A Summer in Lausanne

I was excited to receive my letter of invitation to spend the summer after my bachelor’s degree in the beautiful city of Lausanne, working at EPFL to improve my research experience and exploring Swiss culture.

Coming from London, it was particularly nice to enjoy the scenic landscapes of the countryside, as well as the beach of Lausanne. I would often go for a run in the morning after hopping out of bed and it was great to be able to enjoy the rising sun at the seashore. In addition, my fellow interns and I went to CERN near Geneva and got to know how the most famous particle accelerator of the world works, whose popularity increased dramatically after the discovery of the Higgs Boson in 2013. So in contrast to Sheldon Cooper, I have been there! Later during my stay we went to the Gruyere cheese factory and the Cailler chocolate factory in Broc, where we found out about how these products are produced and got to taste different varieties as well.

I had the pleasure of working under Professor Stephan Morgenthaler in the Mathematics department on two different projects. One involved the application of stochastic processes to genetics and cancer development, while the other was concerned with robust statistical estimation of binary data. Fortunately I was not alone in my lab, but shared it with two PhD students. By the way, all you need for a Mathematics lab is a desk, pen, paper and laptop…

One of the perks of doing this programme was definitely spending time with interns from many other places, such as the US and Canada, as well as my housemates at the FMEL Rhodanie building, which is close to the Montelly metro station. As I spoke English almost all the time, I did not get to improve my French as much as I had hoped to, but fortunately everyday communication was mostly fine, apart from one or two awkward situations at the supermarket in the first few days…

Concluding, I have found this a really rewarding experience as I was able to strengthen my international experience as well as academic ability. My thanks go to the organising team of this research programme, my supervisor and the fellow interns I spent time with exploring Lausanne and Switzerland.

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Arijit Gupta, Imperial College London
Applied Statistics Section, EPFL

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