Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my study away blog!
A few meta things first.

Why I'm writing my first blog
 I want my family and friends to know what I'm up to. Otherwise my mom will try to call me everyday :). Also, in 5 years, I want to look back and see all the silly things I did.

My writing style
 I'm going for quantity over length of posts (hopefully the quality will still be there). So my posts will be short. I'm not going to write down everything I did, but rather present one or two interesting cultural/sociological/whatever things I learned that day/week. If you know me (which presumably, you do if you're reading this), you probably know I like writing very informally (with lots side comments). Improper grammar/spelling is a guarantee.

...All right more about France!

More about my study away experience. 

Here's where I'm going: 

École Polytechnique, right outside of Paris, France. Ecole Polytechnique's nickname is "X"

Let's do a quick comparison between X and Olin (my home institution)

LocationNeedham, MA, USPalaiseau, France
Year founded19971794
Number of students~350 undergrad2000 undergrad
~700 grad
Types of majorsEngineeringEngineering, Math, Science
Famous alumniNo one... yet!Nicolas Carnot (X1812): the heat engine/2nd law of thermo guy

Henri Poincaré (X1873):he formulated the Poincaré conjecture

Benoit Mandelbrot (X1944): Father of fractal geometry

Serge Dassault (X1946):CEO of Dassault Group... you know the guys who make Solidworks and cool fighter jets.

Joseph Fourier (Faculty): no explanation needed!
André-Marie Ampère (Faculty): see above!

This will definitely be an interesting experience for me!

Your job as the reader
...is to ask me questions (Steven, how well do you speak French? Answer: pas mal) ! Post them in the comments.

That's it for my first blog post!


  1. To be picky about facts, SolidWorks was created in 1993 and originally based in Concord, MA. It was later bought by Dessault Systems. So I think we can only credit Mr. Dassault with having tons of money and good taste in CAD software...

  2. I am looking forward to reading your blog!