My name is Refath A. Bari. I was born in Bangladesh and moved to New York in 2009.  I am a 10th grader at Brooklyn Tech, one of the most prestigious high schools in the United States. My ultimate dreams are to get into Harvard University & participate in the Math Olympiad. There are 18 stories that have shaped my life, 2 of which have taken place in Bangladesh and remaining 8 in the United States. That’s it—just 18 stories

My Friendship with Dr. Yunus:


Dr. Yunus won the Nobel Prize in 2006, but we became friends before he got the Nobel Prize. I remember making a trip to Grameen Bank with my parents, because my dad was writing a book on him at the time. As a 2 year old, I was very shy, but he grabbed my hand and carried me around Grameen bank, introduced me to the staff and we instantly became friends.


We met again in 2005, when I was 3 years old, so I recall more about that interaction. I remember reciting a poem with him; It was a cathartic experience.


We met for the third time in 2006, when I was 4 years old. I was older, and he was more famous (he just won the Nobel Prize). But the new Nobel Laureate had the same affection for me, and managed to spend time with me.


Our next encounter in 2009, was when I was 7 years old. He was so excited seeing me in New York City that he called me from the audience and gave me a hug in front of everyone with Jeffrey Sachs. Jeffrey Sachs was dumbfounded, probably thinking why I was getting a hug from a Nobel Laureate, so he did the same.


This is the most beautiful experience I had with Yunus. I showed my respect for him in a Bengali way (touching his feet) in the middle of New York.


MMR Gulzar Movie & Relationship with Diti


In 2008, I participated in a movie by MMR Gulzar, one of the greatest directors in Bengali Cinema. My role was the son of Diti & Azizul Hakim. Diti was a legendary actress in Bangladeshi Cinema, so I was very shy and scared, because I’m no child actor. But from our first encounter, she was very kind and caring to me. As a result, I formed a very close friendship with Diti, from the moment she played me a very nice song. I used to write her a letter to her every mother’s day, since she played my mother on-screen. On March 20, 2016, Gulzar informed me that Diti had passed away due to Brain Cancer. I was heartbroken for many days, and couldn’t eat.


Pre-K in Bangladesh


I was born in Bangladesh on March 18, 2003 in Holy Crescent Hospital, Khulshi, Bangladesh. I moved to the United States in 2009. At 4 year-old, in 2007, I attended the Child Heaven School, Khulshi, Chittagong, from Nursery to Kindergarten.

While I do not have many memories of Child Heaven, I fondly remember my teacher, Ms. Jamila and Ms. Nasima, who helped me progress through the school year, whilst learning English for the first time. I also remember our Ms. Selina Islam, our Principal. My lowest grade in any of the seven courses in the class was a 96 (in math). My overall class rank was 4th (out of 30), for the midterm, and 1st (out of 30) for the final segment of the year.

Book : আলোগৃহের অপূর্ব


As a celebration of my birthday, my dad, Rashidul Bari, wrote a book in Bangla, Alogreher Aporbo (আলোগৃহের অপূর্ব). The book ceremony was held at Chittagong Engineering Institute on March 18, 2004”. The book was dedicated to my great grandfather Harun-Ur-Rashid, who graduated from Calcutta University. My mother also wrote a poem for the book.

Meeting with President of Bangladesh, Dr. AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury


When I was 4 years old, I was fortunate enough to meet with two greatest people of Bangladesh, the 13th President of Bangladesh, Dr. A.Q.M. Badruddoza Chowdhury, and Al Mahumad, the poet laureate of Bangladesh. In the first picture, he is attacking my dad for a poem my dad wrote which he did not like. Meanwhile, I am standing in the middle, dumbfounded.


My Meeting with Al Mahmud, the Poet Laureate of Bangladesh:


I fortunate enough to meet with the legendary Bengali poet, Al Mahmud. In this picture, he is speaking to my parents about his poems and literary works on Political & Economical Oppression, Nationalism, and other topics concerning his poems. I am standing, attempting to absorb as much information as possible. In another occasion, I remember I was reciting Al Mahmud’s poem to a large audience in a convention.


SAT

In an effort to maximize my chances of getting into Harvard, I've taken the SAT 5 times, starting from the 5th grade, when I first received a 1520 (Old Score). In preparation for the SAT, My dad has taken me to NYU Bobst Library, where I've taken many practice tests, essays, and exams to maximize my score. 


Recently, I've taken the SAT again, on March 2018, and received a 1540 (New Score), which is my highest score thus far. I will take the SAT once again on December 2018, in the hopes of receiving a perfect score of 1600.


On November 7th, 2015, I took the SAT, and received a 1580 (Old Score), which was an immense improvement of over 70 points over my old score on 2014.


