University of Houston junior Mason Biamonte has been recognized as one of the nation’s top science students. A physics and mathematics double major, Biamonte is among the recipients of the 2012 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, which is considered the most prestigious award for undergraduate science students.
“There is a certain responsibility associated with carrying this distinction, which gives rise to an extra incentive for performing to the best of my abilities in the field of theoretical physics,” he said. “It is very encouraging to receive recognition for my work and for pursuing my passion to understand nature at its most fundamental level.”
In addition to balancing his coursework, Biamonte has participated in research projects such as the Mission-Oriented Seismic Research Program, which addresses seismic exploration solutions that would positively affect the location and production of hydrocarbons.
“It is indeed very impressive that at such a young age, and so early in his education, that Mason is able to fully and ably perform research at a graduate student level,” said mentor Arthur Weglein, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Physics. “He is highly motivated, hard working and has very strong math and physics skills and problem-solving capabilities.”
Biamonte also has contributed his talents to peer-reviewed research manuscripts. During his sophomore year, he co-authored a book chapter on super-symmetric quantum mechanics.
“Mason Biamonte is a spectacularly bright young man with whom it was a great pleasure to work,” said Donald Kouri, Cullen Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. “He possesses a sophistication in mathematics and theoretical physics that is far beyond his years.”
Biamonte is a member of UH’s Honors College and has received support from university-mentored research programs such as the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) and Provost’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURS). Both SURF and PURS are administered through UH’s Office of Undergraduate Research.
“Since arriving at UH, Mason has embraced everything that UH and the Honors College have to offer. He’s also been an active contributor to the university and the college,” said Honors College dean William Monroe. “We are all very proud of him.”
The scholarship program, established by the U.S. Congress in 1986 in honor of former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in science, engineering and mathematics. It is awarded to 300 college sophomores and juniors each year.