Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon was the Director of the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHES) from 1994 till 2013. This international research institute located near Paris, France, was built as the European counterpart of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He was also the first ERC Panel Chair in Mathematics, for Starting Grants.
A graduate from Ecole Polytechnique, he is a mathematician by training. He has spent his whole career as a fellow of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). He held a Professor position at École polytechnique from 1986 to 2012. From 1990 to 1992, he was President of the Société Mathématique de France and President of the European Mathematical Society from 1995 to 1998. He is a former member of the Board of the EuroScience organisation (2002-2006) and served on EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) committees since 2004.
Professor Bourguignon received the Prix Paul Langevin in 1987 and the Prix du Rayonnement Français in Mathematical Sciences and Physics from the Académie des Sciences de Paris in 1997. He is a foreign member of the Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences. In 2005, he was elected honorary member of the London Mathematical Society and has been the secretary of the mathematics section of the Academia Europaea. In 2008, he was made Doctor Honoris Causa of Keio University, Japan, and, in 2011, Doctor Honoris Causa of Nankai University, China.
Mathematical skills have become strategic for the business world and the most advanced companies hire high level scientists who tackle the underlying, fundamental, theoretical questions. However, this increasingly vital role of the boffins dedicated maths specialists often brings with it new demands and unforeseen responsibilities.
Les compétences mathématiques sont devenues stratégiques pour les entreprises et les plus avancées mobilisent des scientifiques de haut niveau, aux prises avec des questions théoriques fondamentales. Mais le rôle de plus en plus crucial dévolu aux matheux s'accompagne d'exigences nouvelles, et de responsabilités inédites.