LOUISVILLE, Ky.—University of Louisville junior Conrad Smart, a physics and mathematics major, has won a national Goldwater Scholarship for academic merit.
The prestigious scholarship, one of 252 awarded for the 2016-17 year, is for undergraduate students who intend to pursue careers in mathematics, science or engineering. The award provides up to $7,500 for tuition, fees, books, room and board.
“It’s gratifying to see our students win so many prominent national and international scholarships,” UofL President James Ramsey said. “This particular prize recognizes top students in science, math and engineering, so it feels good to know that we are doing our part to train tomorrow’s professionals in these important disciplines.”
Smart, a 2013 Woodford County High School graduate and member of the University of Louisville honors program, is working toward his goal of earning a doctorate in theoretical particle physics and conducting research in that area.
He already has contributed to several UofL projects and has presented findings at meetings including the Atlantic Coast Conference “Meeting of the Minds” research conference. He also received Research Experience for Undergraduates grants from the National Science Foundation to work with Cornell University’s accelerator physics program last summer and to work on plasma physics at University of California-Los Angeles this summer.
Smart praised the mentoring relationship between faculty and undergraduate students, who can learn early in their university careers the precise ways to do meaningful scientific research and work in groups.
“There’s a lot of opportunity there,” he said. “It’s good to start early. The relationships with faculty are what propel me forward.”
“What stands out most about Conrad is his voracious appetite for knowledge and understanding. He shows an incredible mind for grasping new concepts and synthesizing information into new ideas,” said physics professor David Brown, in whose research group Smart served in 2014-15. “It’s obvious he has an unstoppable curiosity about the way the universe works at its most fundamental level and that he thinks deeply about these issues and actively pursues answers.”
Smart also is a Brown Fellow, a Grawemeyer Research Scholar and an officer of the UofL chapter of the Society of Physics Students. He is the son of Eric and Laurie Smart of Versailles.
For more information, contact Smart at 859-753-4726.