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Baptism by fire? 2nd year of master's at polytechnique

  1. Jul 9, 2011 #1
    I've been accepted in the M2 (2nd year of master's) program in high energy physics at Ecole Polytechnique, in Paris. I looked at the compulsory courses I'd have to take. Here they are:

    -Beyond the standard model, supersymmetry and supergravity;
    -The standard model - weak and strong interactions.
    -Methods of statistical analysis and simulation, experiments and physics of detectors;
    -Advanced quantum field theory and introduction to string theory;
    -Astroparticles, astrophysics and cosmology.

    Each of these courses will take place from september 2011 to the end of january 2012. They will each consist of 1h of lecture and 2h of tutorial per week.
    I sent an email to a professor there and he confirmed to me that it was an "extremely loaded semester". That's almost an understatement.
    Is that the "French way"? What's the big idea? To stick a funnel in my brain and cram as much material as possible in the least amount of time?
    I'm very apprehensive and creeped out about this. I'll get more details when I'll talk to two professors at the end of july, but it might end up as bad as it looks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 9, 2011 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Sounds like you'll be getting your money's worth.
  4. Jul 9, 2011 #3
    Out of curiosity, where did you do your undergrad?
  5. Jul 9, 2011 #4
    I think that because it's a really excellent university so it's probably their way of thinning the herd and ranking students. Is it a pass/fail course?
  6. Jul 9, 2011 #5
    I did it at Université de Montréal, in Canada.

    Yes it's possible to fail. I sent another e-mail to a professor and apparently the evaluation in all these courses will be done on the basis of an oral presentation. That makes the ordeal somewhat less scary.
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