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Visit of Hamidoune Prize 2015 laureate at l'X

Sidi Mohamed Ely, a student of École Supérieure Polytechnique of Nouakchott, Mauritania, won the Hamidoune Prize 2015; as a reward for his victory, he spent one-month at École Polytechnique Laboratory of Computer Science.

"I loved doing the exercise of geometry because I could solve it in an original and elegant way." When Sidi Mohamed Ely describes the exercises of the competition he solved to win the Hamidoune Prize, his passion for mathematics, and more specifically for geometry, is obvious. It is precisely this kind of passion that the competition aims to identify and encourage by honoring Yahya Ould Hamidoune, Mauritanian talented mathematician who passed away in 2011.

Sidi Mohamed Ely during his stay at l’X, © J. Barande

The competition has two categories: high school and university. All the laureates of the Hamidoune Prize receive books and materials to support their scientific studies and those who get the first prize also receive a scholarship for a short research internship at the high school level, and a longer one at the university level. L’X supports the Hamidoune Prize by giving scientific books to the winners (donated by the Éditions de l'École polytechnique) and organizing the stay of the first prize laureate at the high school level winner in its Research Center.

This award has thus enabled Sidi Mohamed Ely to discover École Polytechnique from the inside since he had already heard about l’X, an institution which "trained great scholars and scientists." Being accommodated on campus during his stay, Sidi considered that this was a unique opportunity to discover the daily life of Polytechniciens and researchers from the École Polytechnique Laboratory of Computer Science, all "very experienced" according to him. “École Polytechnique students are the most intelligent of the world!” says the young man, who won the Hamidoune Prize while he was at the Atar High School in Mauritania. Today, as a student of École Supérieure Polytechnique of Nouakchott, he appreciates the warm welcome that he received from the laboratory team at l’X and his exchanges with researchers.

This experience has allowed Sidi to learn to code in Python, but it was also an opportunity for him to become familiar with the Parisian daily life by experiencing the RER, some tourist getaways and the local facilities: the young researcher appreciated for example the fast Internet connection in France. Thanks to his stay at l’X, Sidi has been confirmed in his ambitions: he projects to do a PhD in mathematics abroad after his studies at École Supérieure Polytechnique of Nouakchott. The young Mauritanian seems to have all it takes to follow the example of Yahya Ould Hamidoune who did his PhD in France.