First students from the Technion at École Polytechnique
© École Polytechnique, J. Barande
Oren Wiezel, Ohad Shpielberg and Tal Goren are the first students coming at École Polytechnique from Israel Institute of Technology, also known as Technion, since the signature of a special agreement of academic cooperation between the two institutions in November 2013. This agreement aims at promoting international and intercultural understanding as well as providing a framework for faculty and student mobility. The three Israeli students seized this new opportunity to come to École Polytechnique to do some research: Oren and Ohad are working at the Center of Applied Mathematics (Centre de mathématiques appliquées or CMAP) while Tal joined the Center of Theoretical Physics (Centre de physique théorique or CPHT). For all of them, this is their first long stay abroad for education purposes, and they were encouraged to apply by their advisers who have cooperations with École Polytechnique, among whom Eric Akkermans who did his PhD in France. The students also received financial support - scholarships from the Alumni group X-Israel - through the École Polytechnique Foundation.
Ohad Shpielberg, who is in his third year of PhD, is particularly enthusiastic to be here: "The Paris region is the temple of statistical mechanics!" Thierry Bodineau, with whom he is working at l'X, is indeed a specialist in this domain. Ohad knows that research collaborations take time, so he sees this stay as an occasion to set the wheels in motion for further exchanges with the Parisian teams. He would also consider doing his post-doc in France if this experience goes well for him and his family.
Tal, who is finishing her PhD as well, is also interested in going abroad for her postdoc. She is working with Karyn Le Hur at the CPHT and she appreciates their discussions together. "It gives me a different and new perspective on my research." Tal also enjoys École Polytechnique campus, where both she and Oren are accomodated: "Of course, I would have loved to stay in Paris, but here, we are in a great environment to meet people from all over the world. It is a very international campus!" And Tal still gets the most out of Paris - museums, food, gardens - on week-ends!
As for Oren, he is going to use his time here to experience research in France and decide what he wants to do next - a PhD or not. He is working on the optimal control of micro-swimmer models, basically helping to design little robots that deliver medicine directly inside the human body! His adviser is hoping that he will do a PhD, and his work could clearly lead to interesting societal applications. Indeed, École Polytechnique and Technion, two world leaders in the areas of science and engineering, both encourage innovation and technology transfer.