Cédric Villani

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Cedric Villani)

Cédric Villani
Villani in 2015
Member of the National Assembly
for Essonne's 5th constituency
In office
21 June 2017 – 21 June 2022
Preceded byMaud Olivier
Succeeded byPaul Midy
Personal details
Born (1973-10-05) 5 October 1973 (age 50)
Brive-la-Gaillarde, France[1]
Alma materÉcole Normale Supérieure
Paris Dauphine University
Known forBoltzmann equation
Kinetic theory
Landau damping
Transportation theory
Otto–Villani theorem
AwardsEMS Prize (2008)
Fermat Prize (2009)
Henri Poincaré Prize (2009)
Fields Medal (2010)
Joseph L. Doob Prize (2014)
Scientific career
InstitutionsInstitut Henri Poincaré, Sorbonne University
University of Lyon
Institut Camille-Jordan
Thesis Contribution à l'étude mathématique des équations de Boltzmann et de Landau en théorie cinétique des gaz et des plasmas  (1998)
Doctoral advisorPierre-Louis Lions
Doctoral studentsAlessio Figalli
Clément Mouhot
Political partyEcology Generation (2020–present)
Other political
Ecology Democracy Solidarity (2020)
LREM (2017–2020)

Cédric Patrice Thierry Villani (French: [se.dʁik pa.tʁis tje.ʁi vi.la.ni]; born 5 October 1973) is a French politician and mathematician working primarily on partial differential equations, Riemannian geometry and mathematical physics. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 2010, and he was the director of Sorbonne University's Institut Henri Poincaré from 2009 to 2017. As of September 2022, he is a professor at Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques.

Villani has given two lectures at the Royal Institution, the first titled 'Birth of a Theorem'.[2] The English translation of his book Théorème vivant (Living Theorem) has the same title. In the book he describes the links between his research on kinetic theory and the one of the mathematician Carlo Cercignani: Villani, in fact, proved the so-called Cercignani's conjecture.

His second lecture at the Royal Institution is titled 'The Extraordinary Theorems of John Nash'.[3]

Villani was elected as the deputy for Essonne's 5th constituency in the National Assembly, the lower house of the French Parliament, during the 2017 legislative election.[4] He was elected as a member of La République En Marche! (LREM), but in May 2020 left the party to form a new party, Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity (EDS).[5][6] Following the dissolution of EDS, Villani joined Ecology Generation, and ran for re-election under the banner of the NUPES.[7] He was elected Vice President of the French Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices in July 2017.

He lost his seat in the 2022 French legislative election to La Republique En Marche! candidate Paul Midy by 19 votes.[8]


After attending the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Villani was admitted at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris and studied there from 1992 to 1996, after which he was appointed an agrégé préparateur at the same school.[9] He received his doctorate at Paris Dauphine University in 1998, under the supervision of Pierre-Louis Lions, and became professor at the École normale supérieure de Lyon in 2000. He is now professor at the University of Lyon. He was director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris from 2009 to 2017.[10][11]

He has held various visiting positions at Georgia Tech (Fall 1999), the University of California, Berkeley (Spring 2004), and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (Spring 2009).[12]

On October 19, 2014, in the context of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy's inaugural Albertine festival, Villani appeared in conversation with the Nobel Prize winning mathematician John F. Nash, Jr.[13]

Several months later, on May 23, 2015, Nash, along with his wife, Alicia died in a car crash. Speaking at the Hay Festival, just days after Nash's death, Villani announced that Nash told Villani, in Norway on May 20, that he had found a 'replacement equation' for Einstein's theory of relativity.[14]

Mathematical work[edit]

Villani has worked on the theory of partial differential equations involved in statistical mechanics, specifically the Boltzmann equation, where, with Laurent Desvillettes, he was the first to prove how quickly convergence occurs for initial values not near equilibrium.[11] He has written with Giuseppe Toscani on this subject. With Clément Mouhot, he has worked on nonlinear Landau damping.[15] He has worked on the theory of optimal transport and its applications to differential geometry, and with John Lott has defined a notion of bounded Ricci curvature for general measured length spaces.[16] He also served on the Mathematical Sciences jury for the Infosys Prize in 2015 and 2016.

