Deptartment of Physics & Astronomy

Texas A&M Mechanics Scholar Program

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University founded the Mechanics Scholar Program in the Spring of 2002 to identify and honour the best students in Physics 218 (Classical Mechanics). The top performers are identified by an end-of-semester Challenge Exam that is open to all students in all sections (typically ~1,500 in the Fall semester, and ~750 in the Spring), with a turnout of around 5-10% writing the exam. It covers the material from the first three exams in the regular Physics 218 sections. We do not stress memorization; a formula sheet will be provided with all of the formulae and conversions you will need. While the difficulty level of the Challenge Exam is above the norm for Physics 218 exams, it is nevertheless meant to be for "fun" and is a way to let you match your physics (aka problem-solving) skills against the very best here at A&M.

The top three winners will be awarded a textbook and monetary award by Pearson Higher Education for their accomplishment. As an added incentive, all students who perform well on the challenge exam will be named a Pearson Mechanics Scholar (which includes a certificate suitable for framing), and will be invited to a catered luncheon in their honour. In addition to lunch, we will have presentations by faculty members regarding potential careers for people with high levels of physics problem solving skills. The exam is typically held just before (or during) Reading Days, right before finals.

Congratulations to all who wrote the Spring 2018 Challenge Exam, especially the 20 Pearson Mechanics Scholars!

Past winners of the Challenge Exam:

Year Spring Fall
2018 Faith A. Leskowitz you?!?
2016 Christian Brazell Daniel Hartman
2015 Chansik Kim Christian Aycinena
2014 Rohit Nasa Zachary Magnotti
2013 Xing Zhao Gabriel R. Siegel
2012 Matthew Krusleski Andy Kostrzewa
2011 Matthew Barry Hanyu Li
2010 Rongqiang Chen Casey Perkins
2009 Drew P. Mitchell Austin Butts
2008 Blain A. Lawson Katherine S. Bhora
2007 Peng Cheng Cory A. Olsovsky
2006 Jason D. Smith Gleb Zhelezov
2005 Varun Chowdhary Paul B. Geffert
2004 Ariel D.Z. Chisholm Christopher N. Barot
2003 David A. Smith Vernon R. King
2002 Ryan B. Thomas Heng Guo

Read about the winners in  Spring 2013
Fall 2012
Spring 2012
Spring 2011

Spring 2018 Pearson Mechanics Scholars
Top three Mechanics Scholars 
				      for Spring 2018 semester
The top Spring 2018 Mechanics Scholars (left to right): John D. Killough (2nd place), Faith A. Leskowitz (1st place), Jinwoo Jeong (3rd place), and Dr. Dave Toback.
Group of Mechanics Scholars 
				      for Spring 2018 semester
The Spring 2018 Mechanics Scholars. From left to right: Holt J. Feigle, Timothy Hrncirik, Caleb F. Ginn, John D. Killough, Paul Pena, ?, ?, Mary A. Vance, Dmitry M. Gabriel, ?, Faith A. Leskowitz, Justis Morales, ?, ?, Clayton D. Odom, Megan A. May, ?, Kim A. Blankenhorn and Jinwoo Jeong.