Rabinovich is one of 283 students to be awarded the scholarship this year from a pool of more than 1,100 applicants. An Angier B. Duke Memorial Scholar from Solon, Ohio, he is double majoring in physics and mathematics and minoring in music.
"The things that I've accomplished have already been done, so it's just an extra, nice thing that someone else recognizes it," Rabinovich said.
Rabinovich was a 2013 PRUV Fellow through Duke's department of mathematics. In high school, he was a member of the U.S. Physics Team and took second place in the World Piano Competition, performing twice at Carnegie Hall.
The scholarship provides up to $7,500 for undergraduate tuition, books, fees and room and board for students pursuing the natural sciences, engineering and math.
Because the A.B. Duke scholarship covers tuition and room and board, Rabinovich will probably not receive the full amount of money that can accompany the scholarship, he said. But he does not feel that this lessens the extent of the honor, he added.
"The name by itself still helps very much with my future," he said.
Rabinovich said he hopes to attend graduate school in either physics or math and to ultimately become a professor and researcher. He is currently researching string theory with associate professor of physics Ronan Plesser, focusing on understanding physical models of string theory through the use of similar, non-physical models.
"Eugene is uncommonly talented and driven," Plesser said in a Duke News press release. "He is among the two or three most promising students I have seen in 16 years here, and I feel confident he will make real contributions to our field."
This is the second consecutive year that a Duke physics major has received the scholarship, as senior Kushal Seetharam—also an A.B. Duke scholar—was named a Goldwater scholar last year.
There have been 63 Duke recipients of the scholarship since 1995.