Student Named CWRU’s First Gates Cambridge Scholar

Jason Tabachnik

One of Case Western Reserve’s own is taking his talents to England’s University of Cambridge.

Jason Tabachnik, 22, has been named a U.S. Gates Cambridge Scholar—the first in university history. He’ll join 38 other students from the United States as part of the program, established through a $210 million donation to Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Competition for a spot in the program is fierce—this year’s group included a field of 769 applicants, with 83 finalists facing a panel of academics from Cambridge and the U.S. for interviews in Washington, D.C., in February.

Tabachnik graduates this spring with two degrees from Case Western Reserve—a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics and a master’s degree in physics. He earned some 30 hours of college credit in high school, which allowed him to take graduate classes by his sophomore year.

This honor comes a year after Tabachnik won a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for his work on developing mathematical models that demonstrate how anti-lasers could boost the efficiency of solar cells. He co-authored two papers based on these projects that have been accepted for publication in academic research journals.

Tabachnik plans to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics at Cambridge. He aims to earn a PhD and, ultimately, to become a theoretical condensedmatter physicist.