On campus, Flynn leads an initiative to encourage students, faculty, and staff to recycle electronics. In the lab he works with physics professor Nathan Harshman and mathematics and statistics professor Josh Lansky on research that applies ideas from quantum information theory to atoms and molecules.

Flynn, one of 278 Goldwater scholars selected nationwide from a field of 1,097 candidates, plans to use his scholarship to pursue a PhD in condensed matter physics.

Created in 1986, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program encourages outstanding students to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering.