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About École Polytechnique
École Polytechnique (also known by the nickname "X") is a French public institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau near Paris.
Polytechnique was established in 1794 by the mathematician Gaspard Monge during the French Revolution, and became a military academy under Napoleon I in 1804. Today, the institution still runs under the supervision of the French ministry of Defence. Initially located in the Latin Quarter of central Paris, the establishment main buildings was moved in 1976 to Palaiseau on the Saclay Plateau, southwest of Paris.
Polytechnique has engaged in partnerships to improve its international renown. It is thus a founding member of ParisTech, a grouping of leading Paris-area engineering colleges established in 2007. In 2014 it became a founding member of the confederal "University of Paris in Saclay". Among its alumni are three Nobel prize winners, one Fields Medalist, three Presidents of France and many CEOs of French and international companies. It is currently ranked as world's third-best small university by Times Higher Education's World University Rankings.
In the 19th century, its specific model has inspired the foundation of similar schools, also named "Polytechnic" such as École Polytechnique de Montréal or Caltech (initially the Throop Polytechnic Institute).
History of École Polytechnique
Polytechnique has more than 200 years of tradition:
- 1794: The École centrale des travaux publics is founded by Lazare Carnot and Gaspard Monge, during the French Revolution, at the time of the National Convention. It is renamed "École polytechnique" one year later.
- 1805: Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte settles the École on Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, in the Quartier Latin, in central Paris (48.847747°N 2.349043°E), as a military academy and gives its motto Pour la Patrie, les Sciences et la Gloire (For the Nation, science and glory).
- 1814: Students took part in the fights to defend Paris from the Sixth Coalition.
- 1830: Fifty students participated the July Revolution.
- 1848: Students lead the French Revolution of 1848, and are an important part of the post-revolutionary process, with one student (Charles de Freycinet) being part of the post-revolution government. They are given the right to wear a sword as a recognition of their role.
- 1914–1918: Students are mobilised and the school building is transformed into a hospital. More than two hundred students were killed during the war.
- 1939–1945: Polytechnique is moved away to Lyon in the free zone. More than four hundred polytechnicians died for France during the Second World War (Free French, French Resistance, Nazi camps).
- 1970: The École becomes a state supported civilian institution, under the auspice of the Ministry of Defence.
- 1972: Women are admitted to the Polytechnique for the first time.
- 1976: The École moves from Paris to Palaiseau (approx 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Paris)
- 1985: The École starts awarding PhD degrees.
- 1994: Celebration of the bicentennial chaired by President François Mitterrand
- 2000: A new cursus is set in place, passing to four years and reforming the polytechnicien curriculum
- 2005: The École starts delivering master's degrees.
- 2007: The École is a founding member of UniverSud Paris and ParisTech.
- 2015 : The École is a founding member of Université Paris-Saclay.
Institutional Accreditation or Recognition - Ministère de la Défense, France
- N°1 Best French Grandes Écoles in Science and Technology - All French rankings combined
- N°13 Best European Universities by QS World University Rankings 2015/2016
- N°19 Best European Universities by Times Higher Education 2013
- N°3 World's best small universities by Times Higher Education 2016
- N°4 Best Universities for Global Executives by Times Higher Education 2013
- N°6 Worldwide among higher education institutions in terms of the number of Nobel Prize winners among its graduates according to the ranking published in Nature
- N°6 most attractive institution in the world for employers by QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2017
- N°29 Top 200 Most International Universities Worldwide by Times Higher Education 2016
- N°40 Top 863 Most International Universities Worldwide by QS World University Rankings 2015/2016
- N°36 Top 1000 best Universities Worldwide by CWUR (Center for World University Rankings) 2016
- N°66 Top 750 best universities in terms of international scientific publications by The CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015
Student life @École Polytechnique
Students are represented by a board of 15 students otherwise called "Kes", elected in December by promoting each newly arrived on campus. Kes manages the relationships with teachers, management, alumni and partners ParisTech. It publishes the weekly students, Infokes and animates the life of promotions during the year. Students benefit from a great freedom of initiative to initiate cultural, artistic, social or sporting associations over a hundred students, called "binets."
Campus life is very rich and punctuated and cultural events, performances, lectures, exhibitions and events of all kinds. These student demonstrations are usually held in the evening and are open to the public. The fact that all students (even foreign students) receive a monthly salary makes the student life particularly rich, since everyone can easily find funds to create an event. The AMIX, Association of Master's students of the École Polytechnique. X'Doc brings together students from the graduate school of the École Polytechnique.
An annual gala is organized since the 19th century in Paris Opera in April, the "Bal de l'X" where students go in 19th century uniforms and dresses. It is one of the major events of Paris social life and is regularly visited by high level officials such as Defense minister, CEOs or the French President, who traditionally offers the annual first prize of the Tombola.
Sports are a large part of the X life, as it is required for all students (except those in exchange programs) to do 6 hours of sport a week. There are competitive sports and club sports ranging from parachuting and judo to circus or hiking. There are two swimming pools, dojo and fencing rooms, and even an equestrian center on campus. The "Jumping de l'X" is an international jumping competition hosted by the school.