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Awards ceremony: Shobhita Sundaram

Like the opening ceremonies, the special awards ceremony was somewhat awe inspiring. The grand hall was packed to the breaking point with over 1,800 students from around the world, listening eagerly to find out if they had been awarded recognition from one of the many companies, association, and organizations giving out prizes that night.

The ceremony was very long, as for each of the 300 awards the winners’ names were read, they filed onto the stage with proud smiles, and took numerous pictures. The associations spanned many different areas, from the American Acoustics Association, to the the Airforce, to the American Statistical Association. For us three, with every organization that we recognized, that had come and judged us, we sat up a little straighter, and listened for our names to be called.

When the National Security Agency called out my name, for the first place math prize, the first thing I felt was excitement, that my hard work had paid off and been recognized that night. As I got up from my seat and walked down to the stage, I could see my face projected on the large screens, and made sure to smile. When I got to the stage I was greeted with a certificate, and a form handshake from my judges. The next few minutes were a blur of congratulations and photos; afterwards I was handed a NSA goody bag (hopefully there were no hidden bugs!) And ushered back into the hall. It was a great feeling, to win an award for my team and for the CT Stem Foundation.

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