Duke Student Named 2014 Goldwater Scholar

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Eugene Rabinovich, a physics and mathematics double major, studies string theory with professor Ronen Plesser

Editor's Note: A photo of Rabinovich is available at http://today.duke.edu/showcase/mmedia/hires/rabinovich_eugene.jpg

Durham, NC - Eugene Rabinovich, a Duke University junior, has been selected as a 2014 scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.

Rabinovich is among 283 students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year. The one- and two-year scholarships go toward covering the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The scholarship program honoring the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. More than 1,100 students applied.

Rabinovich, a physics and mathematics double major and music minor from Solon, Ohio, is an Angier B. Duke Scholar, 2013 PRUV Fellow and 2010 U.S. Physics Team member. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics. He would like to become a theoretical physics professor who conducts research at the intersection of string theory and cosmology.

"I want to use string theory to understand the conditions in the universe at the earliest times after the Big Bang" said Rabinovich. "Both string theory and cosmology aim to answer some of the most fundamental questions science can ask. Teaching will also be a big part of my career; helping to train the next generation of physicists is a crucial task."

Rabinovich is currently conducting research under Ronen Plesser, associate professor of physics, to understand physical string theories not by studying the models directly, but by studying similar (though non-physical) models.

"I fully expect Eugene to make important contributions to string theory" said Duke physics professor Roxanne Springer. "Excellence in physics research requires both raw intellectual ability and great commitment. Eugene clearly has both."

"Eugene is uncommonly talented and driven," added Plesser. "He is among the two or three most promising students I have seen in 16 years here, and I feel confident he will make real contributions to our field."

Since its first award in 1989, the foundation has bestowed more than 7,163 scholarships worth approximately $46 million. Sixty-three Duke students have received Goldwater Scholarships since 1995. For a full list of winners and more information about the Goldwater Scholarship, visit goldwater.scholarsapply.org.

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