Information for high school students

General program

Practical information (only in French)

Program of intership

Information session, 1st day: Perspectives and study plan of the section of mathematics

2nd day: within the Section of Mathematics:

Mathematics: The Language of Science and the Art of Reasoning

The day will give high school students the opportunity to meet and interact with EPFL faculty,staff, and students and gain a better appreciation of  research, teaching, and life in the Mathematics Section of the EPFL, as well as the opportunities that lie beyond.

Mathematics research: Pure or Applied?
Mathematics is one of the oldest fields of human intellectual endeavour, already in its third millennium. Still, it can be said without exaggeration that this is an era of unprecedented excitement and opportunities for mathematics. Dramatic breakthroughs in the physical and biological sciences as well as the data revolution give rise to a wealth of novel mathematical challenges, which in turn further invigorate the foundations of mathematics. Mathematics is often perceived as falling in one of two categories: pure (theoretical) or applied. Is this distinction really there however? EPFL researchers will present and discuss the problems they work on – from fundamental questions about the structure of numbers and properties of space to the modelling of complex natural/socioeconomic phenomena and the extraction of knowledge from data under uncertainty – providing a glimpse of the bewildering breadth of mathematical research and at the same time of the deep interconnections that pervade it.
Study plan: Foundations, options, and orientations.
Exploring a mathematics curriculum can sometimes be daunting for a beginning student: so many courses with names that a priori are unclear and with no obvious interconnections. We will try to make sense of the structure of the EPFL curriculum, from the solid foundations it builds in the first two years of study, to the high degree of flexibility and tracks offered from the third year onwards. In particular, we will explore the different Master’s degrees offered by the Mathematics Section, but also how the Bachelor in Mathematics can serve as a platform to launch into Master’s studies in fields other than mathematics.
Career opportunities: What does a mathematician do?
Walk into a company, and you’ll never see a tag with the title “mathematician” on someone’s office door. Yet mathematicians are in extraordinary demand in the job market and staff lucrative positions in industries as diverse as banking, pharmaceuticals, insurance, and telecommunications, to name only a few. The reason? Their unique ability to reason rigorously within a quantitative framework. We’ll discuss these opportunities, and how studies at EPFL prepare students to rise to the challenge. An equally important track is that of a career in education. This paths been an important direction for mathematicians traditionally, and indeed one that remains in high demand in high schools across Switzerland. Studies in mathematics at EPFL allow students to pursue this career, and we will go over the requirements and options.
Student life: Meet CQFD.
Who better to describe student life than the students themselves? The Association of Mathematics Students of the EPFL (CQFD) will organise a session with ice-breaking games of a mathematical nature, leading to an open discussion and Q&A session restricted between high school and EPFL students. This is you chance to ask those questions you might not feel comfortable asking faculty!


Cookie breaks and a buffet lunch will be provided. The detailed programme will be announced here in due time.

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