Chandrika Sadanand - 2010 Winning Essay

Chandrika Sadanand

I love math and physics, but I also hold great concern for the environment. Both passions were prominent in my childhood but putting them together proved to be difficult. I collected some inspiration from the Shad Valley program, and entered the post secondary world in a chemistry major. I received multiple scholarships along this path, including the prestigious Lincoln Alexander Chancellor's scholarhip. Still, little by little it became clear that I could not keep myself away from math and physics. I migrated fields and eventually transfered to the University of Toronto, where I am today. I plan to complete an honours bachelor of science here with a chemical physics specialist as well as a mathematics major. The transfer and the double program have both been quite challenging, but I have grown leaps and bounds as a scientist, and it is genuinely enjoyable.

Now I work on projects that fit all my interests perfectly. These include work in biofuels with a physics group, hydrogen fuel cell research with a chemical engineering group, and photoexcitation research with applications in solar cells in chemical physics.

After graduation, I will head to graduate school until I emerge with a PhD in theoretical physics and the knowledge to teach and inspire others as well as conduct research in alternate energy. I hope to explore nuclear fusion as an energy option and the quantum mechanics and material science that govern solar cells.