Let’s bowl! | Columbia College – 71Bait

Columbia University College Bowl participants Akshay Manglik CC’25, Albert Zhang CC’24 and Forrest Weintraub CC’24

Get ready to roar for these Lions Three college students will go head-to-head tomorrow night on Capital One College Bowl, the NBC quiz show hosted by Hall of Famer quarterback Peyton Manning. The 10-part series will feature students from 16 schools vying for a share of $1 million in scholarship funds.

Akshay Manglik CC’25, Forrest Weintraub CC’24 and Albert Zhang CC’24 will represent Colombia and do their best to keep the trophy that was grabbed by last year’s winning team.

Meet this year’s bowlers!


Akshay Manglik CC’25 is a computer science student from San José, California. A member of the Columbia Quiz Bowl club, he says trivia runs in the family: His older brother was a quiz bowler in high school and college, and they often watched Jeopardy! together at home. His favorite trivia category is American history.

What was your favorite part of the College Bowl process?

Definitely meet all the other participants from the other universities. They’re all very nice, very smart and fun to hang out with and we’re all still in touch. I also enjoyed getting to know the other college participants better and socializing at team exercises and dinners.

What do you like most about your favorite trivia category?

I enjoy learning about the complex history that shaped American history and how moments in American history are still relevant today. Many current issues are the result of a series of (often unexpected) historical events. It’s really interesting to follow history, how history unfolded – the events, ideas and people behind it – and how it led to our present.

What do you value most about college and how does it feel to represent CC nationally?

I really enjoy the open environment – it’s fun to be with the students and I’m always learning. I always feel like I’m ready to try new things and it’s given me so many new experiences in college (like joining a dance team for the first time!). I don’t think it’s fully settled yet that I’m representing Columbia on national television, but I’m excited to see how it turns out!


Forrest Weintraub CC’24 is an astrophysics major with a math minor in Fargo, ND. She first learned about College Bowl from her teammate and fellow astrophysics major, Zhang. Weintraub says trivia has been a big part of her life since middle school, when she would scan encyclopedias for fun. Her favorite trivia category is history.

What was your favorite part of the College Bowl process?

Getting to know my teammates (including our alternate Lily Collier CC’25, who I didn’t know before) as well as the competitors we faced from other schools. This show connected me with friends who I know will be friends for life and I know that’s what I’ll appreciate the most as I look back on that experience years from now.

What do you like most about your favorite trivia category?

So many history trivia questions are easy if you can visualize the world map and how it evolved over time in your mind. I’ve always been very interested in maps and geography, and the added layer of how people have interacted with it means there’s so much more to understand. One particular aspect I like is that you rely heavily on inference for most of the quiz bowl questions; If you know the general trends in history, you can usually guess the answer to something you’ve never heard of.

What do you value most about college and how does it feel to represent CC nationally?

My favorite thing is the astronomy department. Faculty and students of all levels are friendly, brilliant and strive to create a healthy and connected social environment. It makes life as an astronomy student an absolute joy, especially as I get to study a subject that I love and which unfortunately doesn’t always have the institutional support that we are fortunate to enjoy in college. Since Albert and I both come from the Astro department, there’s a lot of pressure on our shoulders. But we know that the community will always have our back here.


Albert Zhang CC’24 studies astrophysics and computer science and comes from State College, Pennsylvania. He is President of the Columbia Quiz Bowl Club and has competed in quiz bowls and other academic competitions for the past five years. His favorite trivia categories are history and visual arts.

What was your favorite part of the College Bowl process?

Definitely going to Georgia where the filming took place and hanging out on set, at the hotel and in Atlanta with my amazing teammates Akshay, Forrest and Lily as well as friends from the Quiz Bowl community and all the new friends we made other schools. It was great fun!

What do you enjoy most about your favorite trivia categories?

I’ve been really interested in learning about art since I took an art history class in my freshman year of high school (although I don’t have any art skills myself). And it’s really cool to combine things I’ve learned through competitions with artworks while visiting museums or being amazed by works I’ve seen in person.

What do you value most about college and how does it feel to represent CC nationally?

I definitely appreciate the wide range of cultures from around the world to interact with, especially with the Global Core courses and languages ​​on offer. There are so many interesting topics that I would never have thought of on my own. I wish I had more semesters here to take them all – a double degree in STEM subjects doesn’t give me much time!

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