Nalini Anantharaman, The Freedom Sense of Mathematics

Nalini Anantharaman, The Freedom Sense of Mathematics
Professor Nalini Anantharaman at the College of France in October 2022

“I’ve never spent so much time on a one-hour presentation! I need more pruning”Nalini Anantharaman sighed ironically as she received the keys to her professor’s office at the Collège de France, where she will deliver her inaugural one-hour lecture on Thursday, November 10.

This stress may seem surprising to this 46-year-old mathematician, who is very experienced in teaching. Lecturer at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Lyon at the end of his thesis in 2001, eight years later a professor at the University of Orsay, and then in 2014 at the University of Strasbourg, giving some courses at the Polytechnic School.

Born Orléans to parents who were university professors, a mother in mathematics and an Indian-origin father in computer science, he enjoyed returning to the Parisian district in his youth, where he attended a preparatory school in Louis. Grant, then at the Ecole Normale Supérieure: “I feel like I’m stepping back in time. » For family reasons, he will continue to live in Strasbourg.

“I often feel like an outsider, which forces me to adapt my presentations to the audience”

Nalini Anantharaman is not the type to put down her suitcases, figuratively speaking. In twenty years of career, he has already hit four or five different subjects. To a very unclassifiable extent. “Even at conventions, no one knows where to put me! I am often treated as an outsider, which forces me to adapt my presentations to the audience.”, she confirms. She had already studied probability, geometry, chaos, dynamical systems (the study of equations evolving over time), partial differential equations (equations evolving through space), graphs (from objects with nodes and edges like a social network web), to categories (parallel surfaces) and to random surfaces ( A field not even fifteen years old)… some of which we surely forget.

For a craftsman, this may mean moving from cabinetmaking to knitting and then to ceramics and sculpture. ” I do not like Separated things. I like to explore new ways and discover things I don’t know »She admits to being short, often trained on the job. “It’s brave, because training in other subjects can be scary. But refreshing. When I was his thesis student, I appreciated his suggestion to take a new path.”Laura Monk testifies to her post-doctoral position at the University of Bristol after receiving a PhD from Nalini Anantharaman until 2021.

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