Sergey VILOV AtoSIM student 2014-2016

Albert Einstein - 'Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving'

Indeed, the modern world benefits only those who remain enthusiastic, competitive, determined and who constantly improve their professional and personal qualities. The AtoSIM course has played a significant role in my life as I took it  as a unique chance to develop valuable character traits as well as to expand  the range of my academic achievements.
While applying to the course many think about the opportunities which the programme gives, such as profound academic training, fascinating international experience, a good chance to find a job in the industrial or research domain after graduation. Each point is undoubtedly extremely significant and should not be underestimated.
As concerns education, the first semester in Amsterdam provides one with basic background that is essential to study successfully in the other countries. In addition, the Amsterdam universities are the most well equipped ones I have ever seen. Throughout the second semester in Rome, students are provided with original theoretical support that can hardly be mastered anywhere else. In particular, I am really proud of having attended courses given by such world-famous scientists as Francesco Sciortino and Irene Bozzoni. However, both semesters serve to prepare students for studying at the ENS de Lyon where educational standards are very high.
Regarding international experience, a six month period seems to be enough to appreciate a different country and get acquainted with its culture. One will amaze at how it is important to have a bicycle in Amsterdam, taste the famous Italian cuisine and marvel at the historical heritage of Rome, fall in love with the city of Saint-Exupéry and André Ampère. Those willing to study foreign languages will definitely thrive on various language courses provided by the ENS de Lyon.
Meanwhile, studying abroad is to a certain extent rather hard. One has to learn how to live a long way from home, how to make friends among people belonging to different cultures and how to respect traditions of others. For some, such difficulties become particularly challenging, while they can significantly strengthen those who do not give up.

Dmytro IVASHCHENKO AtoSIM student 2013-2015

" My name is Dmytro Ivashchenko. I am Ukrainian. And this is my story.
  Everyone  should have a goal in his or her life. I always had a restless desire to learn the unexplored. Since my childhood I have been trying to set highly competitive goals and put maximum efforts to achieve them. As a result, I am obtaining my Master degree under the Erasmus Mundus scheme in Atomic scale modelling  of physical, chemical and biomolecular systems (EM AtoSIM) taught by the cooperation of 4 well-known European universities: VU university Amsterdam, UVA (the Netherlands), Sapienza Università di Roma (Italy) and École normale supérieure de Lyon (France).
  During this program I had the opportunity to study under the supervision of highly skilled professors and qualified researchers.
  While searching for a Master program, the main criteria for me were:
  • to work with computers but still be connected with physics and chemistry;
  • level of the universities - demanding but at the same time providing everything needed for a student to study;
  • content of courses - innovative, state of the art, extensive;
  • diversity of students - from different countries, with different cultures but with the same goal.
   AtoSIM perfectly fits my demands and therefore I wanted to be admitted very much. Could you imagine how happy I was when I found out that I am accepted? I thought how the program could change my life, but I would never expect such huge changes! Thanks to AtoSIM not only I have achieved my starting goals but also I have  got way more than I have ever wanted. - i;e a perfect understanding of what I want to do further in my life and new friends.
  I would recommend this program to everybody who wants to connect his or her life with physics and/or chemistry, to become an expert in the field of computer modeling and to experience life in different countries with amazing people."

Luca GAGLIARDI AtoSIM student 2013-2015

I am originally from Italy. At the end of my three years Bachelor degree in physics in Rome ('Sapienza university') I applied to the AtoSIM project to specialize in the field of computational statistical physics. I had the honor to be selected and I have been part of the program in 2013-2015.
  I am very satisfied overall with this experience since it gave me the unique opportunity to travel and to study in top level universities across Europe.
  In Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to participate in the Molsim workshop that put me in contact with leading scientists as Daan Frenkel and Berend Smit and with the growing world of young researchers in the field.
  In Rome, while being in the most beautiful city of the world (I admit that this statement is a bit biased), I consider to have had the most high level and thrilling lectures on statistical theoritical physics of the program with such well-known professors as Francesco Sciortino and Giovanni Ciccotti.
  Lyon was the perfect crowning achievement of such an experience since it gave me  and my fellow students the opportunity to be part of the prestigious ENS university, which offered a number of seminars and a close contact with researchers and laboratories.
  In my case, I ended this two year path working on my final research project in CECAM headquarters at the EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland). There, I had the extraordinary opportunity to work with Dr. Sara Bonella in a very stimulating environment in which I started to be considered more as a fellow researcher than as a student.
  I think AtoSIM gave me a huge boost to my career development and moreover helped me build a network of scientific relations.
  I warmly advise anyone who is interested in statistical physics and has an inclination for travelling and for international environments to apply for the course."

