Left to right: Caitlin Taylor, Matthe Eiles, Andrew McCubbin

A team of three Hope College students has won a bronze medal, placing in the top half among 77 teams from around the world participating in the 2011 University Physics Competition for undergraduate students.

The Hope team consisted of junior Matthew Eiles, a physics and mathematics major from Beaverton, Ore.; junior Andrew McCubbin, a computer science and physics major and mathematics minor from Galesburg; and senior Caitlin Taylor, a physics major and mathematics minor from Kalamazoo.

Working at their home institutions in teams of up to three, the participating students prepared formal solution papers to one of two problems posted on the competition’s website late in the day on Friday, Nov. 4. The competitors had a total of 48 hours to complete their work. The results were announced in December.

“We were certain these three students would rise to the challenge and do very well in the strong international competition. The enthusiasm they expressed when they first learned about the competition seemed only to grow as the weekend approached and never faltered, even in the wee hours of Sunday morning,” said Dr. Catherine Mader, who is a professor of physics and served as the Hope team’s advisor. “Their five-page summary of their solution is very impressive and we’re quite proud of what they accomplished.”

A total of 21 teams were ranked as Bronze Medal Winners. Another two teams were ranked as Gold Medal Winners and 14 teams ranked as Silver Medal Winners, with the remaining 40 teams ranked as Accomplished Competitors.