The ceremony of November 9, 2018 brought the 30th anniversary of the Laboratory of Computer Science and Parallelism (LIP) to a close. This scientific, but also festive day, was an opportunity to hear former directors – Michel Cosnard, Frédéric Desprez, Jean-Michel Muller and Guillaume Hanrot – retrace the history of the LIP; both former and new members made speeches and showed photo albums from the 80s and 90s; some made scientific presentations, including Marc Snir – Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in the United States – who made a presentation on "Supercomputing: Living-on-the-edge".
LIP researchers – after having blown out their 30 candles – were present to celebrate their North American colleague and the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon had the honor of handing over the Honoris causa insignia to Marc Snir.
Jean-François Pinton, President of the ENS de Lyon, hosted the ceremony, in the absence of Marie-Danièle Campion – Rector of the Académie de Lyon, rector of the Rhône Auvergne region and Chancellor of the Universities – who apologized for not being able to be present.
Jean-François Pinton underlined the remarkable character of Marc Snir's career: "Considered by his peers as one of the leaders in parallel algorithms, programming models and architectures, Marc Snir has brought major contributions to these three areas." [...] Tonight's ceremony will allow us to give the highest French diploma to a researcher whose work is widely recognized by the international scientific community. [...] By accepting this distinction, Marc Snir honors us in return. Please join me in thanking him."
Yves Robert – professor at the ENS de Lyon and senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France – also praised Professor Marc Snir. After a short biographical presentation, Yves Robert presented the major advances that Marc Snir has participated in, over the past 30 years, to conclude that "Marc Snir is a pioneer and visionary leader in large-scale computing".
The ceremony was also an opportunity to hear Raphaël Ginzburg – student at the Conservatoire – the French National Academy of Music and Dance in Lyon (CNSMD): The young cellist performed two pieces of classical music during the ceremony – Gigue of the 4th Suite BWV 1010 and Allemande 3rd Suite BWV 1009 by Johann Sebastian Bach – as well as two other contemporary pieces – Canzona of the 1st Suite for cello solo and Allegro Energico (gigue) of the 1st Suite by Ernest Bloch.
The two chosen composers have the peculiarity of combining – directly or indirectly – their music to science. Bach was a mathematical composer who developed his music based on science using numbers and proportions... While Bloch was the professor of Stanley Cavell (also a Doctor Honoris Causa from the ENS de Lyon in 2010) and George Antheil (who filed, along with Hedy Lamarr, the first patent of a transmission coding system, ancestor of the current wireless Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections).