Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mathematical Research in France

More than any other city on the planet, Paris is the world’s center for mathematics...”
Marcel Berger’s assertion was confirmed by the granting in 2010 of two more Fields medals to Parisian mathematicians.

This statement by mathematician Marcel Berger, an internationally renowned specialist in differential geometry who has worked in Japan and the United States, as well as in France, is not an idle one − it was confirmed in a study conducted by the American periodical ScienceWatch in 2005. Paris indeed has the world’s highest concentration of mathematicians, many at IHES or Pierre et Marie Curie
(Paris 6), Paris Diderot (Paris 7) , and Paris-Sud 11.École Normale Supérieure ,Paris Dauphine, Ecole Polytechnique ,Toulouse, Strasbourg, and Grenoble are pioneers of their fields. In addition, one can cite the 40 joint research units maintained by CNRS and INRIA with universities in Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille, and Rennes…

A strong mathematical tradition

The century of Louis XIV was also that of Descartes, Fermat, and Pascal. At the time of the Revolution, Laplace, Lagrange, Legendre, Condorcet, d’Alembert, and Monge commanded center stage in mathematics. They, in turn, were followed by Fourier, Cauchy, Galois, Poncelet, and Chasles − a line of succession just as impressive, if less often invoked, as that linking France’s writers. We forget that at the outset of the 19th century more foreign scholars arrived in Paris for its scientific culture than for its literary dazzle. By the end of the century and into the early 20th century, the capital played host to the prominent personalities of Jordan, Poincaré, Borel, Lebesgue, and
Lévy, among others.

Pierre-Simon Laplace, also known as Newton of France.

Here is a picture from 1951 of the Bourbaki group meeting at some pleasant retreat. From left to right, we have Jacques Dixmier, Jean Dieudonné taking notes, Pierre Samuel lighting a cigarette in a holder, André Weil wearing shorts, Jean Delsarte leaning back in a chair and Laurent Schwartz under the parasol, also busy scribbling away.
Henri Poincaré (29 April 185417 July 1912) was France's greatest mathematician, he published in every branch of mathematics and was also a world-renowned theoretical physicist, engineer and philosopher of science.
The 1930s saw the founding of the Bourbaki group,a group founded by Mathematics professors based at École Normale Supérieure which revolutionized Mathematics, preparing the way for the prodigious expansion of the 1950s and beyond. The reasons for that expansion are many: an increase in the theoretical research that underpins practical applications in every economic sector, in parallel with the explosion of computer science and robotics; the “mathematicization” of economic analysis;foundation of Financial mathematics, the flexibility and diversity of the system of mathematical research, which had been freed from some of the constraints of the university system by the emergence of other sources of financing; the autonomy of mathematical researchers, who are less dependent on large budgets than researchers in some other disciplines; the arrival in France of Russian mathematicians; the prestige in France of pure intellectual research; and the commitment of great mathematicians to the freedom of thought and criticism.Today many students from all over the world come to France to study maths with Université Paris-Sud and  Université Pierre-et-Marie-Curie as top centers of mathematical research.French mathematicians were pioneers of Financial Math and still are the leading academics in Financial Math, Nicole El Karoui, Marc Yor and Hélyette Geman are world's best  financial math academics.

Professor Nicole El Karoui ,French mathematician and pioneer in the development of Mathematical Finance."DEA El Karoui",a graduate programme run by El Karoui is one of  the most prestigious program in quantitative finance in the world.

Fields Medal

Since 1936, Fields medals have been awarded every four years to mathematicians under the age of 40. French mathematicians have won the this prize, this makes France the leader in winning this prestigious prize. The first French winner was Laurent Schwartz, a graduate of the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) and professor at the École polytechnique. More recent demonstrations of the tradition of French excellence in mathematics came with award of Fields medals to Laurent Lafforgue (2002), a graduate of École Normale Supérieure and professor at the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES); to Wendelin Werner (2006), professor at Université Paris-Sud 11 and École Normale Supérieure; and, in 2010, to Cédric Villani, director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris (Université Pierre et Marie Curie and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and professor at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and Ngô Bảo Châu, professor at Université Paris-Sud.

The Abel Prize, established in 2003 has already had 3 French
Jean-Pierre Serre of the Collège de France (2003), Jacques Tits of the Collège de France (2008, jointly with American John Griggs Thompson), and Franco- Russian Mikhaïl Leonidovich Gromov, of IHES (2009).