Images des mathématiques

A few years ago, the French CNRS had produced two nice glossy brochures for a general (scientific) audience to explain current developments in mathematics (similar in principle to the AMS “What’s happening in the mathematical sciences“). Some of the mathematicians involved have now continued this project analytically on the internet, in a very nice web site dedicated to

présenter la recherche mathématique — en particulier française — et le métier de mathématicien, à l’extérieur de la communauté scientifique

present mathematical research — in particular French research — and what mathematicians do, outside of the scientific community

It’s not clear when the web site was created: there are two articles dated November 2007, but most of the other content goes back no later than October 2008. In any case, there is already some very nice articles, which will not surprise those who see that Étienne Ghys is one of the persons most involved in the web site. One can discover a nice theorem of Falconer, introduced through the device of presenting a digital solar clock, and a beautiful discussion of the Menger curve, which begins with a remarkably accessible discussion of what is a curve, in topological terms, with illustrations of the covering definition. One notes a very nice feature of the web site: some slightly more technical descriptions or definitions are “hidden” behind a “Précisions” link (with turnkey arrow, as in outliner software). One can also see, in a billet written by A. Valette, the coat of arms of the Vicomte Deligne.

Finally, the articles of the original CNRS publications are also archived on the web site.

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I am a professor of mathematics at ETH Zürich since 2008.

4 thoughts on “Images des mathématiques”

  1. C’est un très beau site et je m’étonne que son existence soit aussi confidentielle (pas de mention par la SMF par exemple, à moins qu’un lancement officiel soit prévu plus tard?)

    (Par ailleurs, je déduis de ce post que vous êtes un des lecteurs silencieux de les-mathé ;-)

  2. Merci pour vos commentaires ! Le lancement officiel du site est prévu pour début janvier, mais on attendait d’avoir un site non-vide pour le faire …

    /vincent b (webmestre de images des maths)

  3. Ceci explique donc cela…

    Il me semble que les articles mériteraient largement d’être traduits en anglais (voire en d’autres langues) pour toucher un public encore plus large ; cela est-il prévu ? (Je serais tout à fait disposé à aider à préparer de telles traductions, pour l’anglais du moins…)

    [For the English-speaking readers: the official launch of the web site is scheduled for January, and this explains the little publicity around it up to now; I’ve also suggested including translations of some of the articles to reach an even larger audience…]

  4. [Sorry for answering in French before !]

    Translating the articles would be interesting, and certainly would open the site to a wider audience; besides, what we are doing doesn’t exactly exist in the same spirit in other languages (the closest that I am aware of is Plus magazine, but it is more “editorial” somehow …)

    SPIP (the software we are using) is already wired for multi-lingual websites; OTOH, it would certainly a huge assignment, judging by the time it already takes to proofread the aticles in the first place. But if you (or others) are willing to contribute, you are very welcome !

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