Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, Physicist who specializes in high energy physics. 

She first became known at age 14, when she built her own single-engine airplane and, at 16, when she piloted it over Lake Michigan, becoming the youngest person ever to fly their own plane. More recently, she was the first woman in decades to graduate at the top of her physics class at MIT (and in 3 years). Today, she is widely considered one of the most promising physicists of her generation. 

"A small airplane is wonderful for its view. A motorcycle is great for its acceleration. A Cessna 150 is very similar to a motorcycle in that you can lean one way or the other to go that way. Every physicist should learn to ride a motorcycle. It gives one a certain physical intuition, as does flying a small airplane.” 

"I don't think I would have cared as much about doing well academically had it not been for the fact that I had something to prove. When you start seeing that people doubt you, you realize, 'Hmm, maybe I need to do better.’"

"For now, it's just focusing on getting my Ph.D. I want to eventually found and run an interdisciplinary laboratory. The way I see it is, biology relies upon chemistry, chemistry relies upon physics, and in some level when you can reduce things to simpler ideas, you have a lot more power to use them. It's good to have a bigger picture and see where you can actually go and not end up getting caught in some particular lab or a section of a company doing a particular task."

"Oftentimes in retrospect, the thing that's the hardest or perceived to be are the things you end up being most proud of. If you keep that in mind, the fact that you went through it, or made it turn out the better for yourself as much as you could, makes something that you are then happy to talk about. The attitude is to take into account: How will you see this a few years down the line?”

Sources: Second Nexus and the Chicago Tribune, Photograph via Marie Claire

Mindy Grossman

Mindy Grossman

Simone Askew

Simone Askew