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M2 Alumni's corner

This page essentially comes from contributions of past M2 students. The contents are slightly moderated.

Alumni yourself? Want to contribute? Ask for identifiers to msiam2@ensimag.fr.


You are considering joining our M2 master program, and are wondering how the environment is here in Grenoble? Read the testimonials of our alumni!



Let's start sharing the experiences from the very beginning, namely, from the first semester of the program. The courses are very different — from computational biology and neural networks to option pricing and graph theory.

The second semester was the Master internship. Since I am currently working on the PhD project which is partly based on my Master Internship, I am glad to have had the possibility to warm up and delve a bit into my subject before actually starting a PhD. First of all, only during the internship you can actually understand whether or not you are interested in research — because it is very different from what you have during the preparation to your exams. While at the exams you are just supposed to give the right answer, during the research internship neither you nor your supervisor is completely sure the answer exists. What was really cool during my own internship is that I was given enough freedom to do some stupid mistakes, correct them on my own, and learned how to not get depressed about the mistakes you discover right before the deadline — and I am glad to enter a PhD program already equipped with this knowledge.

Thus, I would definitely recommend MSIAM for those who are thinking — or hesitating — about applying to (any) Doctoral School.

A. M.

Hello everyone,

I am an alumni of the MSIAM M2 2016-2017 program. I would like to thank this program and all the professors for well prepared and interesting courses. The big advantage of this program is that everybody is completely free to pick up courses or their liking. The program is quite tough, especially in the end, closer to exams, because there are around 10 different courses to complete. But on the other hand it is good to have various tasks and projects from different areas during the semester. I have never get bored! Also I have to say that most of the courses were based on the recent, “state of the art” material from quickly developing areas, such as advanced machine learning or optimization. During all these courses, you can improve such skills as presentation preparation, coding, solving problems and learning and understanding absolutely new material from recent papers. Such skills are very useful, especially for those who wish to stay in research area. And also an important advantage of this program is that you are able to take free and good language courses, especially French language courses. It is very important for survival in France in case you are not French :) Second semester consists only of the research work, where you are also free to choose the topic and the research group – or the company – which you like the most. This is also a great time, because you can devote all your time for the research in the area which is the most interesting for you. In my case I had a great supervisor from LJK, so this time indeed was very profitable for me. What expects you in the end is the pleasure of writing an understandable and well structured thesis report in an extremely limited amount of time. Now I can use all these skills in my PhD research.

So, in case you are just starting this program, you are lucky to have the possibility to conduct your studies in very beautiful place!


Advice for incoming students

Just joined your training program? Benefit from advice and experience of alumni.



During the first semester, the courses are very different — from computational biology and neural networks to option pricing and graph theory, and the deadlines and the requirements are different, something is closer to your area of interest and something you just want to forget as soon as possible. And you must keep all that things in mind and survive. And if you did — as we all did, that experience stays with you forever even if you have successfully forgotten half of the material itself as soon as you passed your last exam.

During the second semester internship, learn how to not get too upset when you have no possibility to switch between different things. Because you have to do only one thing, and the sense of time for you is running low.

And also, being a non-French speaking alumni, I feel obliged to give few advices to non-French speaking future participants of this program.

  1. Learn some French! When you are learning the language in your home country, you see an effect only after reaching some level, which is not the case here! In Grenoble learning even some French has an immediate effect, it may cure your aching soul and palliate greatly your everyday suffering (because you will definitely have some).
  2. When you got stuck in another bureaucratic loop (you know, sometimes you need a document A to get paper B, to show in office C, where you can get instructions how to get a document A) and there is literally nothing you can do about that — just relax and wait. That's how it works. It always works. Seriously.
  3. Before choosing the subjects you wish to follow basing on the laconic description from MSIAM webpage, go through the list step-by-step and ask yourself: “Will I use this knowledge in one year?”. Whatever you think you are going to do in one year, the answer is “You probably won't”. It is inevitable that the only mission of some subjects from your list will be to teach you how to live with the constant feeling of frustration and an impending doom. That's how it works. So just relax.
  4. Sleep well, eat healthy, do some sport, play well with the other students, respect the deadlines and adults supervising your work.
  5. And, probably, the most important advice: thou shall not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. Face your fear. Permit it to pass over you and through you. And when it has gone past you will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only You will remain.

A. M.

First, the program can be stressful, so do not afraid! Getting stressed and worrying too much about everything may result in an awful time. Just let it go! But yes, do not postpone all the homeworks and projects to the very end, be careful about deadlines, then everything will be fine. Second, you will have a real opportunity to try different things and find something that is the most interesting for you. It will probably l lead to a sequel being a research work in that area. And the last thing, you have a really good opportunity to live in place surrounded by mountains! So make the most of all those beautiful sceneries around Grenoble, do not forget to go hiking, biking or skiing around sometimes :)


m2advice_testimonials.txt · Last modified: 2018/10/10 17:48 by jbdurand
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