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Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski: for breaking barriers in the exploration of space and time

To mark International Women's Day, Univision honors 15 incredible Latinas who are innovating in different fields.
8 Mar 2018 – 07:38 AM EST
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski Crédito: Getty/Univision

Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski has been called a “ genius” and “the next Einstein.”

This Cuban-American says those labels bother her, but they’re hard to avoid. At 16, she became the youngest person ever to build and fly her own plane ( and to document the process on YouTube). That same year, she was accepted to MIT, where she graduated with a perfect GPA, at the top of her class.

Today, at 24, she’s doing her postgraduate studies in high energy physics at Harvard. In her second year there, she worked on an experiment involving the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in the world. She has been on the cover of numerous publications and invited to elite scientific conferences around the world.

Revolutionary astrophysicist Stephen Hawking , commonly cited next in line behind Einstein as the most intelligent man of the modern age, cited Pasterski’s work in a study about black holes. Pasterski now focuses on quantum gravity, or how gravity affects space and time at the subatomic level, where the laws of physics are different to those we experience in our daily lives. Her findings could change what we know about space and time, which, according to her mentors at Harvard, puts her on a similar level as Einstein and Hawking.

How does she define herself? “I’m just a postgrad student,” she says on her website. “I have so much to learn. I don’t deserve the attention.”

Emma Gonzalez
For calling B.S. on the NRA
Marlen Esparza
For revolutionizing women's boxing
Germaine Franco
For bringing Mexican music to the big screen
Rita Moreno
For redefining what it means to be 86
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
For bringing marginalized farmworker's voices into the #MeToo conversation
Diana Trujillo
For getting us closer to Mars
Princess Nokia
For infusing rap with punk rock, feminism and 'Afrolatinidad'
Candi CdeBaca
For fighting gentrification in a changing Denver
Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski
For breaking barriers in the exploration of space and time
Cristina Martínez
For daring to talk about undocumented restaurant workers
Geisha Williams
For leading California into a green energy future
Elizabeth Guzman
For taking her immigrant story to the Virginia legislature
Reyna Montoya
For encouraging undocumented youth to dream and heal
Maria Hinojosa
For putting Latino stories front and center
Gabby Rivera
For being the first queer Latina to write for Marvel Comics

Coordination: Jessica Weiss, Olivia Liendo and Allie Jaynes.

Illustrations: Grace Berríos and Jackie Albano.

Web design and development: Juan Jesús Gómez.

Editorial: Nathalie Alvaray, Tamoa Calzadilla, Juliana Jiménez, Douglas Gómez and Rogerio Manzano.

Photo Editing: David Maris.

This story was produced in collaboration with Univision Contigo, Univision's social responsibility team.

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