In April, Anand Natarajan ’09 became the second Harker alum in three years to receive the J.E. Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement from Stanford University, one of the university’s highest academic honors.
For the ceremony, Natarajan was asked to invite the teacher he felt was most influential during his school years, and he chose upper school physics teacher Eric Nelson, who shared his thoughts on the experience of having Natarajan as one of his students. In one memory that Nelson shared, Natarajan was “tasked with modeling the trajectory of a projectile that was subject to drag forces. The projectile was a ‘poof’ ball that was being fired out of our offering for the 2006 FIRST robotics competition,” he recalled. “Anand was memorable because he was so persistent in wanting to model the motion of the ball, but what really stood out was the fact that his email correspondence was so articulate that I thought at first that I was addressing his parents.”
Another favorite memory of Nelson’s was when Natarajan discovered and corrected an error in a calculus model Nelson had developed. “It was really quite remarkable, especially considering that he was only 12 years old at the time,” Nelson said.