Vincent Calvez, chargé de recherche CNRS at l’Unité de mathématiques pures et appliquées (UMPA) and member of the Inria NuMed project team, is one of the ten recipients of the 2016 European Mathematical Society (EMS) prizes.
These prizes, which are given every four years to mathematicians under 35 years of age who are from or who work in Europe, were announced and awarded at the opening of the 7th European Congress of Mathematics which took place in Berlin from July 18-22, 2016. Previous recipients include Wendelin Werner, Cédric Villani, and Artur Avila, who all went on to win the Fields medal, considered to be the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in mathematics.
Vincent Calvez, who was born in 1981, works in the field of mathematics applied to biology. He completed interdisciplinary coursework at l’École normale supérieure, obtained the agrégation de mathématiques in 2005, and completed a thesis under the direction of Benoît Perthame in 2007. Since 2008, he has served as chargé de recherche CNRS at UMPA (CNRS/ENS de Lyon). In 2014 he received the 2014 CNRS bronze medal for his research.
Vincent Calvez’s early research involved the modelization of the collective movements of bacteria toward their sources of food. These processes are simulated by transport equations presenting nonlinear interaction terms, which take into consideration the fact that the cells are aggregated. In connection with experimental biologists, Vincent Calvez developed a new model inspired by the kinetic theory of gases. This model describes both the individual movements of bacteria and the transport of colonies as a whole, and satisfactorily explains the specific characters of this movement. Another productive interaction was a collaboration with biophysicists that provided a new explanation for cell polarization, a ubiquitous biological phenomenon. More recently, Vincent Calvez and one of his students created a completely new approach to modelizing invasion fronts in ecology, another example of a phenomenon spreading in the form of waves.
Vincent Calvez is also involved in the popularization of mathematics by coordinating the travelling exhibition “Mathàlyon,” intended for junior high and high school students, and will participate to "Math-en-folie", a summer school for research initiation in mathematics that will take place at the ENS de Lyon August 22th -28th this year.