Matthew Mario Di Pasquale



I received many awards for the science research that I did the summer after 11th grade. My research involved making single-electron devices using gold nanoparticle monolayers. I did my research during the summer program offered by Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces.

College admission offers

The success of my science research probably really improved my college applications. I got into the following colleges:

I only applied early to one college: Harvard. I got in, so my family joked with me that Harvard was my safety school. But Harvard was actually my first choice. I was pretty sure I wanted to go to Harvard, but my brother suggested I still apply to the other colleges on my list and decide later. So that's what I did.

MIT held a reception at a hotel in Connecticut for all of the applicants in Connecticut who were accepted. A lady went up on stage and spoke to us. She acknowledged us for being accepted proclaiming that MIT's criteria for admission were very challenging and its admission process was very thorough. She said that there were 50 applicants from Connecticut whom MIT had accepted, that all but one of us had been interviewed, and that it was very rare for MIT to accept an applicant without interviewing them. I turned to my mom who was sitting next to me—We were sitting way up in the front—and I whispered in her ear, "They never interviewed me."

I got into the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology (M&T) at UPenn. Apparently that's a very selective program. I was surprised I got accepted.

I was rejected by the following colleges:

I don't know why those colleges rejected me. They're extremely selective. Also, my 12th-grade grades weren't as good as my 11th-grade grades. Since I applied early to Harvard, I think Harvard only saw my 11th-grade grades when they accepted me. These colleges also saw my 12th-grade grades before accepting me. Also, it's possible they knew I was applying to so many other colleges and/or that Harvard had already accepted me and that they didn't want to risk wasting an offer of admission on me. Or maybe applying early had other advantages, like showing that I was really interested. Or maybe I just got unlucky. Anyway, even if I had gotten in to all these colleges as well, I probably still would've chosen Harvard. So while I still felt hurt that they didn't want me, I was really grateful that Harvard (my first choice) accepted me, not to mention all those other great colleges.

I think in the end my choice basically came down to Harvard and MIT. I was more interested in science over the humanities, but I picked Harvard over MIT for a lot of reasons, but I think the main ones were that Harvard had always been my first choice and that I felt that:

Williams College Book Award

Kent School
Awarded 2003 October

Awarded to a student in the top 5% of their 11th-grade class who has demonstrated intellectual leadership and has made a significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the school.

Kent School doesn't name valedictorians, but I have a feeling I had the highest grade point average (GPA) in my 11th-grade class. If not the highest, then probably second or third highest. And I think there were about 150 students in my 11th-grade class. My 11th-grade GPA was insane. And a few other top students told me their GPAs, and I had the highest of them all by a pretty solid margin.

My 12th-grade GPA paled in comparison to my 11th-grade GPA because during 12th grade I was mainly focused on doing my science research and participating in science competitions. And after I got into Harvard, I went into senior slump hard. I was long due for a break. Ie, I was totally burnt out. I stopped caring about my schoolwork and grades and focused more on getting laid. I started acting even more cocky and mean, even more like an asshole, because I thought that's what girls liked, but I didn't realize what I was doing and ended up fucking up a ton of great opportunities and manipulating and hurting a lot of people, especially girls, and even myself. I'm sorry. 😔

I got a C+ in English during the spring semester of 12th grade, so Harvard made me write them a letter explaining what had happened. Luckily they didn't rescind my offer of admission. As George Carlin used to say: "Most people work just hard enough not to get fired". That's what I did after getting into Harvard because I didn't have anymore goals to work toward.

2003 American Mathematics Competitions Certificate of Distinction

Mathematical Association of America (MAA)

Awarded to all students who qualify for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME), which I did by being an American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 12 finalist. "All students who took the AMC 12 and achieved a score of 100 or more out of a possible 150 or were in the top 5% are invited to take the AIME." I remember taking the AIME. The questions were so difficult. I maybe solved one of them, probably incorrectly.

2003 US Physics Team Nominee

Kent School

My physics teacher at the time nominated me to compete in the 34th International Physics Olympiad (IPhO).

2003 AP Scholar with Distinction Award

College Board

"Granted to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken, and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams."

I'm not sure why they didn't award me National AP Scholar in 2004, or maybe they did, but if not, then maybe that was because they only counted the AP Exams that I took during my first four years of high school.

2004 Connecticut Science Talent Search: 2nd Place

Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE)

On 2004 May 25, my mom and I attended the CASE 29th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner at the Rocky Hill Marriott, 100 Capital Blvd, Rocky Hill, CT. I enjoyed listening to Dr Henry Chang-Yu Lee's talk.

Here's a news release and a picture of me receiving my award.

2003 Siemens Westinghouse Competition Regional Finalist

Siemens Foundation

I was one of five individuals selected to present my science research at the Regional Finals held at MIT. The student who advanced to the National Finals got 1st place in the 2004 Intel STS.

2004 Intel Science Talent Search (STS) Semifinalist

Society for Science & the Public

I also tried to compete at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, but I had just missed the deadline to enter the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair, so they wouldn't let me enter. I'm not very good with deadlines. And that's the understatement of the century. I barely made the deadline to apply early action to Harvard.

Semifinalist book

INSPIRE Conference Prize

University of Southern Mississippi
Awarded 2003 October 18

I was one of five students chosen to present our science research. We were chosen from a total of 60 high school students who had participated in the 2003 summer program offered by the Garcia Center for Polymers at Engineered Interfaces. We won a prize for $600. I don't remember the name of the prize or what place we got, but I remember a funny story from our trip there: We stopped at a fast-food restaurant, and our chaperone asked one of the workers there for directions. You can ask me about it sometime, and I'll tell you the rest of the story.

Kent School Guild Member

I was given the opportunity to present my science research to Kent School students and faculty and afterward to answer their questions.

Certificate of Excellence in the Field of Desktop and World Wide Web Publishing

Staples High School
Awarded 2001 June

My teacher for this class was so hot. I don't remember her name, but I remember she gave me an A+ and this award. (I secretly hope she sees this and contacts me.)

Excellence in Achievement in the Study of Language and Culture in French III Honors

Staples High School
Awarded 2001 June

Penalty Shot Competition: 1st Place

Vogelsinger Soccer Academy - Brooks School
Awarded 2001 Summer

Mini Ramp Competition: Novice Division: 2nd Place

Woodward PA Skateboard Camp
Awarded 2001 Summer

Boys Ice Hockey First-Team All-Area

Staples High School
2000–01 season

I had the most goals and assists on the team that season, my first and only season playing for Staples. I still remember one of the newspaper clippings. It was from an article about a game against Stamford High School. It was a big color picture of me stickhandling around a defender, and the caption read: "Di Pasquale netted all 3 Wreckers' goals in a 4-3 defeat".

1999–00 Bantam Connecticut State Champions - Division I

Connecticut Hockey Conference

During my freshman year of high school I was lucky enough to play on an amazing youth ice hockey team: the 1999–00 Mid Fairfield Bantam A team. Our starting goalie was Jonathan Quick, and our first line of forwards all went on to play in the pros.

1999 Middle School Connecticut State Scholastic Chess Champion

Connecticut State Chess Association

This was my first chess tournament. My final opponent and I had won every game except for ours, which we drew, but ultimately I was awarded the championship on tie-breaks.