**Lazaro Diaz ** Born in 1991, Hispanic descent, American citizen, majoring in Mathematics and in Physics at FIU.

“My ultimate career goal is to become a theoretical physicist. The emphasis on theoretical physics is because I want to gain more knowledge of the physical world through mathematics and help formulate elegant equations to explain and answer the tough questions in science. I intend on going to graduate school and receiving my PhD in physics and mathematics. The subjects of physics and mathematics had stood out to me because of their complexity and challenges. They complement each other perfectly and are the roots of every other science out there. Although I struggled with mathematics during the beginning of my college career, through hard work I came to understand it and love it. Last year I had the honor to receive a scholarship from the U.S. Department of Energy through the HENAAC organization.”

**Omar Leon** Born in 1991, Hispanic descent, American citizen, majoring in Physics with a minor in Mathematics at FIU.

“ I became very interested in how math can express physical phenomena while performing experiments in my Physics 1 and 2 courses, where we needed to explain the physical meaning to mathematical equations. I was able to delve even further into the use of math in physics during a Methods of Theoretical Physics course where we had to derive mathematical equations to derive physical ideas such as the motions of particles and the existence of black holes. After I obtain my bachelors, I plan on pursuing a PhD in Physics. I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and have spent a couple of years training in Krav Maga.”

**Alexander Moncion** Born in 1989, Hispanic/Latino, American citizen, majoring in Physics with a minor in Mathematics at FIU.

“My academic goal is to acquire a PhD in Physics. I am the first member in my family to gain a high school diploma and the first to enroll in college. I plan on becoming the first to acquire a PhD as well. My family originates from a small farm covered town where the word science is rarely, if ever, heard. I was fortunate enough to come to the United States at a young age and be introduced to a good education. I enjoy the subject of physics, and as a science that relies highly on mathematics as its basis I believe that a deep understanding of math is crucial. This was not the case initially. When I first entered FIU my intended major was chemistry, but then I took my first physics course and I was slowly being drawn into the subject. Math, being a fundamental tool in physics, was not far behind, and my interest in the beauty of mathematics grew along that of physics. This math program would do wonders in teaching me new mathematical techniques and strengthening the skills I already possess. As an underrepresented minority, I am very grateful that opportunities like the NREUP exist. “

**Austin Nowak** Born in 1990, Caucasian/Latino, American citizen, majoring in Mathematics and in Physics at FIU.

My name is Austin Nowak, and I am interested in any math related fields, specifically physics, engineering, and economics, and plan to go to graduate school in mathematics for topology and geometry. I was originally an electrical engineering major then switched to mathematics during my freshman fall semester, due to my calculus 3 professor and an endless curiosity to answer why. Besides mathematics I also enjoy hanging out with my friends, going to the movies, the beach, playing basketball, football, swimming, and weighting lifting.

Lazaro Diaz

Alexander Moncion