Zhiming Darren Tan
Oxford University (2011 to present), Princeton University (2000 to 2004)
Currently studying for a PhD in theoretical physics
Ministry of Education, Singapore (as a teacher and a policy officer)
Currently a student
Favourite thing to do in my job: Think! Tinker! Try!
I try to understand why magnets feel frustrated.
Geometrically frustrated magnets – a surprisingly happy venue where theoretical physics, mathematics, and experimental physics meet. And it’s like a love triangle, shrunk down to the microscopic world – just as full of drama and excitement!
My Typical Day
Reading, writing, while thinking.
I am a theoretical physicist, so a lot of time is spent thinking about problems – seeking ideas and working out the detailed implications. Recently I’ve been spending most of my time writing up my thesis!
What I'd do with the prize money
Double up the impact by partnering with a winner from another zone.
If I win, I will look at what the winners from other zones intend to do with their money. I will then identify possible partnership(s) where working together can lead to much greater outcomes, especially since working in a team allows each person to play to his/her strengths.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
physicist, poet, person
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
The research for my PhD
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Sure, but nothing too outrageous
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Probably a poet or a programmer
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
Durian (a tropical fruit with a famous smell)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
That I could also live connected lives in the past, the present, and the future
Tell us a joke.
A neutron walked into a bar and asked, “How much for a drink?” The bartender replied, “For you, no charge.”