Could you please introduce yourself ?
My name is Žarko Bulić, and I am 21 years old. I lived in Serbia my entire life until moving to France three years ago. I am a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Science progam at École Polytechnique where I completed a double major in mathematics and economics with a minor in computational mathematics. My interests lie in the intersection of applied mathematics and artificial intelligence.
Why did you choose the Bachelor of Science of Ecole Polytechnique ?
Firstly, I knew some of the older Serbian students that went to the Bachelor, and all of them were praising the program from the beginning. Since I knew wanted to study mathematics after high school, Polytechnique already seemed like a great choice. On top of that, I wanted to explore more scientific fields before specializing in one for a Master’s. This made the Bachelor of Polytechnique really stand out in comparison to other programs. Here, I had the opportunity to study mathematics and economics while regularly taking computer science courses. Finally, even though I had French as a language course in high school, I didn’t feel ready to follow university classes in French, so the Bachelor program with its internati
Could you tell us how the third year is going ?
The third year is amazing! It is my favorite year. Firstly, the exchange program organized by Polytechnique is a great opportunity if you want to learn more about a niche field that is only offered by some specific universities around the world, or if you simply want to explore a new country and its culture. I took this opportunity to go to ETH Zurich for a semester. Then, the Bachelor’s thesis came. This was certainly the most challenging part of the year (naturally, the most interesting one as well). I am currently in my sixth semester in which the courses appear to be all about exploring further topics and possible applications of the rigorous theory we built over the first two years in both of my majors. Finally, the atmosphere amongst the third-year students is great. We are all finally relaxed because by now we know most of the answers of our Master’s applications, so we can enjoy the last few months we have together. (Knowing our program, I am certain most of the answers are positive)
Do you have a favourite course?
This is a hard question! After some thinking, I would have to say that my favourite course so far was the Topology and Multivariable Analysis course we had in the third semester. I believe that this course stands out for several reasons. Firstly, the amazing teaching staff that made the course enjoyable. Secondly, I think that the course was a stepping stone to more serious mathematics after the notions introduced in the first year, so the problems and examples were some of the most interesting ones we had in the Bachelor.
What would be a great memory of your third year in the Program that you would like to share with future students?
That would probably be the feeling of coming back to campus after a semester in Zurich. While studying at ETH, I lived in an apartment far away from university and there were essentially no students living close to where I was. It was only then that I started appreciating the amazing campus experience we get at Polytechnique. The first day back on campus felt great. Wherever I went that day, I kept seeing my friends. We could finally all have lunch together, play sports, and talk about our semesters abroad.
What are your ambitions for the future?
I am planning to pursue a Master’s degree in mathematics that will hopefully prepare me for a PhD in applied mathematics. Next year, I am most likely going to Cambridge to follow part III of the mathematics tripos. After my studies, I am not sure if I will continue working in academia or work in the industry.
Any piece of advice to future Bachelor students that you would like to share?
Make sure to enjoy your time here! Do not rush to finish your undergraduate studies! Three years may seem like a lot of time, but it passes by too quickly. I am graduating in a month or so, but it feels like I just came here. Enjoy the program, the student life, but most importantly, enjoy the people you meet here. Unfortunately, I am sure I will miss the Bachelor very soon.