Meet Sabrina Pasterski.
Sabrina was never your average girl. At 14 years old, Sabrina had already started her first semester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and built her very first plane: a single-engine aviation craft that she had approved and flown solo.
“Sabrina began experimenting which led to the construction of a single-engine plane when she was just 14 years old. Impressed by her video on YouTube where Sabrina posted about the plane, MIT Professors Allen Haggerty and Earll Murman recruited her to work under them.”
An article on Ozy spoke with the professors who first peeped Pasterski’s potential.
“Despite her impressive résumé, MIT wait-listed Pasterski when she first applied. Professors Allen Haggerty and Earll Murman were aghast. Thanks to Udden, the pair had seen a video of Pasterski building her airplane. ‘Our mouths were hanging open after we looked at it,’ Haggerty said. ‘Her potential is off the charts’.”
Now at the age of 23, Pasterski is a physicist, pursuing a Harvard graduate program as a Ph.D candidate.
Other notable physicists have caught wind of Pasterski’s abilities. Authors Stephen Hawking, Malcolm J. Perry and Andrew Strominger (Pasterski’s program mentor) even quote Sabrina’s recent theories in their 2016 High-Energy Physics theory, Soft Hair On Black Holes.
Q: Many things that other people might have seen as intimidating, from getting into Harvard to flying a plane as a teenager, didn’t dissuade you. Is there a good way to approach things that seem so daunting?
A: Oftentimes in retrospect, the thing that’s the hardest or perceived to be are the things you end up being most proud of. If you keep that in mind, the fact that you went through it, or made it turn out the better for yourself as much as you could, makes something that you are then happy to talk about. The attitude is to take into account: How will you see this a few years down the line?