The Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (CIRM) was created in 1981 by the French mathematics community and has become an increasingly popular destination. It provides all the facilities and equipment that conference organizers and participants need, allowing for collaborative work in mathematical sciences and other disciplines.
A centre for mathematicians in the south of France
Situated on an estate with a thousand-year history, on the doorstep of the calanques, CIRM is in a unique location in the south of France. It is a quiet place, linking the charms of traditional Provence with all the facilities that researchers need for a successful conference.
The work environment is comfortable and comprises seminar and meeting rooms of various sizes, a main lecture hall seating over ninety people, video-conferencing equipment, Wifi in all areas and a team of people dedicated to making each conference a success.
The main building called the 'Bastide' has kept the traditional look of Provençal houses with its pink walls. It contains a large number of bedrooms for events participants, as well as offices. Other bedrooms and studios, which have been recently updated, are situated in nearby buildings all a few minutes from each other. CIRM can therefore cater for 90 residents at any one time. The restaurant is one of the main features of CIRM and it is famous for its varied cuisine based on traditional French cooking and local products. The traditional Marseille Bouillabaisse served on Thursdays is THE gourmet rendez-vous for conference participants. Last but not least, the library is truly appreciated by all CIRM's residents and by the local and regional community of mathematicians. It is open all year and hosts an impressive choice of books and journals.
A research chair in residence: the Jean-Morlet Chair
Alex Grossmann (a physician) and Jean Morlet (once an engineer for ELF) were major contributors to the development of Wavelet Theory in the 1980’s. Today, this theory is widely used in many applications such as image compression (jpg 2000). CIRM was one of the main venues where the two scientists and the international community worked on this theory. To celebrate this, CIRM created the Jean-Morlet Chair in 2013, in partnership with Aix-Marseille University and the City of Marseille.
Each Chair is intended for an outstanding, innovative researcher from a non-French institution, who is selected to work closely with a local project leader based at Aix-Marseille University. This close collaboration helps develop strong synergies between laboratories, between other researchers and doctoral students across international borders and also within the local mathematics departments.
The Jean-Morlet Chair has already attracted a lot of interest both from prospective recipients as well as from the participants in events in association with the Chair. Various areas of mathematical sciences are given a chance to be in the limelight for a whole semester, the aim being to boost collaborative discussion and findings in this particular specialism.
> Click to visit the dedicated website for the Jean-Morlet Chair
A first-class library
CIRM’s library owns one of the richest collections of mathematics books in France. With over 35,000 books and series and 1,500 paper or electronic journals, all areas of pure and applied mathematics are represented. Readers can on average find 500 new acquisitions each year to keep up to date with the latest printed material. In addition, CIRM’s library has its own unique treasures: a large collection of complete works by famous mathematicians, some material dating back to the 16th century and up to the beginning of the 19th century, and a Russian collection of books on mathematics. Personal donations from illustrious mathematicians such as Gaston Julia, Szolem Mandelbrojt, André Adler, Philippe Flajeolet and Jean-Louis Ovaert have extended this prime collection.
> Click to find out about the library at CIRM
A truly valuable partner for local research
By attracting the world’s leading scientists to Marseille, CIRM provides a valuable service for the local and regional community of researchers. CIRM seeks to disseminate the latest developments in mathematics and acts as a incubator for ambitious projects in interaction with other sciences. Knowledge transfer towards young scientists and doctoral students is also very high on our agenda. CIRM benefits from the support of the local university, Aix-Marseille University, in many of its activities. It has close links with all departments in mathematical sciences and with the FRUMAM (The Marseille Federation of Research Units in Mathematics). Not only does CIRM host events organized in part by these departments, but it also collaborates with them in presenting joint projects, applying for funding and boosting local research.
Additionally, CIRM works with units specializing in Information Sciences and Technology and with the Centre for Theoretical Physics. Many activities benefit from the specific funding granted by the LabEx ARCHIMEDE initiative. Local authorities such as the City of Marseille and Regional and Local councils support CIRM in its mission by granting funds for various projects: conferences, building renovations, international programme of invitations, etc.
A beacon for international research
CIRM’s yearly calendar features large Conferences and Research Schools, totalling up to 90-100 participants for one week, but also smaller groups of 19-25 as well as Research in Pairs. CIRM welcomes researchers from more than 50 countries over a period of 50 weeks per year. Foreign scientists now make up about 47% of total participants and this figure is growing.
CIRM is an active member of ERCOM (European Research Centres On Mathematics) and collaborates with the European Mathematical Society to organize special events. CIRM’s outlook is determinedly international, and its aim is to strengthen its European and international relations through new collaborations with other countries and by participating in global events such as the International Congress of Mathematicians.
A producer of films
Researchers meet at CIRM each year in order to exchange and disseminate their knowledge and new findings. This wealth of information can now be recorded and promoted through high-quality audiovisual scientific documents.
CIRM has invested in top-of-the-range tools in order to record, edit and produce a catalogue of high-quality videos which are indexed and can therefore be viewed in short chapters, with meta-data enabling a more refined web search. This initiative is also one shared with the CARMIN consortium. CIRM has three collections to date: a scientific collection (Research talks) aimed at mathematicians and dealing with recent scientific progress, a general public collection (Outreach) especially targeting students and undergraduates, and a thematic collection which concentrates on 'Special events'.
> Click to visit the Audiovisual Mathematics Library at CIRM