CIRM is sensitive to the issue of the place of women in the mathematical community. In recent years, the participation rate of female mathematicians in the events hosted by our centre has risen from 17% in 2012 to 20% in 2019 and reached 24% in 2020!

CIRM has also developed other actions in favour of women: 

  • The Scientific Council counts 50% women members (as well as 50% foreign members)
  • CIRM – which welcomed over 4,700 participants in 2019 – encourages all event organisers to involve women in their organising and scientific committees
  • 5 lectures per week are filmed at CIRM. The organisers are asked to include at least one woman among the filmed speakers, etc. 

27% of our videos (interviews and talks) put the light on female mathematicians, and these are often young women at the beginning of their careers!

CIRM has joined the European Women in Mathematics (EWM) association as an institutional member. European Women in Mathematics is an international association of women working in the field of mathematics in Europe. Founded in 1986, EWM has several hundred members and coordinators in 33 European countries. 
European Women in Mathematics aims at: Encouraging women to study mathematics, Supporting women in their careers, Providing a meeting place for like-minded people.

Women talks & interviews at CIRM on our A-V Mathematics Library

The « Audiovisual Mathematics Library » is a sophisticated platform built on a corpus of talks given by worldwide mathematicians during their stay at CIRM. This tool provides the functionalities of a high level search applied to indexed and enriched videos.

Education and outreach: running a school of mathematics at CIRM for high school girls!

In 2019, CIRM launched a programme entitled « Les Cigales » aimed at female pupils in their penultimate year at high school. The aim is to show the attractiveness of mathematics and surrounding subjects for young girls, in order to ultimately achieve greater parity in technical and scientific professions. Over 5 days, the pupils were able to discover that mathematics is everywhere around us and above all accessible to most people, girls as well as boys. By staying in total immersion at CIRM, on a science and sports university campus close to the national park of the calanques, the young girls were also able to enjoy physical exercise, thanks to a number of activities organised in partnership with the Faculty of Sports Science.
The 2019 edition was so successful that it was reconducted in 2020. The event « Les Cigales 2020 » was supported by numerous institutional and private partners such as ALSTOM. 

Three women holding the Jean-Morlet Chair at CIRM! 

Genevieve Walsh (Jean-Morlet Chair 2018) from Tufts University, Kerrie Mengersen (Jean-Morlet Chair 2018) from Queensland University of Technology (QUT)  and Tamara Grava (Jean-Morlet Chair 2019) from SISSA and University of Bristol have all been laureates of Cirm’s most international program, the Jean-Morlet Chair.

The Jean Morlet Chair is also shared by local project holders, from Aix-Marseille University, who co-organize with the laureates their whole scientific semesters. Among them are Veronique Gayrard (2013), Luisa Paoluzzi (2018), Anne Pichon (2021), Florence Hubert (2022) and Sylvie Monniaux (2022). 

Each semester of the Jean-Morlet Chair is intended to gather an outstanding, innovative researcher, coming from a non-French institution, to work closely with a Local project leader based at Aix-Marseille Université or another university from the Region.

Each semester is built around an ambitious ‘scientific’ programme of events, and a ‘people’ programme of invitations that provides additional financial support in order to invite scientists from around the world to come in residence to CIRM-Luminy.

Sylvie Pic/ Jean-Morlet Chair: an artist in residence at CIRM

One of the aims of the 2021 Jean-Morlet Chair Fall semester led by Javier Fernandez de Bobadilla from BCAM Bilbao and Anne Pichon from Aix-Marseille University is to invite artist Sylvie Pic to visit CIRM several days a month during the semester, particularly during the programme of events, in order to produce works of art based on regular cross-conversations with singularists participating in the semester. The central idea is to enable mathematicians to explain as much as possible their field of research to the artist, focusing in particular on the mental images on which they base their mathematical thoughts and inspirations. Sylvie Pic will create works of art in the form of images or installations based on her own perceptions during these conversations.

Sylvie Pic already exhibited works in 2013 at CIRM as part of the event « Marseille: European Capital of Culture 2013 ». The exhibition « MathémArtistes » at CIRM was held in the park and featured 5 artists (3 women, 2 men).

Women of Mathematics: a European exhibition at CIRM

Entering the field of mathematics can be tough, and women often encounter specific obstacles. The exhibition offered a glimpse into the world of mathematics through photographs (by Noel Tovia Matoff) and excerpts of interviews (by Sylvie Paycha and Sara Azzali) of thirteen women mathematicians throughout Europe. The associated website provides a platform for contact, exchange and mutual assistance.
The touring exhibition, whose starting point was the 7th ECM held in July 2016 in Berlin, stems from the observation that nowadays, women still find it difficult to embrace a career in the mathematical academic world and the disparity between the proportion of men and that of women among professional mathematicians is still shamefully large. The exhibition toured Europe and was hosted iat CIRM in the Library during one month in March 2017, together with portraits of women mathematicians who were interviewed at CIRM, with filmed interviews accessible online.

In addition, CIRM has also put in place measures so that mathematicians who are also parents can be welcomed onsite with their children (within the limits of our hotel vacancies and assuming full responsibility).