Dubai: An Indian expat boy has received acceptances from 23 universities in the West, including four Ivy League institutions for his undergraduate studies. Aman Burman, 18, is sitting on a plate full of university acceptances and a tough decision to make with respect to his choice of college.
Speaking to Gulf News, Burman said he has received acceptances into Cornell, Brown, UPenn (University of Pennsylvania) and Columbia in the US, besides 19 other top-tier American universities including Caltech, Carnegie Mellon, UCLA and McGill (Canada) among others.
“I am evaluating between Caltech, Columbia UPenn and Cornell. Right now, Caltech is my top choice as I am looking at studying astrophysics,” he said.
He added: “I believe Caltech will be the best fit for me. Caltech’s selective admission process leading to the small incoming cohort (250 students and only 25 international) would allow me to work closely with others who share my research interests in physics and computer science. We will share the same mindset.”
Aman said that the college application process was definitely a difficult task for him. “What helped me ace the applications was the balance I created with respect to my academics and extracurricular activities.”
Aman advised students to pursue extra-curricular activities and go deep into them.
Aman said his father studied computer engineering from National Institute of Technology in Jaipur and his MBA from HEC, Paris. “He worked for a bank for 10 years where differential calculus, first and second-order derivatives were an integral part of his daily discussions. I grew up hearing terminologies such as delta, gamma, and vega which I later learned are first and second-order derivatives of option pricing. So, mathematics was an integral part of our environment. My mother did a Bachelor of Arts, and had been a homemaker during the major part of my life. I saw her transforming herself from a home-maker to running a successful STEM education business with operations in Dubai and India.”
Summer programme set his curiosity
Aman developed an interest in physics and the sciences at a very young age.
"I first got a taste of astronomy and the cosmos when I was selected to participate in the CTD (Center for Talent Development) programme at Northwestern University at the age of nine. I attended the Life on Mars course which introduced me to planetary science. Later, at CTY, Johns Hopkins University, I took a course on Inductive and Deductive Reasoning in Grade 5 (at the age of 12).”
This pretty much set the tone for his quest to undergraduate studies.
Aman said Dubai College fostered his interest in mathematics and sciences. “My teachers have always motivated me to develop my curiosity on the subjects and go beyond what was offered in the curriculum through experiments, projects and competitions. My classmates have encouraged and supported me throughout the middle and high school journey. My high school counselor, Mr.Tate constantly helped me through his guidance and support and encouraging me to dream bigger.”
Aman started leading the astrophysics club at Dubai College in Grade 9. He also gave a TedX talk on the Fermi Paradox/alien life, headed STEM Talk society, Math Society, Charity Committee, played varsity basketball for DC. various projects.
World Science Scholar
In 2021, he was selected for the prestigious World Science Scholars program.
“Only 40 exceptionally talented science and mathematical minds were selected into the two-year program and I was the only student selected from the Middle East. As part of WSS, I have been fortunate enough to conduct research on subjects ranging from astrophysics to biology with leading scientists working on cutting-edge research and professors teaching at the top institutions in the world. This helped me learn various advanced topics on relativity, quantum physics, cosmology, blackholes, etc from some of the leading scientists in the world.”
In June 2022, Aman embarked on a project focusing on analysing data on isotopic measurements of Calcium-Aluminum inclusions. He also conducted research on Natural Language Processing. The research project required analysis of Supervised and Unsupervised Machine Learning Algorithms: Logistic and Linear Regression, Support Vector Machine, Gradient Descent, Neural Network Models: CNN, RNN, abstractive text summarization algorithms: Bidirectional Encoder-Decoder model – BERT, T5, GPT and K-Means Clustering etc on legal cases. “I have used Keras and Pytorch APIs to train T5 and GPT models to summarize legal cases. I have created a Streamlit app using Python to accept the legal docs as input and generated summarized texts for these documents.”
Aman said he cannot wait to start his undergraduate studies and excel in his chosen programme. “My parents have supported me all through. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done.”