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'I'm proud to have won the gold for India'

Last updated on: December 16, 2009 16:51 IST
The winners: Shubham Tulsiani (second from right) along with other winners at the venue

If there was ever any doubt about the interest in science amongst our youth, India's spectacular performance at this year's International Physics Olympiad should prove it wrong.

A team of five Indian students bagged four gold medals and a silver, ranking third amongst 76 countries and 350 students who participated at the 40th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO)  held at Merida Yucatan, Mexico.

We got Shubham Tulsiani, one of the gold medallists (second rank-holder IIT-JEE 2009), and a first year student (BTech in Computer Science) at IIT Kanpur, to share his experiences.

Q How does it feel to have won the gold medal?

A. It feels great, I feel proud to have got the gold for India. On a personal level, it is pretty satisfying to know that even I do stand somewhere.

Q. Has physics been a subject that you always found interesting?

A. I developed interest in physics since 11th. What I find most interesting is how we can explain everything around us by building upon just a handful of concepts. Newton is my favourite physicist.

'Flying down to Mexico was a new experience for me'

Last updated on: December 16, 2009 16:51 IST

How did the professors at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (TIFR) help you?

The professors at HBCSE literally guided us through everything. They developed our experimental skills into something great -- from nothing (at least in my case). And much of the preparation was done through what they taught. They also helped to put us in the right frame of mind before the Olympiad.

You are also the second topper at IIT this year. What was the driving factor?

I really did want to get admission to IIT because it is the best engineering colleges in our country. My teachers in Bansal Classes and school also encouraged me a lot. I was particularly inspired by my brother who has been a second rank holder in IIT-JEE.

What were some of the interesting experiences that you had?

Flying down to Mexico was a new experience for me as I had never gone abroad. Also, we made friends with teams from Suriname, Georgia, Singapore and Pakistan.

'I still have a long way to go'

Last updated on: December 16, 2009 16:51 IST

Competitions require a tough state of mind. What would be your advice to students who get psyched up before sitting for an exam?

To deal with pre-exam anxiety, always think of things other than your exam. For example, what would you do after the exams are over? Also, listen to music. A student should be focused on  giving it his or her best shot.

What are your future plans?

It feels great to have reached where I dreamed of reaching a few years earlier but I still have a long way to go. At IIT Kanpur, there are ample opportunities for whatever interests one wants to follow. I haven't chalked out my future yet, but I'll most probably go into research in Computer Science.

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