ESP Biography

WING HO KO, MIT Graduate Student in Physics

Major: Physics (B.S. in Physics & Math)

College/Employer: MIT

Year of Graduation: Not available.

Picture of Wing Ho Ko

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I was born in Hong Kong and remained there until the age of 18. I received my elementary school education from CCC Kei Wan A.M. Primary School and my secondary school education from Diocesan Boys' School ( As a high school student, I participated in the Hong Kong Joint School Science Exhibition for two years. In my senior year, I was also responsible for the mathematics section of a summer school offered to incoming grade 7 students of my secondary school (note: In Hong Kong, middle school and high-school are joint. Thus, I was teaching incoming grade 7 students when I was in grade 12).

In 2001, I came to the U.S. and entered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) as an undergraduate. When I was in Illinois, I was a frequent participant of the "Physics Van" outreach program (, where College students go to elementary schools to perform physics demonstrations for the students there. I received the "Undergraduate Outreach Achievement Award" from the Physics department for my contributions to that program. I was also the treasurer of the physics society at UIUC for two years. In 2005 I graduated from UIUC with a double degree in mathematics and physics, and was awarded the Ernest M. Lyman Prize (Outstanding Senior in Physics) and the H. Roy Brahana Prize (Outstanding Senior in Math). A webstream video of my performance at Physics Van can be found in (browse, e.g., to the 31st minute).

I entered MIT in 2005 as a graduate students in physics, specializing in condensed matter theory (CMT), during which I have been a teaching assistant for four semesters. The courses I TA includes 8.321 (Grad. Quantum Mechanics 1), 8.511 (Grad. Solid State Theory 1), and 8.512 (Grad. Solid State Theory 2). In general, I received a fairly high rating in student evaluation, with a score of 6.5 in Fall 2006 and 6.4 in Fall 2008 (both out of 7).

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

M2417: Exploring Symmetry in HSSP Summer 2009 (Jul. 12, 2009)
Think that math is just plug-and-chunk? Feel that math is static, rigid, and boring? If so, this class may change your mind! We will be exploring symmetry - one of the most far-reaching ideas in mathematics - visually and interactively. Want to design your own wallpaper pattern? Want a general way of constructing intrigue figures that realize a particular symmetry? Want a know why A and B should be put into the same (symmetry) class, but not Z? Then please join! The only real prerequisite for this class is your intellectual curiosity. Proficiency in standard school mathematics may be helpful but is not essential.