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1981-2021: CIRM-Luminy celebrates its 40th anniversary!

Under the joint management of Aix-Marseille University, CNRS and the French Mathematical Society, with the solid support of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the LabEx Carmin, the Archimede Institute, the Southern Region and the City of Marseille, CIRM (Marseille, Luminy) has been a tool of excellence at the service of the French and international mathematical community, for 40 years. Each year, more than 4,500 researchers from all over the world come to CIRM to spend a week or more in a unique place, created for them, to exchange, transmit and advance their research and science. Its residential character, the richness of the mathematics it hosts and the number of visitors each year make this « Villa Médicis » for mathematics, located on the Luminy campus in Marseille, one of the most important center dedicated to the discipline in the world. CIRM celebrated its 40th anniversary with its community on October 13 and 14

This anniversary was an opportunity the Cirm to address and thank all its audiences: – its trustees – Aix-Marseille University, CNRS and the Société Mathématique de France, – its partners – the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the LabEx Carmin, the Archimede Institute, the ‘Région sud’, the City of Marseille, the French and foreign laboratories that support the travel and stays of their researchers, – the members of its board of directors and scientific committee, who guarantee the richness and the scientific diversity of events hosted, and the good management of the premises, – the scientific community for whom CIRM is, since 40 years, a shelter, a home, a wonderful place to work in immersion, a place to share and to progress, – all the students and high school pupils to whom CIRM wants to open its scientific wealth, – more widely society, the general public, by participating in the understanding and visibility of mathematics…

The official ceremony took place on Wednesday, October 13, in the presence of the President of Aix-Marseille University, Eric Berton, the director of the Insmi-CNRS, Christophe Besse, the President of the French Mathematical Society, Fabien Durand, Aurélie Biancarelli-Lopez, Deputy Mayor of Marseille in charge of higher education and research, Pierre Oudart, director of the Beaux-arts de Marseille, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, mathematician and former president of the European Research Council, Charles Torossian, director of the ‘Institut des hautes études de l’éducation et de la formation’ (IH2EF) and special advisor to the ‘Direction générale de l’enseignement scolaire’ (DGESCO), etc. Artur Avila, Fields Medalist in 2014, joined the guests on Wednesday and Cédric Villani, Fields Medalist in 2010, addressed the high school students on Thursday.

​Pascal Hubert, director of CIRM, proposed a round-table discussion in the presence of former directors of CIRM, moderated by Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. Jean-Paul BRASSELET, Jean-Pierre LABESSE, Robert COQUEREAUX, Pascal CHOSSAT, Patrick FOULON spoke of the highlights of their time at CIRM, the context of the time, interactions with other sciences, internationalization and attractiveness of CIRM. 

A ceremony for everyone 

Thursday morning 14 October was devoted to mathematical presentations by :
Anne-Laure Dalibard – professor at Sorbonne University, member of the Jacques-Louis Lions Laboratory (LJLL – CNRS, Sorbonne University & University of Paris), François Charles, research director at CNRS, member of the Orsay Mathematics Laboratory (LMO – CNRS & University of Paris-Saclay) and Javier Fernández de Bobadilla, Research professor at the Basque Center For Applied Mathematics (BCAM), Holder of the Jean-Morlet Chair at CIRM (2021 – Semester 2).
The whole day of Thursday was dedicated to a hundred students from high schools of the Academy of Aix-Marseille. The program included mathematical stands run by 
  « Maths pour Tous » and the IREM,  exhibitions, an escape game offered by CIRM library, the screening of a web series « Voyages au pays des maths » with commentary by its director Denis van Waerebeke, etc. The film-documentary Man Ray and the Shakespearian equations directed by Quentin Lazzarotto and produced by the Henri-Poincaré Institute was also shown to the guests.
The highlight of the high school day was the exceptional presence of Etienne Ghys, Emeritus Director of Research at CNRS and Perpetual Secretary of the Academy of Sciences, who gave an original presentation entitled ‘Jeux de lumière’
. It was a huge success. Etienne Ghys made the amphitheater overflow! Cédric Villani, Fields Medalist 2010, sent a special video message to Cirm and to young people.

Two competitions to mark the anniversary

– a visual creation from a competition launched on the occasion of the 40th anniversary: the winners, Alba Málaga and Samuel Lelièvre, imagined a pseudosphere paved by fundamental domains for the action of SL₂(Z). This evokes the modular curve, a hyperbolic orbifold that appears naturally in various areas of mathematics;

– an artistic score, the result of a beautiful collaboration with the ‘Beaux-arts’ school 
of Marseille: a call for tenders issued to the school’s graduates in June 2021 led to some beautiful projects… The idea was to imagine a work of art on the ground, around the restaurant’s terrace, with Mont Puget as a backdrop and the ‘Penrose Tiling’ as an inspiration.

To make this ceremony accessible to all those who could not attend, the two days are available on the CIRM YouTube channel: official speeches, round table of former directors, scientific presentations, public presentations, announcement of the winners, etc.