Why did Einstein’s father think Zurich Polytechnic was a good place for his son?

From the age of 12 to 14, Einstein mastered integral and differential calculus by himself. As he showed immense interest and aptitude for maths and science, his father thought he should become an engineer. And Zurich Polytechnic (now Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland) seemed like the best place to go for this. It had been one of the best scientific schools in Europe. Einstein went to Zurich to write the entrance exam. He performed well in science and maths but failed the foreign language section.

Einstein took the advice of the polytechnic school’s principal and joined the Old Cantonal School in Aarau, Switzerland, in 1895 and 1896 to finish his secondary schooling. In January 1896 Einstein gave up his citizenship in the German Kingdom of Wurttemberg to avoid military service. This was done with the approval of his father. In September 1896 he cleared the Swiss Matura exam with good marks. He scored the highest grade in science and mathematics.

Thus, Einstein became a student of the four-year mathematics and physics teaching diploma program in the Zurich Polytechnic School at the age of 17.

Picture Credit : Google