Review of the ceremony for awarding the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Prof. Marc Snir

Review of the ceremony for awarding the title of Doctor Honoris Causa to Prof. Marc Snir

Mon, 10/09/2018


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.

Logo "30th anniversary of Lip"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."

Cello playerYves 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).

From left to right: Yves Robert; Marc Snir; Jean-François Pinton
From left to right: Yves Robert; Marc Snir; Jean-François Pinton, President of ENS de Lyon.
Photo: Vincent Brault ©ENS Média


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