Villani received the Fields Medal for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation.[11] He described the development of his theorem in his autobiographical book Théorème vivant (2012), published in English translation as Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure (2015).[17][18] He gave a TED talk at the 2016 conference in Vancouver.[19]

Political career[edit]

Cédric Villani at a public meeting of En Marche in Tokyo

In 2017, it was announced that Villani had been selected as a candidate for En Marche! (LREM) in the 2017 French legislative election, for Essonne's 5th constituency.[20][21] In the first round of voting, Villani obtained 47% of the vote and was thus strongly placed for the second round[22] which he won with 69.36% of the vote.[23]

In 2019, Villani applied to be selected to lead the LREM candidate slate for the 2020 Paris election. By July 2019, he was one of three LREM candidates, all deputies in the National Assembly, still seeking the position; the other two were Benjamin Griveaux (who had been the government spokesperson) and Hugues Renson (who had been the vice-president of the National Assembly). On 10 July, the nomination committee picked Griveaux.[24] On 4 September, Villani officially announced his candidacy for the municipal election.[25]

Other activities[edit]

  • France China Foundation, former Member of the Strategic Committee[26]

Awards and honours[edit]

Diplomas, titles and awards[edit]

Extra-academic distinctions[edit]

In 2020, a new spider species of the family Araneidae, Araniella villanii, was named after him.[31][32]

Selected writings[edit]

  • Limites hydrodynamiques de l'équation de Boltzmann, Séminaire Bourbaki, June 2001; Astérisque vol. 282, 2002.
  • A Review of Mathematical Topics in Collisional Kinetic Theory, in Handbook of Mathematical Fluid Dynamics, edited by S. Friedlander and D. Serre, vol. 1, Elsevier, 2002, ISBN 978-0-444-50330-5. doi:10.1016/S1874-5792(02)80004-0.
  • Topics in Optimal Transportation, volume 58 of Graduate Studies in Mathematics, American Mathematical Society, 2003, ISBN 978-0-8218-3312-4.[33]
  • Optimal transportation, dissipative PDE's and functional inequalities, pp. 53–89 in Optimal Transportation and Applications, edited by L. A. Caffarelli and S. Salsa, volume 1813 of Lecture Notes in Mathematics, Springer, 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-40192-6.
  • Cercignani's conjecture is sometimes true and always almost true, Communications in Mathematical Physics, vol. 234, No. 3 (March 2003), pp. 455–490, doi:10.1007/s00220-002-0777-1.
  • On the trend to global equilibrium for spatially inhomogeneous kinetic systems: the Boltzmann equation (with Laurent Desvillettes), Inventiones Mathematicae, vol. 159, #2 (2005), pp. 245–316, doi:10.1007/s00222-004-0389-9.
  • Mathematics of Granular Materials, Journal of Statistical Physics, vol. 124, #2–4 (July/August 2006), pp. 781–822, doi:10.1007/s10955-006-9038-6.
  • Optimal transport, old and new, volume 338 of Grundlehren der mathematischen Wissenschaften, Springer, 2009, ISBN 978-3-540-71049-3.
  • Ricci curvature for metric-measure spaces via optimal transport (with John Lott), Annals of Mathematics vol. 169, No. 3 (2009), pp. 903–991.
  • Hypocoercivity, volume 202, No. 950 of Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society, 2009, ISBN 978-0-8218-4498-4.
  • Clément Mouhot; Cédric Villani (2009). "On Landau damping". Acta Mathematica. 207: 29–201. arXiv:0904.2760. doi:10.1007/s11511-011-0068-9. S2CID 115179279.
  • Théorème vivant, Bernard Grasset, Paris 2012[34]
  • Les Coulisses de la création, Flammarion, Paris 2015 (with composer and pianist Karol Beffa)
  • Freedom in Mathematics, Springer India, 2016 (with Pierre Cartier, Jean Dhombres, Gerhard Heinzmann), ISBN 978-81-322-2786-1. Translation from the French language edition: Mathématiques en liberté, La Ville Brûle, Montreuil 2012, ISBN 978-23-601-2026-0.
  • Birth of a Theorem, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York 2015; translated by Malcolm DeBevoise.
  • De mémoire vive, Une histoire de l'aventure numérique, Philippe Dewost, Cédric Villani, Éditions Première Partie, 2022, ISBN 978-2-36526-252-1.


