Laurent Arnoult (École Normale Supérieure de Paris; AIV '07)
After the very formal academic education I received at the ENS during the third year of the licence and first year Biology Master, my curiosity led me to approach new scientific questions from novel angles, to enrich myself by being in contact with students from other backgrounds, and to improve my competence in the laboratory. The enthusiastic description by a student from a previous second year AIV master's program seemed to correspond to my expectations.
The AIV master's was for me a flexible educational structure in which I was effectively free to reflect and decide on and to manipulate, new objects and concepts in such areas as the philosophy of science, computer science, and biophysics, while at the same time listening to the counsel of the teaching staff.
I also benefitted from the innovative teaching approach employed in the AIV master's program, which features multidisciplinary working groups and alternates between creative exploration and critical analysis. For example, my visit to Peking University organized in the context of the AIV master's program left a great impression on me, and upon returning, I felt I had a acquired a better capacity to listen to others, which will no doubt make me a better researcher. For those who are curious of spirit, I recommend the thrilling AIV discussions among students, which give rise to novel ideas that come from nobody knows where, except perhaps the group itself as a collective entity.