Who are you and in which double major are you?
I am a Lebanese-Belgian student at Ecole Polytechnique’s Bachelor program. I was born in Lebanon, where I attended a Jesuit high-school and followed the French Baccalaureate curriculum. I am completing a double major in mathematics and physics as well as a minor in chemistry.
Why would you recommend the Bachelor Program?
Academically speaking, this program is extremely enriching and will provide you with a strong mathematical and theoretical background, allowing you to draw fascinating connections between the world around you and deep mathematical concepts. I believe that it is indeed one of the most complete programs in terms of the diversity and completeness of things that you can learn in just three years. As a physics student, not only will you learn fundamental classes in mathematics and physics, but you will also develop crucial programming skills and will have the opportunity to discover other fascinating areas like biology, chemistry, or economics. There are also plenty of opportunities for internships, especially if you are interested in research. During my second year, I was involved in a numerical project that aimed to prepare an electron acceleration experiment. During my time at ETH Zurich (semester 5), I conducted an individual research project aiming to understand and test new methods for the detection of exoplanets on an amateur telescope. For my Bachelor’s thesis (semester 6), I participated in a laser-plasma interaction experiment at the laser Petawatt facility in Austin, Texas along with scientists from the LULI laboratory.
Another thing that I find very particular of Ecole Polytechnique’s Bachelor program is the strong community spirit. All the students live together in the same buildings and usually go through the same things all together, which creates strong and long-lasting bonds. The community of Bachelor’s students is small but extremely rich and diverse, which creates a very interesting and enjoyable environment to live in.
What would be a great memory of your time in the Program that you would like to share with future students?
Out of the countless bonding activities that were organized, I will always cherish the trip to the Pyrenees that we did during our first year as one of the most memorable moments of my time at Polytechnique. It was the occasion for me to get to know my classmates in a completely different setting and make precious connections with people who I consider today as my best friends.
What would be a piece of advice that you would like to share with future students?
My biggest advice would be: don ’t be afraid to give yourself the opportunities that you need. When you want something, go for it, talk to people, make it work! This mindset helped me a lot during my time a Polytechnique, and I believe it to be one of the most important keys to success, whatever this might mean to you.
Where have you been admitted so far and what do you intend to do after the Program? Any other general comment on the outcomes of the Bachelor Program at this stage?
I have been admitted to Caltech, MIT, Princeton University, the University of California Berkeley, and ETH Zurich. I have finally decided to go to MIT to pursue a PhD in physics. During the next few years, I should be doing research on nuclear fusion at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC).
So far, I believe that the outcomes of the Bachelor Program look very favorable. Many people have been admitted to top-notch programs all around the world and some have gotten some really cool job opportunities. I also heard there was quite a positive feedback from the labs where we did our Bachelor’s theses.