LOUISVILLE, Ky. – An 18-year-old University of Louisville sophomore who began conducting advanced physics research as a young teenager has earned a top honor from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

    Roseanne Cheng of Elizabethtown, Ky., will receive a full-year scholarship from the foundation covering the cost of her tuition, fees, books and room and board at U of L next year. She is one of only 302 college sophomores and juniors nationwide to be named 2001 Goldwater Scholars.

    Cheng, who plans to earn a Ph.D. degree in physics, has been participating in scientific research with U of L faculty since she was a sophomore at duPont Manual Magnet High School. Besides working on a study of quark production, she is helping physicist David Brown conduct data simulations for an international research project based at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. She also assisted electrical engineer Robert Cohn in a geometric optics study and helped physicist Karl Pitts design and build equipment for high-energy astrophysics.

    “My ambitious career goal is to be a good theoretical physicist for the field, but more importantly, to myself,” she said on her scholarship application.

    Cheng has many interests and abilities besides physics, said Brown, who recommended her for the scholarship. “She is interested in language and literature, culture, politics and more,” he said. “These never distract her from her main interests in science and math, but they help make her a well-rounded and interesting human being.”

    Her hands-on research experience “would be the envy of any student with a B.S. in physics, and definitely surpasses that of her peers,” said Shi-Yu Wu, a U of L physicist who supported Cheng’s recommendation.

    The Goldwater scholarship program is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in math, science and engineering. Students who receive the honor generally garner the attention of top post-graduate fellowships such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Churchill and Fulbright awards.

    For more information, call Cheng at (502) 852-1180 or Brown at (502) 852-0804.