Meet Sabrina Gonzalez Paterski: Latina Genius
At 10 years old, most of us were watching movies on Disney Channel and making friendship bracelets. For Sabrina Gonzalez Paterski, 10 year old life consisted of rebuilding airplane engines. At 12 years old, Paterski built an entire airplane. At 14, she took it for a test flight. This astounding level of achievement has certainly not died down for the Latina theoretical physicist. In 2015, the Cuban-American was already considered the world’s “next Albert Einstein”. But besides her unusual upbringing, what exactly makes this woman so remarkable?
Even though Paterski certainly had some unique achievements from a young age, that still didn’t stop elite universities like MIT from leaving her on the admissions waitlist. Even though the decision was “a bit of a blow” for her, Paterski did not let the setback get her down. After being admitted, she wanted to show that she “had something to prove”, a tactic that she claims is the cause of her academic successes. And so, she embarked on her scholastic and research endeavors.
Paterski studied things like black holes and space-time in school, and wrote research papers that were later cited by Stephen Hawking. She received job offers from Blue Origin - the aerospace company founded by Jeff Bezos - and NASA at just 22. She graduated at the top of her physics class, the first woman to have done so in decades.
Despite all of her accomplishments, Paterski doesn’t like the spotlight very much. She doesn’t own a single social media account, but does have her own website instead, PhysicsGirl.com, where she features her research and other works.
Now, Paterski is working on her doctorate’s degree in theoretical high energy physics at the Center for the Fundamental Laws of Nature. She still continues to reach for the stars and hopes that her life will “build up to something”. It’s nice to see that this Latina genius still remains one step ahead of the rest.
BY: Dana Garibaldi
Bowen, Alison. “Sky's the Limit for down-to-Earth Physics Whiz Sabrina Pasterski.” Chicagotribune.com, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2018, www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-remarkable-sabrina-pasterski-0802-2-20150728-story.html.
Simón, Yara. “22-Year-Old Cuban American Sabrina Pasterski May Be the Next Albert Einstein.” Remezcla, Remezcla, 26 Feb. 2016, remezcla.com/features/culture/sabrina-paterski-physics-einstein/.
“Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski.” WHYY, WHYY, 6 Apr. 2020, whyy.org/episodes/sabrina-gonzalez-pasterski/.