France is world champion of maths. And after ? - The Point

France has the kicker of math ! It is, in any case, this is confirmed by the latest ranking by discipline of the university Jiao Tong of Shanghai, which ranks P

France is world champion of maths. And after ? - The Point

France has the kicker of math ! It is, in any case, this is confirmed by the latest ranking by discipline of the university Jiao Tong of Shanghai, which ranks Paris-Saclay first university in the world in mathematics, in the front, all the same, Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge, or Oxford. A nice tour-de-force for the scientific and technological cluster located twenty kilometers south of Paris, in the Essonne and Yvelines. Paris-Saclay is joined in the top 10 by Sorbonne University, ranked 3rd, and the university of Paris-Sciences et Lettres, ranked 10th in the world. This thematic classification, which is interested in areas as diverse as life sciences, medical sciences or engineering, provided a few other good surprises : the university of Montpellier wins the 3rd place in the world in terms of ecology, that of Toulouse is 5th in the field of remote sensing, Insead, 7th in management,...

"Finally !" a-t-we want to say, then, that the research project of Saclay, mentioned for the first time in the 1950s and in gestation since 2006, has taken a long time to see the light of day. Indeed, several institutions, such as Polytechnic and the School of mines have chosen to make tape-to-hand, but the university Paris-Saclay brings together today's researchers CentraleSupelec, AgroParisTech, the Institute des hautes études scientifiques, Institut d'optique, ENS Paris-Saclay (ex-ENS Cachan), as well as those of major research organizations at the university of Versailles-Saint-Quentin and Evry. In total, the campus now includes 48 000 students and 8 500 research students. The campus enjoys the work of researchers from the CEA, the CNRS, the Inrae, Inria, Inserm, or even Onera, specializing in the aérospatiatiale.

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"The opportunity to show that the union makes the force"

The Graduate School of Mathematics, which includes mathematical skills, and hosts, on its side some 500 researchers and 200 phd students. Mainly, it can rely on several structures the top flight as the laboratory of Alexander Grothendieck, in the name of reforming of algebraic geometry, also awarded the Fields medal, the Laboratory of mathematics of Orsay, the centre Borelli, or the Federation of mathematics CentraleSupélec. "Excellence in mathematics resulted in this first place is a scientific reality and geographical. All of these laboratories are grouped in a radius of less than two kilometers away, it allows you to have not only a strike force, but also research projects in common ", explains the president of the French University Sylvie Retailleau. "In mathematics, as in many domains, projects are born in the coffee machine. On the campus, researchers are working side by side and thus can draw. "Today, new restaurants, such as recently At Home, at Gif-sur-Yvette, france, or even cafes, regularly see the day on the campus even if its relative remoteness – the-line 18 should put Saclay thirty minutes from the Orly airport from 2027 – is still a concern. This potential of the foreground is complemented by laboratories such as the laboratoire de mathématiques de Versailles, of the Institute of theoretical physics, one of mathematics and computer science applied or even that of mathematics and it applied the genome to the environment. Several researchers of very high rank as Gilles Blanchard, a specialist in statistics and professor at the faculty of sciences d'orsay, or even Nicolas Vayatis, a laying of the learning machine at the center Borelli, are distinguished regularly.

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This ranking, however, remains to be confirmed by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, which will work out in the August the top 1000, this time in all categories, from the best universities of the world. "This could be a new opportunity to show that union is strength," explains Sylvie Retailleau, while the university Paris-Saclay has been officially created in November of 2019. It will then remain to confirm this ahead of academic achievements in the industrial. "If the classification recent complements our expertise in math, we are still a dwarf in artificial intelligence in the face of China and the United States," says innovation consultant Olivier Ezratty, who explained that it is necessary to find synergies on the european level.

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From basic research to applied research ?

what To weigh in the jobs of the future ? "Our inventions, we could make innovations in artificial intelligence, making us even more aware of in the world," says Olivier Ezratty. In short, move from basic research to applied research. Indeed, we have gold in our hands. France, for example, is at the origin of the laser, for example, by the work of Alfred Kastler, who was a Nobel prize in 1966, but we still don't have a champion in the laser. We have also discovered the liquid crystals, thanks in part to the discoveries of Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, who was the Nobel in 1991, but there is not a single leader of LCD screens in France. "We discovered the giant magnetoresistance (Albert Fert, 2007 Nobel), but none of the giant memories and spintronics does not operate on our soil ", already explained The Point in 2014, which clearly stated " by contrast, Stanford is the university where the time between discovery and innovation is the shortest, ahead of Singapore, Seoul and Taipei ". It is quite possible to structure our excellence in math as we have been able to do in quantum physics, around several players, such as Atos, Thales, Air Liquide, IBM, or EDF, " explains his side Sylvie Retailleau. In short, this classification has at least one interest : the possibility to create French champions in artificial intelligence, capable of making equal game with the United States and China, is not science-fiction.

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Updated Date: 07 July 2020, 11:34

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