Aatman Shah, son of Vaidehi and Mukesh Shah, of Plano, Texas has been admitted to the undergraduate program at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA.
AATMAN SHAH INTERVIEW
Plano students aim for success in Northeast
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of three stories about Plano ISD
valedictorians and salutatorians. Plano Senior High School students are
features today, Plano East students will be featured Thursday and Plano West
Plano Senior High School salutatorian Aatman Shah discussed with
a Plano Star Courier reporter his high school experience and
By Adam Rosenfield, Staff Writer
(Created: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 1:00 AM CDT)
Aatman Shah: July 6, 1989
AS: I was born in Dallas but have lived in Plano since I was three years old.
AS: I want to study the brain.
AS: I want to be a neurosurgeon, or do some scientific research on the brain.
How has Plano Senior helped you advance?
AS: It's taught me the value of hard work and persistence. The harder you work,
the luckier you are.
Favorite school subject
Why did you choose your specific career path?
AS: Of all the parts of our body, we know least about the brain. I want to be
on the frontier of uncharterd territory, kind of like Cabeza de Vaca (Cabeza
means head in Spanish) was for exploration.
Where are you going to college, and why?
AS: MIT. It has the largest neuroscience division in the world, and is a place
where I can get the most exposure.
Any other colleges you were accepted to?
AS: University of Texas, Washington University in St. Louis, Cornell University
and Duke University
AS: None. My parents are footing the bill.
AS: One older sister who is a freshman at University of Pennsylvania.
Who/what was your academic inspiration?
AS: All of my teachers. I look up to my grandfather because he came from a poor
village in India and came to America with only two pairs of pants. He then
became a cadiovascular surgeon and worked at Baylor Medical Center for the
If you could have dinner with any five people, who would they be?
AS: Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Buddha and John Ritter (deceased comedian).
What is your favorite place?
AS: Outside of Plano, probably Cancun or Cozymel. In Plano, I enjoy Arbor Hills
If you were President of the United States for a day, what would you do?
AS: I'd legalize marijuana...just kidding. My parents would kill me if I did
that. In all seriousness, I would pass Congressman Sam Johnson's social
What was your favorite high-school memory?
AS: Hanging out in the library and talking with friends. I had deep
conversations - and silly ones - and I learned just as much in the library as I
did in the actual class.
What was your childhood dream?
AS: I always wanted to work in some capacity with the brain.
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Aatman has had an outstanding academic career including:
• School Rank – 2nd out of 1,277 students.
• Semifinalist – Intel Science Talent Search Competition - 2007
• Semifinalist – Siemens Westinghouse Science Competition (2006- 07)
• Vice President of LASER Club - Learning About Science and Engineering Research
• Life time member of MENSA
• Artist – Visual Art: specializing in various mediums of art such as oil painting, charcoal, Pencil sketches, pastels, and watercolor. Won many awards at local, district, regional & state level
• President of Art Club - student founder
• Captain of Debate team – elected.
• Member of NFL (National Forensic League). Qualified for this membership through participating in high school speech activities.
• Science Fair Competitions - Won district, regional & state awards.
• National Honor Society – Member through out school career.
• Member of Congressional Youth Advisory Council for Congressman Sam Johnson of 3rd congressional district. One of the few students selected out of 150 students.
• Published article in the Congressional Record by the Government Printing office on Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady’s interview, preserved for antiquity.
• Community Service - Volunteered 200 hours at local hospitals & Clinics.
Our best wishes to Aatman and his family for his continued academic success.