Baruch Students Place in CUNY Nobel Science Challenge

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CUNY Nobel Science Challenge logoTwo Baruch College students have been chosen as recipients of the 2009 CUNY Nobel Science Challenge, a CUNY-wide essay competition for undergraduate students. The challenge asked students to describe the basis behind one of 2009’s Nobel-prize winners in the categories of economics, physics, physiology/medicine, or chemistry, and to explain how their achievements will influence the world.

Baruch College economics major Patrick Pompili has been awarded the second-place prize for his essay on Elinor Ostrom’s analysis of economic governance, while biology major Naez Noor’s essay on Charles K. Kao’s Nobel received the third-place prize for perceptively examining the topic of optical (light-based) communication.

"Kao had a very simple idea, but the application of it had a really great effect," said Noor, who decided to put in his entry to the Challenge "on a whim." "I was aware of fiber optics before but not about who had come up with it and how it developed." To win this, he said, felt like "a real recognition of my writing ability and interest in science."
Essays are judged by a distinguished CUNY committee based on accuracy, clarity, and accessibility to the general public and can include supplemental graphics such as charts and tables to help achieve these goals.

"I was really surprised to win," said Pompili, a second year student with Baruch. "I thought I wrote a pretty good essay, but I thought I’d submit it and not hear back. This definitely encourages me to continue exploring opportunities like this, and it’s furthered my interest in economics – specifically environmental economics."

A reception is being held on Thursday, February 25th from 2-4 PM in the Kibbee Lounge at CUNY’s Central office to present prizes to all of the winning students, which include a Dell laptop and wireless printer for Pompili and an Amazon Kindle for Noor. The first-place prizewinner will be taking home a $5,000 award.