University of Queensland Science Demo Troupe member Sam Cree uses fiery displays and levitating magnets to share the excitement of science with students.
He plans to rely on the power of words to share his passion for science as Valedictorian at a UQ Faculty of Science ceremony.
Sam will graduate with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in physics, after completing a thesis supervised by Professor Tamara Davis and Professor Tim Ralph, which explores a discrepancy in the interaction of two cornerstones of modern physics – Einstein’s theory of general relativity, and quantum theory – and their implications for the expansion of the universe.
“It’s a big challenge in physics to understand how these two theories relate to one another, and resolve some of the clashes between them,” he said.
Sam, the son of a Presbyterian minister and a physiotherapist mother, said he was fortunate to grow up in a household which encouraged a love of learning.
“By Year 10, encouraged by some inspirational teachers at high school, I knew my future career was likely to have something to do with research in physics and maths.
“I’m fascinated by the fundamental workings of the universe and each year I study physics gives me greater understanding of how the universe works.
“I want to learn more about this topic, and I can’t speak highly enough of the many UQ staff who have been generous with their time and mentored me.
“School of Mathematics and Physics lecturers really care about students, and UQ gave me the chance to undertake a student exchange for a semester to Montreal, and also accepted me into the Science Mentors and Young Scholars programs.”
The last 12 months of 2017/18 have been busy for Sam.
He joined the Science Demo Troupe, a group of volunteers interested in spreading enthusiasm for the sciences, became president of the UQ Physics Students Club, helped form a new club, SASS – the Student Association of Science Societies, and won the Honours student category of Future Superstars award at the inaugural Faculty of Science Awards.
Sam has also been accepted into the highly competitive 2018 Perimeter Scholars International program, run by the Perimeter Institute, a premier research institute in Canada, to undertake his Masters in physics.
Professor of Theoretical Physics Matthew Davis said Sam had an outstanding academic record.
“Sam has a near perfect Grade Point Average, has worked hard, has been very productive and has shown a great deal of initiative.
“He will be a fantastic addition to the Perimeter Institute cohort,” he said.
Sam is considering a future career in research.