## A few challenging physics problems -

The APhO competition, which was conducted over two morning sessions on 13 and 15 May, requires participants to solve a series of challenging physics problems, including theoretical problems and experimental problems. The top scorers will be awarded gold, silver and bronze medals as well as honourable mentions based on the total number of points accumulated. Special awards such “Best Performing Singaporean Contestant” and “Absolute Winner” will also be presented.

I hope you are all having a lovely holiday season! I have been keeping busy (and will continue to...) with my first year teaching. Last year I went to school at the University of Minnesota for my teaching license and am now teaching IB physics at Harding High School in St. Paul! It’s rather character building but I absolutely love my students and am delighted to be passing on the thrill of solving challenging physics problems (and showing all your work!). In 2012 I was accepted into the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation fellowship which has supported me intellectually and fiscally in becoming a science teacher. The fellowship lasts for the first five years of teaching and is a very Carleton-esque community of committed STEM teachers. Potential teachers, I highly recommend checking them out. Cheers!

## Challenging Physics Problems « Mr Honner

In order to understand the characteristics of certain physics problems, it is helpful to study their minimum-energy states, or, if possible, the complete partition function. In this project, we focus on the area of disordered systems. Our goal is to provide effective methods and fast implementations for challenging physics problems. We focus on the design of exact solution procedures that always generate correct solutions, as this is often required by the application. A variety of our implementations is publicly available via the spin glass ground-state server.