During the last semester of the Bachelor of Science, students work on the Bachelor Thesis a lab-based research internship. The thesis provides students an opportunity to pursue a directed, focused, and individual research project linked to the students' double major.

Raphaëlle Ramanantsoa

Could you please introduce yourself?

My name is Raphaelle, I am a third-year bachelor student majoring in mathematics and economics at Ecole Polytechnique and I am from Madagascar, France and the US.

Can you quickly explain what the Bachelor Thesis consists of?

The Bachelor Thesis is a research internship in a laboratory at Ecole Polytechnique or another institution. The thesis needs to be related to one of your majors or you minor if you take one.
It lasts 8 weeks minimum and is followed by the submission of a report and a presentation of your findings in front of a jury, which is usually called an oral defense.

What was the subject of your Bachelor Thesis?

I did it at the Paris School of Economics and it was about food security. It consisted of:
•    Analyzed a data base developed by the World Bank that draws on nationally representative surveys for 54 developing countries
•    Described the food consumption patterns of households in the developing countries. This also included looking at and comparing income inequality, the concentration of expenditure and the concentration of imports across developing countries.

What are the skills that you were able to acquire during this project?

I was able to acquired two main skills:

1) Stata (statistical software used in economics and other disciplines to analyze data among other things)

2) time management: as an opposed to assisting my supervisor on a project, I was conducting research independently.

What advice do you have for future students who will have to carry out this project?

Make sure to find a supervisor whose interests and work align with what you're curious to learn more about. Don't be afraid to pursue different options until you find the right one. Also, depending on where you carry out the thesis, your schedule is more or less flexible. If it is flexible enough, try your best to attend as many seminars as you can.