The Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon had the honor of awarding the status of Doctor Honoris Causa to Ingrid Daubechies, professor of Mathematics at Duke University in North Carolina in the United States.
The research work of Ingrid Daubechies combines mathematics, physics and computer engineering, and this diversity of disciplines was also reflected in the audience of the ceremony held on March 15, 2018. Many ENS de Lyon researchers from the Physics Laboratory, UMPA and LIP, as well as researchers from other institutions were present, to celebrate the achievements of their colleague.
Jean-François Pinton, president of the ENS de Lyon, hosted the ceremony attended by Marie-Danièle Campion - Rector of the Académie de Lyon and the Rhône Auvergne region and Chancellor of the Universities - who delivered the closing address.
Jean-François Pinton drew attention to the remarkable career of Ingrid Daubechies: “Tonight's ceremony is the opportunity for us to award the highest French diploma to a researcher who was the first female elected professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, the first woman to obtain the mathematics prize from the American Academy of Sciences and the first woman president of the International Mathematical Union. By accepting this distinction, Ingrid Daubechies honors us in return. We would like to really thank her for this.” Marie-Danièle Campion also remarked on “her exemplary career for young women...” as well as “her on-going never-ending work [...].”
Professor Patrick Flandrin - Research Director at CNRS at the Physics Laboratory of the ENS de Lyon and member of the French Academy of Science - has worked for over thirty years with Professor Ingrid Daubechies. He greatly praised her work. In his introduction, he quoted a few words from a speech made in 2010 at the award ceremony when Ingrid Daubechies received the medal from the American Academy of Sciences - which perfectly describes the aim her work: “For fundamental discoveries on wavelets and waveleting expansions, and for her role in making wavelet methods a practical basic tool of applied mathematics”.
The ceremony was also an opportunity to listen to Mao Hayakawa – a student at the Lyon Music and Dance Academy - Conservatoire national musique et danse de Lyon (CNSMD): the young Japanese pianist played a classical piece – 20th Prelude and Fugue in A minor by Johann Sebastian Bach – as well as the more contemporary Dream Images by George Crumb.
Both composers chose to link their music to mathematics. Bach developed his music based on a science of numbers and proportions whilst Crumb carefully marked his scores in graphic detail, sometimes even using mathematical curves.