Cédric Villani, Fields Medalist 2010, On Way to Re-election in France

Cédric Villani, Fields Medalist 2010, On Way to Re-election in France

David Orenstein

/ Yom revi’i, 16 Sivan, 5782 

by David Orenstein, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. david.orenstein@alumni.utoronto.ca

Previously I was posting and sharing announcements about the forthcoming, virtual, Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics (CSHPM), 2022 Annual Conference (May 13–15, 2022), at the umbrella CFHSS Congress (May 12-20, 2022).

It was quite a success, with my paper on the 1992 Quebec City ICME [International Congress on Mathematical Education], part of a [special] panel called: ‘History of/in Mathematics Education’, which ran for two hours on Saturday, May 14, from 10:00am to 12 Noon EDT/ 3:00pm – 5:00pm BST. First, Jorge Nuno Silva, from the University of Lisbon / Universidade de Lisboa, looked at advanced arithmetic around the years 1 CE and 1000 CE, then David Dunning (Oxford University) presenting Mary Everest Boole’s (George Boole’s wife and widow) mathematics pedagogy, and finally me.

 The session ended with a half hour panel and general questions and discussion of the issues around the History of Mathematics Education and using of History of Mathematics in the teaching Mathematics.

I started by looking at Math Ed in the news such as when “Cédric Villani, 2010 Fields Medallist and Member of the French National Assembly for Essonne (currently for the French ecological party Europe Écologie-Les verts [EELV], though first elected as part of President Emanuel Macron’s La République En Marche! [LREM]), was worried that:

 “ « Voir les jeunes filles renoncer aux mathématiques est inquiétant alors que cette matière à un statut majeur dans nos sociétés. »

 “ ‘To see girls give up on mathematics is worrying when this subject has such a large role in our society.’ [My translation]

“He had served in 2018 on a committee for improvement to the French mathematics education, making 21 recommendations, mostly aimed at elementary level. 

“I met Villani at the Fields Institute of Mathematics in November 2014, at the University of Toronto, when he was the guest of honour at a week-long, in-person, Fields Medal Symposium. 

“ « Not just Villani, but also the Instituts de recherche sur l’enseignement des mathématiques (IREMs) shares this concern as does a Collectif des sociétés savantes de mathématiques, sciences naturelles et d’enseignement dans ses matières, [who wrote a] « Lettre ouverte aux candidates et candidats à l’élection présidentielle » mardi le 5 avril, 2022, dans lequel ils critiquent sévèrement la réforme du lycée en 2019 et aussi citaient le rapport Villani-Torossian » [in which they severely criticised the 2019 Lycée reform and also quoted the Villani-Torossian report].”

Well, Villani has been running for re-election in the French national legislative elections, currently underway. He has stayed with EELV, and became their official candidate within the left wing coalition, La Nouvelle Union populaire écologique et sociale (NUPES), still for his same constituency.

Here are his first-round results:

« Les résultats du premier tour des élections législatives dans la 5e circonscription de l’Essonne

CANDIDAT                                                                                                               SCORE

Cédric VILLANI, Qualifié, divers écologistes-Nupes                                 38,20 %         14,830

Paul MIDY, Qualifié, La République en marche-Ensemble                         30,53 %           11,849


Michel BOURNAT, Les Républicains                                                         16,03 %           6,222

Christophe DEBON, Rassemblement national                                            7,15 %             2,774

Denise BARBARAT, Reconquête !                                                              3,86 %             1,497

PARTICIPATION                                                                                          57,57 %        38,817 »

Source : Le Monde online, mardi, le14 juin, slightly modified.

So, both Villani and Midy, who succeeded Villani as the LREM candidate, will be the two candidates in next Sunday’s (June 19) run-off election. With such a good lead Cédric Villani should be re-elected.

But, we shall see.