Alon GAL
AtoSIM student 2013 -2015

" I learned  Italian and French, a bit of Dutch, a bit of physics, and had a great time. I recommend this program for people looking for an adventure, but one that involves a top-notch academic experience, provided by leading researchers in the field of numerical simulations. The program is quite accommodating from both a financial  and an administrative point of view.  I imagine it is not trivial to juggle a group of foreign students through the visa and university bureaucracy of three different countries, yet this was achieved relatively painlessly.
  The courses are quite theoretical, and the emphasis is placed on providing a solid foundation for the future professional development in the field, rather than learning specific methods and tools. The focus is placed on physics, rather than numerics in general, with most of the courses dealing with statistical and quantum mechanical concepts. We had many options to choose from regarding our final project, in various European cities across a wide range  of fields that touch upon numerical simulation, from bioinformatics to active matter systems, as well as more chemical subjects  such as electronic structure calculation.
  I met a lot of great people and had a great experience, and invite you to apply if studying physics all across Europe for two years sounds like something you might enjoy doing."

Abel Gebresilassie

"It is with great pleasure that I am writing this testimonial to express my view about EM-AtoSiM programme. I am originally form Ethiopia and joined EM-AtoSim in 2010/11. Joining AtoSiM was a great experience both academically and socially. Academically, I feel very proud and privileged to have gone through the intensive AtoSiM courses offered at ENS de Lyon and the research programme at Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza" within the time frame of one year which I believe was short. Socially, I met friends from all over the world with different religion, culture, language and educational back ground and yet lived in Harmony. The administrative service that I got since before the beginning of the Programme was also sensational.

In general, I believe the programme helps students from developing countries to have an equal footing in theoretical and computational science with those students in developed countries and also helps them to have external exposure.

Last but not least, I thank you for being given this chance and I recommend students all over the world to apply for this programme if they ever needed to engage themselves in the computational science world."

Wagner Homsi Brandeburgo

"The AtoSim program gave me the unique opportunity to study in top institutes within Europe (ENS-Lyon and UvA) and to learn in such a well-structured way the science of molecular simulations. I'll never forget the fine lectures of Tristan Albaret, clear in argument and deep on its content, and other internationally renowned Professors such as Peter Holdsworth, Ralf Everaers and Jean-Louis Barrat. Also, during the research it was very satisfying to work in such an integrated environment (UvA - HIMS) with a very motivating and skilled supervisor (Dr. Bernd Ensing). Overall it was a very rich experience on these amazing settings that contributed not only to my professional but also personal growth."
Harry Lim

"I am very proud to be an EM-AtoSiM student and to be under the guidance of the best minds in Europe and perhaps in the whole world. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to improve ourselves. Getting to know different places and people in Europe is awesome. Other than that, one has a chance to obtain a double master's degree from the top universities of the world. Indeed, AtoSiM is a truly remarkable experience I will never forget. Thank you AtoSiM."

Roberto Veiga

"I heard about the AtoSiM Master program when I was going to graduate in Physics in Brazil and, since I wanted to pursue my graduate studies in the field of computer simulations, I decided to apply. My application was one of the selected by the committee and I was awarded an Erasmus Mundus scholarship for one academic year. The MSc courses at Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon started in fall 2006. There I had the opportunity to attend classes with some of the world's leading scientists in the field of molecular simulations. The research part of the program, in turn, was carried out at Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza" in the second semester. The partner institutions of the program (the third is the University of Amsterdam, where we attended a Winter School on Molecular Simulation) are for sure among the best educational institutions in Europe. I can say, with no doubt, that the AtoSiM master program opened some important doors in my academic life. After defending my MSc dissertation and obtaining a double Master diploma in Physics within the program (issued by Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon and Università degli studi di Roma "La Sapienza"), I started a PhD in Materials Science in France and I still am working on computer simulations in solid state."

The academic side is outstanding, but the cultural side also is very interesting. For people coming from outside of Europe, participating in the AtoSiM program represents a good opportunity to get immersed in the rich and diverse European culture. The nightlife in Amsterdam, the historical heritage of Rome, and "la bonne cuisine française" in Lyon definitely are worth to know and enjoy. Besides, travelling in Europe, if you earn in Euros, is not that expensive. There are low fare air companies with many destinations in the continent and cheap hostels in all the important cities.

Emmanuel Baribefe Naziga

"The AtoSiM experience was quite an enriching one for me. Of course it goes without saying that the program is quite challenging given the breath and depth of material covered and the time frame that this was done; but it all very rewarding at the end and the calibre of Professors teaching the course makes it worth the effort. Another thing I treasure is the opportunity to meet fellow students from practically all corners of the world and forge friendships that is still enduring three years after the course and that I hope will continue for much longer! I would definitely advise anyone interested in taking a top notch modelling course to consider the AtoSiM program."