École Polytechnique

French institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau

École polytechnique (French pronunciation: ​[ekɔl pɔlitɛknik]; also known as EP or X) is a French public institution of higher education and research in Palaiseau, a suburb southwest of Paris. It is one of the most prestigious and selective French scientific and engineering schools, called grandes écoles in French. It is known for its ingénieur polytechnicien scientific degree program which is equivalent to both a bachelor and master of science. Its entrance exam, the X-ENS exam, is renowned for its selectivity with a little over 500 admitted students out of the 53 848 students enrolled in the preparatory programs for the French scientific and engineering schools entrance exams. The school was established in 1794 by the mathematician Gaspard Monge during the French Revolution, and was a military academy under Napoleon I in 1804. Although Polytechnique is no longer a military academy, the school is still supervised by the French ministry of defense, and only a small number of its students choose to pursue a military career. Initially located in the Latin Quarter of central Paris, the school's main buildings were moved in 1976 to Palaiseau on the Saclay Plateau.Polytechnique has engaged in several partnerships to improve its international renown. It is a founding member of ParisTech, a grouping of leading engineering colleges in the Paris region established in 2007. In 2014 it also became a founding member of the confederal University of Paris-Saclay. Among its alumni are three Nobel prize winners, three Presidents of France and many CEOs of French and international companies. As of 2018, it is associated with 4 Fields Medal winners and is also currently ranked as the world's third-best small university by Times Higher Education's World University Rankings.Every year, many outstanding Polytechnique students earn admissions to the most prestigious academic institutions and graduate programs in the USA (Stanford, UC Berkeley, Caltech, Carnegie Mellon, Columbia, NYU, MIT, Harvard) and in the UK (Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Imperial College) demonstrating the recognition of the school and its best performing students internationally. During the 19th century, the specific model of École Polytechnique inspired the foundation of other well-known schools also named "Polytechnic," such as Polytechnique Montréal, Athens Polytechnic, MIT, EPFL and Caltech (initially a vocational school named the Throop "Polytechnic" Institute).
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