Emmanuel Giroux

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Emmanuel Giroux is a blind French geometer known for his research on contact geometry and open book decompositions.[1][2]

Education and career[edit]

Giroux has Marfan syndrome, because of which he became blind at the age of 11.[1][2] He earned a doctorate from the École Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1991 under the supervision of François Laudenbach.[3]

He has been the director of the Unit of Mathematics, Pure and Applied (UMPA) at the École normale supérieure de Lyon.[2][4] In 2015, he left Lyon to co-direct the Unité Mixte International of the Centre national de la recherche scientifique and the Centre de Recherches Mathématiques, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[5]

Mathematical contributions[edit]

Giroux is known for finding a correspondence between contact structures on three-dimensional manifolds and open book decompositions of those manifolds. This result allows contact geometry to be studied using the tools of low-dimensional topology. It has been called a breakthrough by other mathematicians.[6]

In 2002 he was an invited speaker at the International Congress of Mathematicians.[7]


  1. ^ a b Jackson, Allyn (November 2002), "The world of blind mathematicians" (PDF), Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 49 (10): 1246–1251.
  2. ^ a b c Herzberg, Nathaniel (June 22, 2015), "Emmanuel Giroux, menuisier des maths", Le Monde (in French).
  3. ^ Emmanuel Giroux at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
  4. ^ UMPA, ENS de Lyon, archived from the original on 2015-09-27, retrieved 2015-10-03.
  5. ^ Contact, Unité Mixte International, retrieved 2015-10-03.
  6. ^ Etnyre, John B.; Ozbagci, Burak (2008), "Invariants of contact structures from open books", Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, 360 (6): 3133–3151, arXiv:math/0605441, doi:10.1090/S0002-9947-08-04459-0, MR 2379791.
  7. ^ ICM Plenary and Invited Speakers since 1897, International Mathematical Union, retrieved 2015-10-03.