  1. ^ Sylvain Guilbaud; Antoine Walraet. "Cédric Villani", Encyclopædia Universalis.
  2. ^ Villani, Cédric (22 April 2015). "Birth of a Theorem". The Royal Institution. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ Villani, Cédric (2 November 2016). "The Extraordinary Theorems of John Nash". The Royal Institution. Archived from the original on 15 December 2021 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ Emmanuel Macron team announces candidates for France's June parliamentary election, ABC News Online, 12 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Macron loses majority as defectors form new party". BBC News. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Macron's party loses outright majority in French parliament". www.thelocal.fr. 19 May 2020. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  7. ^ Derestiat, Anthony (23 May 2022). "Legislative: in Ulis, Cédric Villani defends his new label Nupes". Liberation. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  8. ^ l'Intérieur, Ministère de. "Résultats des élections législatives 2022". French Government (in French). Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  9. ^ Villani, Cédric. "Biography". Archived from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  10. ^ Mathematics Genealogy Project – Cédric Villani. Accessed on line 20 August 2010.
  11. ^ a b c "Fields Medal – Cédric Villani". Archived from the original on 29 August 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010.
  12. ^ "Curriculum Vitae (Cédric Villani)" (PDF). cedricvillani.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  13. ^ Albertine Books (26 September 2014). "Festival Albertine". Albertine Books.
  14. ^ Kaye, Yasmin (30 May 2015). "A Beautiful Mind's John Nash 'replaced' Einstein's theory of relativity just before his death". International Business Times.
  15. ^ Clément Mouhot; Cédric Villani (2010). "Landau damping". Journal of Mathematical Physics. 51 (15204): 015204. arXiv:0905.2167. Bibcode:2010JMP....51a5204M. doi:10.1063/1.3285283. S2CID 14883238.
  16. ^ John Lott; Cedric Villani (2004). "Ricci curvature for metric-measure spaces via optimal transport". arXiv:math/0412127.
  17. ^ Ashbacher, Charles (7 May 2015). "Review of Birth of a Theorem by Cédric Villani". MAA Reviews, Mathematical Association of America.
  18. ^ Alexander, Amir (4 March 2015). "Mathematics: Groping in the dark for glimpses of beauty (joint review of Birth of a Theorem by Cédric Villani and Mathematics without Apologies by Michael Harris)". Nature. 519 (7541): 31–32. doi:10.1038/519031a. (See Michael Harris.)
  19. ^ "Cédric Villani: What's so sexy about math?". TED. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  20. ^ "France's Macron announces gender equal list of political outsiders". BBC News. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  21. ^ "Communiqué de presse – Liste des investis aux élections législatives | En Marche !". En Marche !. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Cédric Villani : "L'idée, c'est d'avoir des compétences variées"". Libération. 15 June 2017. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 18 June 2017.
  23. ^ l'Intérieur, Ministère de. "Elections législatives 2017". elections.interieur.gouv.fr. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  24. ^ Cosnard, Denis (10 July 2019). "Elections municipales à Paris: Benjamin Griveaux choisi pour représenter LRM". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  25. ^ à 19h11, Par R. Bx Le 4 septembre 2019; À 23h06, Modifié Le 4 Septembre 2019 (4 September 2019). "Municipales : Cédric Villani officialise sa candidature à la mairie de Paris". leparisien.fr (in French). Retrieved 5 September 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  26. ^ "France China Foundation Strategic Committee". Archived from the original on 10 June 2017.
  27. ^ Sanz-Solé, M.; Soria, J.; Varona, J. L.; Verdera, J., eds. (2007). "Hypocoercive diffusion operators by Cédric Villani" (PDF). Proceedings of the International Congress of Mathematicians Madrid, August 22–30, 2006. Vol. III. European Mathematical Society. pp. 473–498. ISBN 978-3-03719-022-7.
  28. ^ Josiah Willard Gibbs Lectures – No. 86, January 2013, San Diego, CA; Cédric Villani Accessed on line 20 May 2015.
  29. ^ Joseph L. Doob Prize – Most Recent Prize: 2014 Accessed on line 20 May 2015.
  30. ^ Cédric Villani, new member of the French Academy of Science Accessed on line 20 May 2015.
  31. ^ "Newly discovered neon-green spider named after the 'Lady Gaga of mathematics'". Live Science. 29 January 2020.
  32. ^ Zamani, Alireza; Marusik, Yuri M.; Šestáková, Anna (22 January 2020). "On Araniella and Neoscona (Araneae, Araneidae) of the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia". ZooKeys (906): 13–40. doi:10.3897/zookeys.906.47978. PMC 6989643. PMID 32021555.
  33. ^ Figalli, Alessio (2010). "Book Review of Optimal transport: Old and new by Cédric Villani". Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. 47 (4): 723. doi:10.1090/S0273-0979-10-01285-1.
  34. ^ Gouvêa, Fernando Q. (15 December 2013). "Review of Théorème Vivant by Cédric Villani". MAA Reviews, Mathematical Association of America.

External links[edit]