On May 7th, 2016, I took the New SAT for the first time. I ended up with an Old Score of 1210.

Math

I am interested in Number Theory, and Geometry. I'm also a competitive mathlete, and have participated in over 20 contests so far, including NYML, IML, AMC10A, AMC 10B, and PurpleComet. My best score so far was a 5/6 on the IML, which was the 2nd highest score in Brooklyn Tech. I also got a 99 on the Geometry Regents. 


My interest in Math was sparked when I sat in Dr. Nikola Lakic’s Calculus-II class at Lehman College, which allowed me to see the hidden relationship between math and physics. It also led me to ask questions such as why Sir Isaac Newton-my number 1 hero-had to invent calculus. Dr.Lakic had told us he invented Calculus to solve the Falling Moon Problem .

Physics

Physics is the most direct application of mathematics, which is why I was inspired by Physics from such an early age. 

Of course, this was also the same year when I sat in Dr. Nikola Lakic’s Calculus-II class at Lehman College, which allowed me to see the hidden relationship between math and physics. It also led me to ask questions such as why Sir Isaac Newton-my number 1 hero-had to invent calculus. Dr.Lakic had told us he invented Calculus.

Programming

My interest in programming sparked when my dad had started teaching me the Python programming language. Soon, however, he got a job and stayed away for nights at a time. However, to compensate for his being, he gave showed a programming website one day called khanacademy.com. I made many basic programs in Khan Academy using the language ProcessingJS. Soon, I moved on to actual programming, and began designing websites and application such as Math Problem GeneratorA Bookmarking SystemProfile Page, and Material-designed home pages. 

STORY #1 : Baby SAT

When I was 7, my dad would bring home a new notebook everyday. And everyday, I would learn about a certain topic in Math, Science, or History. Once we finished a certain section of topics, he would make a collection of math problems, and make them into tests known as “Baby SATs”. Week after week, I would get 65s, or 70s on those tests, but one day -- after weeks of undeterred practice, I got a 95 on the Baby SAT. This success inspired, and motivated me enough to attempt the actual SAT, and see find out my score.

STORY # 2: Lehman College
in 2nd grade, I had a rare opportunity to sit down in two College classes, one with Dr. Michio Kaku (Astronomy) at City College of New York and other with Dr. Daniel Kabat (A calculus based Physics course) at Lehman College. It was because of Professors Kaku and Kabat’s classes that I learned the mind-defying topics of string theory and quantum mechanics, which perplexed me. How can a particle be in more than one place in the same time? These topics mystified me, and led me to visit the home of one of the Greatest physicists of all time, Albert Einstein. I visited his home, located in Princeton, numerous times. Toward the end of my two courses at Lehman & CCNY, I realized that Mathematics was the language of science.  

In an effort to maximize my chances of getting into Harvard, I've taken the SAT 5 times, starting from the 5th grade, when I first received a 1520 (Old Score). In preparation for the SAT, My dad has taken me to NYU Bobst Library, where I've taken many practice tests, essays, and exams to maximize my score. 


Recently, I've taken the SAT again, on March 2018, and received a 1540 (New Score), which is my highest score thus far. I will take the SAT once again on December 2018, in the hopes of receiving a perfect score of 1600.


On November 7th, 2015, I took the SAT, and received a 1580 (Old Score), which was an immense improvement of over 70 points over my old score on 2014.


On May 7th, 2016, I took the New SAT for the first time. I ended up with an Old Score of 1210.


In 5th grade, I also prepared for the SAT Math Level 1-unfortunately, I got a disappointing score of ~557/800.Of course, this was expected, due to my math ability at the time. When 6th grade came, I was all ready to take the SAT on Dec.6,2014.I spent months practicing using Barron's Books, Kaplan's books, and essay prompts given by my dad. I hogged any resources at hand, in an effort to prepare for the difficult test. To further help me prepare, my dad took me to the NYU Bobst Library to help me prepare for primarily the math section of the SAT, but also for the Writing Section. We took a mound of tests and my scores dipped and rose, and alas, my highest score was 95, up 50 points from the 45/100 I got on my first try. I wrote 2 essays, the first one getting C+ and the next one getting A+. At last, I felt I was ready for the SAT. So in I went, on the 6th of December ready to take one of the most infamous tests. After 17 Days, my score still didn’t come, so we called College Board. The score? An impressive 1520-480 for Reading,510 for Math, and 530 for Writing. Yet, I hadn't found the satisfaction which I had perceived with such a score,so I took the SAT once again on the 6th of June in 2015,and my score improved by up to 120 Points! My Reading and Writing improved by 70 and 50 points,respectively. It was a great moment to experience the fruits of my labour.


Rashidul Bari , Soborno Isaac Bari, Refath Albert Bari