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OSU physics team members with Department of Physics head Dr. Flera Rizatdinova.

OSU physics team to represent US in International Physics Tournament

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Media Contact: Elizabeth Gosney | CAS Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-7497 |

The Oklahoma State University Department of Physics team emerged victorious at the U.S. Physics Tournament in December, defeating the University of Arizona in the finals.  

The OSU physicists will now go on to represent the U.S. at the International Physics Tournament being held in Zurich this April.  

“The University of Arizona team was really good, but we were slightly better," said Dr. Joe Haley, the team’s advisor. “We won all three rounds of fights and each round was a close score, which made revealing the final winner somewhat nerve-wracking but exciting.” 

The two-time national championship team embraces the opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students from physics, computer science and engineering to come together to participate in advanced hands-on research and problem solving. 

“It was rewarding being the host of this year’s tournament,” said Rosty Bruce, U.S. IPT mentor. “It was a lot of work organizing the event. Getting a lot of help from previous teams and the department made it easier.  Seeing everything running smoothly and everyone giving their whole best motivated me to give my best.”  

While IPT will provide the students with mentorships in research, presentation and technical tools — thereby training them to become experts in several physics' problems before the big day — a conscious effort to enjoy the national win in the meantime has been helpful.  

“It was almost overwhelming because the win immediately came with preparations for IPT on our minds,” said Nathan May, the team’s captain. “With five months to prepare, I knew we had to stop talking about physics. We needed a little break to enjoy winning rather than focusing on what comes next.”  

OSU and the Department of Physics will receive international visibility from the team’s participation in the IPT. Haley explained that it sets them apart now and in the future, enhances students' interactions and collaborations and promotes cross-cultural upliftment. 

“The impact on students is numerous,” said Sai Sekar, U.S. IPT leader. “It gives the students exposure to world physics that increases their knowledge, provides them with life skills like curiosity, passion, debates, civility, research and presentation skills.”  

OSU will compete against students from Brazil, the U.K., Germany, France and Ukraine. The team is raising travel funds through an upcoming PhilanthroPete campaign and welcomes any support to get them to Switzerland in April.  

“I’m looking forward to us going because the experience is invaluable for the students and they work hard,” Haley said. “The tournament is the best week I've had just seeing the students thrive.”  

For those interested in supporting the team, email Haley at

Story By: Adeola Favour, CAS Graduate Assistant |

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