VALEDICTORIAN JOHN PARDON ’11 LAUGHS AGGRESSIVELY, THINKS BEST NEAR TREES, CAN PERFORM ADDITION
[and check out our previous 21Q with SALUTATORIAN VERONICA SHI '11]
Name: John Pardon
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Eating Club/Residential College/Affiliation: Butler College
What was your initial reaction when you found out?
Well, after getting the email asking me to Dean Fowler’s office, it took some time to actually walk over there, so by the time I arrived, I had pretty much figured out that I’d won something. It was still pretty surprising when she told me I was valedictorian.
Who’s your favorite Princetonian, living or dead, real or fictional?
Probably John Nash *50.
What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in Princeton?
On campus: certainly the Great Chefs of Chicago dinner in the dining halls during freshman year. Off campus: Mediterra. I went there at the expense of an electronic trading firm, GETCO. I’ve gotten lots of subsequent invitations to go to similar such dinners, but I always find it awkward to attend because I don’t actually think I want to go work at a place like that, so I haven’t gone to any more of them.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day?
There are the usual tasks, homework, etc. But otherwise, I run, practice cello, and read math papers.
What is your greatest guilty pleasure?
The Sci-Fi channel, though recently I’ve only had the chance to watch it when I’m at home on break.
Could you briefly describe your thesis?
It’s in topology, specifically knot theory. I wrote about a new link “concordance” invariant.
Do you know all the words to Old Nassau?
No (and I feel like I’m the only one too! When do they teach everyone these things???)
What is your biggest fear?