Celebrating the Sixth Class of Perimeter Scholars International

Congratulations the sixth class of PI's "theoretical physics boot camp," the Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) master’s program.

In a ceremony filled with laughter and some tears, the 2015 class of Perimeter Scholars International (PSI) commemorated an intense year of physics, friendships, and plenty of coffee. 

Thirty-three students from more than a dozen countries participated in the program, which culminated in a bittersweet farewell during Convergence, with many PSI alumni in attendance. 

"We have all been given the best education possible," said student Sonali Mohapatra during a shared valedictory address with Tom O'Brien. "To our professors and instructors, the insight and knowledge you gave us was phenomenal."

Every year, Perimeter fields hundreds of applications to the program, which is unique both for the challenges of the subject matter and for its focus on teamwork between students, tutors, and faculty. 

Perimeter Director Neil Turok lauded the students for their ambition and dedication.

"You've taken on probably the most difficult graduate program in physics worldwide," said Turok. "What we want PSI to be is a way for brilliant young people to get working on cutting-edge, interesting problems as quickly as possible. We are here to make breakthroughs, and the conditions could not be better. What we need most is originality and creativity, and that comes most of all from young people."

Turok then introduced one of his own mentors, Paul Steinhardt of Princeton University, to deliver the keynote address.

"There is no question in theoretical physics that is beyond your reach," Steinhardt told the students. "Follow your heart, not the crowd. When you choose something to work on, it has to be something you strongly believe in your heart to be important. I wish you good luck, future discoverers."

Though six of the students will remain at Perimeter to pursue PhDs, most will spread out around the world to new opportunities. But, as Turok reminded them, they are now "part of Perimeter for life."