|Andrea Kulier who is only 17-years-old will graduate from California State Los Angeles University and attend Princeton in the fall to study cosmology. Kulier and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Croatia. While most in her age group are graduating high school, Andrea Kulier received dual bachelor's degrees and is on course for a PhD.|
Placentia 17-year-old goes for doctorate
While most in her age group are graduating high school, Andrea Kulier, 17, receives dual bachelor's degrees and is on course for a PhD.
By LOU PONSI
PLACENTIA – Andrea Kulier, 17, graduates on Saturday ... not from high school like most kids her age ... from college.
Kulier, who lives in Placentia, will be marching in Cal State Los Angeles' commencement ceremony, graduating summa cum laude, and the university's youngest graduating senior.
She'll have dual bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics.
In the fall, Kulier will be off to Princeton with her tuition paid and a $33,000 fellowship to begin pursuit of a PhD in theoretical cosmology.
"I definitely enjoyed it," Kulier said of her college experience. "All the students were really nice people. I thought all the classes were really fun."
Kulier and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Croatia 13 years ago and have been in Orange County the whole time.
Igor Kulier, Andrea's father, said his daughter always gravitated toward subjects that were advanced for her age.
"She was always very bright and it was obvious," he said.
A self-employed computer programmer, Igor Kulier remembers watching the Croatian version of the television game show, "Wheel of Fortune", and Andrea, then 3, was able to say the words and phrases on the show.
By age 3 and a half, she was reading.
Not just reading, but reading the works of Czech playwright and author, Karl Capek, her father said.
Placentia resident Andrea Kulier who is only 17-years-old will graduate from California State Los Angeles University and attend Princeton in the fall to study cosmology. Here, she poses with the sweatshirt from the early entrance program club that got her into CSLA.
By 4, she was mastering games geared for 6-year-olds and listening to classical music.
She started the Gifted and Talented Education program in fourth grade at Kramer Elementary School and bypassed the sixth grade.
At 12, Kulier took the Scholastic Aptitude Test and scored in the top 5 percent.
She then scored well enough in the Washington Pre-College Test – designed for gifted students to determine if they are ready for college level courses
At first, Kulier parents were worried about sending their only child to college.
"It's a big university and people will be much older than her," her dad said. "You know, there are safety issues … who would take care of her.
"There were a lot concerns. It is a big step."
Kulier and her parents went through and extensive orientation at Cal State L.A., basically to determine not only if Andrea would be ready for the academic challenges of college, but for social and emotional issues that may arise as well.
Together, the family decided Andrea could handle it.
Cal State L.A. made the transition smooth she said.
The university's Early Entrance Program, or EEP, which admits extraordinarily gifted youngsters – some as young as 11 – directly into college, slowly assimilated Kulier and her EEP classmates into college life.
For the first two quarters, Kulier spent most of her time on the campus with other students her age. The younger students are evaluated and receive regular counseling sessions.
Slowly, Kulier and her EEP students joined their older peers on campus.
While at Cal State L.A, she studied the theory behind star formation and was part of a nuclear physics research team led by Cal State professors.
She was the captain of the university's 2009 Science Olympiad team and received the Ted C. Bradbury Memorial Award in Theoretical Physics as well as several scholarships.
While she chose Princeton to pursue a PhD in the university's astrophysical sciences department, Kulier was also accepted to doctoral programs at Harvard, U.C. Irvine, U.C. Berkley, Cal Tech and the University of Chicago.
"There seems like a lot of great research there and I guess I'm excited about that," said Kulier, on why she chose Princeton.
David Redman, the associate dean for academic affairs at Princeton, said having doctorial students at the university under age 18 is rare, but it does happen.
"It doesn't happen every year, that's for sure," Redman said. "When it does, it tends to be in science and math."
Redman said Kulier should fit in well, since physical science is a small department.
"She will be one of the colleagues," the dean said.
Kulier should have a PhD by age 22 and hopes to become a teacher and researcher in the field of theoretical cosmology at a university.
But before she goes off to school, Kulier has one goal for the summer: To get her driver's license.
California State Univeristy, Los Angeles
Astronomy and Astrophysics at Cal State LA 2009
Andrea Kulier with her colleagues at the Star and Planet Laboratory, on the bottom left.
Andrea Kulier I enrolled at CSULA in 2004 with the goal to get a degree in physics and later attend graduate school to study astrophysics. In my Junior year I joined the CURE program under the mentorship of Dr. Terebey and was introduced to the theory behind star formation. With the help of Dr. Dong from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, I am currently researching the application of Support Vector Machine (SVM), a classification algorithm, to astronomical objects. Using data from several different sky surveys, I am testing the ability of SVM to distinguish young stars from galaxies and classify them into three stages of development. We would like to determine the utility of this method, compared with that of traditional criteria, in selecting candidate young stars from catalogs containing many objects. The CURE program has afforded me the opportunity to gain practical experience with tools commonly used in astronomy and to work on problems currently present in the field.
Eric Oswald, Andrea Kulier, and Jillian Tromp.Source protostar.calstatela.edu
Andrea Kulier, Dr. Susan Terebey, and Jillian Tromp. Andrea has been included in the Physics and Astronomy program at California State University, Los Angeles, since Fall 2004.
Cal State L.A.'s youngest graduate, 17,
off to Princeton for Ph.D. in cosmology
Kulier, one of 22 Early Entrance Program students to graduate this year
While most of her contemporaries are finishing high school, 17-year-old Andrea Kulier - the youngest graduating senior at Cal State L.A. - is heading to Princeton University this fall to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical cosmology.
Admitted to the Princeton astrophysical sciences department with paid tuition and $33,000 fellowship, she was also accepted to doctoral programs at UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, Harvard, UC Santa Cruz, Caltech, and the University of Chicago.
Through the University's Early Entrance Program (EEP), Kulier was admitted to Cal State L.A. at the age of 12. Kulier, graduating summa cum laude with dual bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics, will be marching at Cal State L.A.'s Commencement ceremony Saturday, June 13.
As part of the University's Consortium for Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) program, Kulier studied the theory behind star formation with Cal State L.A.'s Professor Susan Terebey. Under the mentorship of Terebey and Professor Jianyu (Jane) Dong, she researched the application of Support Vector Machine (SVM), a classification algorithm, to large catalogs of astronomical objects. Kulier was also part of a nuclear-physics research team led by Cal State L.A.'s Professors Konrad Aniol and Martin Epstein.
Kulier said, "At first, I had concerns about making the transition from middle school directly to university, but the support from EEP and the Cal State L.A. faculty quickly made me confident in my decision. During my study here, I developed my interest from a general one in physics and mathematics to a desire to study theoretical cosmology. After graduate school, I hope to become a researcher in this field within an academic setting."
Kulier served as recording secretary for the General Education Honors Club and event captain for the 2009 Science Olympiad. Recipient of the 2006 Ted C. Bradbury Memorial Award in Theoretical Physics and several scholarships, she is also a member of the Society of Physics Students and the American Astronomical Society. She also enjoys skiing and attending classical music concerts and opera.
Currently a resident in the city of Placentia, Kulier and her family immigrated to the U.S. from Croatia 13 years ago.
Cal State L.A.'s EEP admits extraordinarily gifted youngsters - some as young as 11 - directly into college, providing the early entrants with monitored evaluation, regular counseling sessions, and the opportunity to study with like-minded peers. Kulier is among more than 20 other EEP graduates receiving their baccalaureate degrees this year.Source www.calstatela.edu
John Kraljić, New York
Formated for CROWN by prof.dr. Darko Žubrinić
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