UMBC’s 2004 Valedictorian

Published: Jun 10, 2004

UMBC’s 2004 Valedictorian


Anthony Hoffman, UMBC’s 2004 valedictorian, has maintained a 4.0 GPA while earning a bachelor’s degree in physics—with departmental honors—and a minor in mathematics.

This fall, he will begin Princeton University’s Ph.D. program in electrical engineering on a Princeton Graduate School Endowed Fellowship. He also received fellowship offers from Yale and Penn State Universities.

Hoffman says he chose to attend UMBC because he saw an opportunity to conduct research in the new Physics building’s excellent facilities, but even more so because “The professors here seemed the most welcoming. They aren’t just teachers; they reach out to mentor students.”

Now he is graduating with some impressive accomplishments in research. Hoffman received the 2003-04 Langenberg Undergraduate Research Award for his senior thesis on electro-optic effects in organic polymers. This summer he will present his work at a meeting of the American Chemical Society. In addition, he has conducted research with a team in Dr. Michael Hayden’s Laboratory for Nonlinear Optical Studies of Macromolecular Photonic Materials.

Hoffman uses his skills in physics and mathematics to tutor and to participate in other charitable activities through the Knights of Columbus. “Service makes a person whole,” he says. “Part of academics is communicating results with the rest of the world. It’s important to keep in touch with the world and make it a better place at the same time.”

For his outstanding academic work and service, Hoffman has been elected into numerous honor societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Pi Sigma, Pi Mu Epsilon and the Golden Key International Honor Society. He has been a member of the Provost’s Student Advisory Council, the Society of Physics Students and the Newman Club.

A voracious fiction reader (William Faulkner is his favorite author), outdoor sports enthusiast and student pilot, Hoffman’s ultimate goal is to be a NASA astronaut. “You can run many different types of applications in space,” he explains. “It’s a huge platform for research.” However, after receiving his Ph.D., he’d like to gain additional experience at a government lab or in industry before returning to higher education to teach future researchers.





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