Dear Vilmos Loo & team,
Congratulations for the medals and prizes won at the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics. I am very proud to be a fellow citizen of such bright teenagers.
I am sure it was a real challenge for them, having in mind the lack of resources and motivation in our present education system. Bravo for these students that they followed their ambition and didn´t listen to the pessimistic and good-for-nothing comments.
The details of the competition:
- The IOAA (International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics) 2007 took place in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 30th Nov – 9th Dec 2007.
- It is the first competition of this kind
- 21 countries (the distribution map is very interesting!), 86 students, 41 Leaders and 7 Observers
- Our team:
- Students: Miruna Oprescu, Mihai Tomozeiu, Vilmos Loo, Valentin Buciumas, Nicu David Serban
- Leaders: Sorin Trocaru and Radu-Calin Zapotinschi
- Observers: Constantin Traistaru
Congratulations to the Romanian team! Keep up the good work.
The prizes won by our team are:
- Vilmos Loo –– Gold
- Nicu David Serban and Miruna Oprescu –– Silver
- Traian Cornel Turcu and Tudor Cristian Turcu –– Honorable Mention
I´d like to give some advice to these students, though I´m sure everyone they met gave them advice on what to do in the near future. I´ve read the comments on the article in the press about this event and didn´t agree with most of them. So let´s focus on the positive:
1. Analyze ALL your options for you future development in this field (living abroad, studying, projects, competitions, career etc). To a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) brainstorm and think about it for a while.
2. You guys have a gift –– excelling in a field that few people understand and many take as a hobby –– and it will be a waste not to work on it. Even Spiderman would tell you that “With great power comes great responsibility.”
3. Find the best mentor in Astronomy or Astrophysics. The internet gives you the power to connect with people from all over the world –– use it to your development.
4. Do NOT let other people drag you down from your path. Work hard and play hard –– as Dale Carnegie says, “Life´s too short to be little.”
5. This start in life will get you places and you´ll meet people that only the few privileged have the opportunity. Remember that!
6. Recommended reading when you need inspiration: “20 Things I Wish I Had Known When Starting Out in Life“. My favorites are #7 and #10. I bet you already master most of them –– otherwise you wouldn´t have gotten here –– but just remember them.
7. Start a blog or a diary about your passion and learning experience in Astrophysics. Because great minds think alike, you will find support and inspiration in your community.
8. “Aim higher or do not aim at all.” –– the best advice ever for smart people.
I hope that next year I´ll read again about the Romanian team bringing home the gold for the IOAA 2008 in Indonesia. I wonder if the Indians, Chinese or Russians already started learning and practicing for the 2008 competition… Good luck!
If any member of the Olympic Romanian Team is reading this post, please tell me how would like to be motivated? How do you see your academic future?