The Euler Course unlocks math talent in gifted students ages 10 to 19 regardless of their socio-economic background. The students have the opportunity to interact with peers and be inspired by some of the world’s leading mathematicians at the world-renowned EPFL. In 2018, PPG provided $44,000 to support the course as part of its commitment to community engagement and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.
“The full program requires a six-year commitment from the students,” said Professor Jérôme Scherer, Euler course lead teacher, EPFL. “Successful completion gives students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree at EPFL in two years rather than the usual three. It is hard work for the students and their families, with the students attending more than three hours of intensive lessons at EPFL every Wednesday afternoon.”
Held at the Rolex Learning Center, the 10th-anniversary event acknowledged current and former students and their families. Other recognized guests included community members from Lausanne and representatives from the cantons of Vaud, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Valais, Jura and Fribourg, who support EPFL and the integration of the Euler Course into the public school system.
“We are proud to help shape these bright minds and support the communities where PPG operates and our employees live,” said Jérôme Zamblera, PPG VP, automotive refinish, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and PPG director, environment, health and safety. “Seeing these future leaders of industry brings confidence that the next generation’s workforce will continue to develop breakthrough innovations that will advance manufacturing and the coatings industry.”
Zamblera accompanied 15 Euler students ages 15 to 17 to PPG’s refinish plant in Milan, Italy, this past October. The students heard presentations from Massimiliano Mimmotti, PPG plant manager, and Michela Cagliani, PPG technical director, EMEA refinish and experienced the coatings manufacturing process first-hand.
“I found it really interesting to get insight into an industrial production site, which we never get at school,” said Thérèse Moerschell, Euler Course student. “I thought that the visit was well structured, and I enjoyed that we got to see the practical, hands-on aspect of the whole process and not just the theoretical side.”
Founded in 2008 by Kathryn Hess Bellwald, the Euler Course was inspired by the 18th-century Swiss mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler. The program was modeled on a similar course founded in the early 1970s at Johns Hopkins University. Each year, nearly 30 top students in and around the EPFL community in Lausanne are selected from more than 300 highly talented applicants.