An evening with bright young talent

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Scholarship holders from the “Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme” presented their work to their patrons at 2014’s “Meet the Talent” event, while ETH Rector Lino Guzzella thanked donors.


Scholarship holder Annina Gilgen explains her research to a visitor. (Photo: ETH Zurich/Oliver Bartenschlager)

I feel very well supported and am able to devote all my attention to my studies thanks to the scholarship,” says 23-year-old Nadja Herger, an environmental sciences student from Zug. She has been awarded a scholarship for academic excellence under the “Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme ” (ESOP) to help fund her Master’s degree studies at ETH Zurich.

On Wednesday evening she presented her research into climate modelling at the “Meet the Talent 2014” event on the Hönggerberg campus. This occasion gave the Excellence Scholars an opportunity to get to know their patrons, since the scholarships are funded in part by donations made to the ETH Zurich Foundation by alumni, friends and sponsors.

In talking to the scholarship recipients, the donors who attended the event were able to see for themselves how well their contributions have been invested.

Successful photo app

IT student Daniel Graf (23) from the Canton of St. Gallen has also been granted an Excellence Scholarship. He has developed the “Refooormat” iOS app, which enables users to alter the aspect ratios of images without distorting important image motifs.

In just a few simple steps, a picture in portrait format, for example, can be transformed into a panoramic image. Users can indicate which important elements they do not want to be distorted by selecting them via the touch screen, or by using the automatic face recognition function. “The app is free and has already been downloaded more than 3,000 times,” says Daniel Graf, who believes this kind of system would also be of interest to film studios and camera manufacturers.

“I appreciate having the chance to exchange ideas with the other scholarship holders,” he says. “Sometimes we meet up or organise meals together.”

Women make up almost half of the scholarship holders

Since 2007, ETH Zurich’s “Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme” has been enabling talented students from both Switzerland and abroad to undertake Master’s studies at the university without the burden of financial worries. Scholarships are only awarded to the top two to three percent of all students starting Master’s degree courses, regardless of their background and financial situation. The award provides a maximum of 40,000 Swiss francs in funding to cover living and study costs for up to four semesters.

Photo Gallery

    Scholarship holder Daniel Graf has developed the “Refooormat” app. (Photo: ETH Zurich/Oliver Bartenschlager)


    Scholarship holder Nadja Herger is conducting research into climate modelling. (Photo: ETH Zurich/Oliver Bartenschlager)


    ETH Zurich Rector Lino Guzzella gives a speech. (Photo: ETH Zurich/Oliver Bartenschlager)

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