Besides EPFL, I think the thing that I love most about Lausanne is Lac Léman. My favorite part of the day is going home on the metro and looking out over the buildings to see the snow-covered Alps jutting out of its freakishly blue water. To me, the best thing about this city is that it’s seemed to find harmony between its size and the presence of nature. A mountain hike, a jog by the lakeside, or a sailing excursion are all readily accessible, which I think explains why I see so many active people here. I haven’t been around in the winter yet, but I’m not surprised when people tell me that skiing becomes very popular during that time of year.
All in all, being at the EPFL for me has been great so far, because I can do research at a demanding level and still stay interested in my surroundings. I think another contributing factor to this is how well-developed the public transportation is here. Getting places is not nearly the chore that it is in my old town of Pittsburgh, since a decent number of buses and trains actually exist in this city (and, in typical Swiss fashion, they are wonderfully on-time). I hope in the future I will be able to come back here as a Masters student; I am incredibly thankful for taking part in this program, because it’s shown me how much the university and its surroundings have to offer.
Jack Biggs, Carnegie Mellon University
Parallel Systems and Architecture Lab, EPFL