Best undergrad choice for transfer student

  • Thread starter proton
  • Start date
  • #26
UA physics majors gets a BSS in 2 yrs.

UA student defies laws of sleep, earns physics degree in 2 years
Friday, May 11, 2007
TIFFANY RAY
For The Birmingham News

In 2005, Christopher Culbert launched his undergraduate studies at the University of Alabama at a fervid pace, loading his course schedule to see just how much he could handle.
For Culbert, a Vestavia Hills High School graduate and an avid student of science and math, it was something of a personal experiment. Two years later, he is finished.
Culbert, 20, will graduate summa cum laude Saturday from the university's College of Arts and Sciences with bachelor's degrees in physics and math.
His grade-point average? 3.9.

"I wanted to see if I could take it," Culbert said of his lightning pace. "I wanted to challenge myself."
Culbert worked during his second year on a research team seeking and testing materials to form half-metals, which can be used to design more efficient computer hard drives.
Last summer Culbert approached Bill Butler, professor of physics and director of the UA Center for Materials for Information Technology, asking if he could take part. When Butler told him he lacked funding for another researcher, Culbert volunteered.
"He did more calculations in a month than I had expected in a year," Butler said. Eventually, Culbert presented the results of his research to physicists in Denver at a gathering of the American Physical Society, a rarity for an undergraduate.
"I don't think anybody realized he wasn't a faculty member or a graduate student," Butler said.
Representatives of the university could not determine if Culbert's two-year feat was a first at UA, but Gail Hasson, director of academic advising and records in the College of Arts and Sciences, and an employee since 1974, said she'd never heard of a student graduating in such a short time.
Nowadays, with greater opportunity for transferring advanced placement high school credits, it is possible for students to finish their studies quicker, Hasson said, but Culbert's pace likely caused double-takes among advisers.
Culbert started with a semester's worth of high school advanced placement credits, then carried six to eight courses in each of his four semesters at UA. He completed 17 credit hours over the summer and tested out of one course for three more hours. To graduate, students must complete at least 120 hours, which averages 15 per semester over four years. Culbert will finish with 121.
`Maxed out':
"He took advantage and maxed out on the possibilities," Hasson said.
Culbert's interest in physics is long-standing. "Even before most of us could say the word, he said he wanted to be a nuclear physicist, which I always thought was a hoot," said his mother, Beth Roscher.
Culbert won a scholarship to UA, covering four years' tuition and fees. Roscher said she wanted Culbert to enjoy his college experience and did not encourage him to graduate so early, but "Christopher has his own mind."
Culbert concedes his social life and sleep schedule took hits, though he managed to have some fun with friends he made among other physics majors. He even attended a few football games.
Culbert said at one point he discovered he was operating in 21-hour cycles, on-the-go for 17 hours, sleeping for four, and then back at it. Asked what his friends thought, Culbert said, "They think I'm a little crazy, but no more than any physics major."
Culbert attended four high schools in four years. Roscher said the frequent family moves taught him to adapt. "He's very focused," she said. "Any type of activity that catches his interest, he'll stay very focused."
Kay Tipton, math department chairwoman at Vestavia Hills High School, said Culbert was a member of the math team. He showed keen reasoning skills and greater knowledge of physics than most students, but she was surprised to hear he'd sailed through college so quickly.
"He was kind of laid back," she said.
Culbert intends to remain in Tuscaloosa, continuing his research and beginning work on master's degrees in math and physics.
"I like what I'm doing here," he said.
 
  • #27
350
0
ummm...i dont see the point in bumping a year old thread just for this article. especially since this has nothing to do with transfer studnets
 

Related Threads on Best undergrad choice for transfer student

  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
2K
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
3K
Replies
10
Views
793
Replies
2
Views
2K
Replies
9
Views
5K
Replies
5
Views
4K
Replies
21
Views
9K
  • Last Post
Replies
12
Views
5K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Top