Fabrice Rouillier (Ouragan project team) elected as Chairman of Animath
Fabrice Rouillier, head of Inria's Ouragan project team, has been elected Chairman of Animath. He takes over from Martin Andler who founded the association in 1998.
Animath is an association set up in 1998 to encourage young people to take an interest in and pursue their studies in mathematics. Animath brings together various entities which share the same goals. It organises a range of initiatives to this end.
Every year, Animath enables thousands of secondary school pupils to take part in extra-curricular activities, at all different levels, local, national and international, including workshops, high-level national and international competitions, and events where they can meet researchers. As well as younger kids, special attention is given to pupils who, because of their social background or the area they come from, or because they are girls, tend not to take much interest in maths.
Animath relies on a network of deeply-committed volunteers to organise events and run science projects. Some are teachers, researchers, engineers or students, some have taken part in the association's activities in the past, when they were at school themselves, but whatever their background, the volunteers are united by a desire to share their passion with as many kids as possible.
What are the first challenges you are going to deal with?
The association supports a growing number of projects, aided by a group of volunteers which is getting larger by the year. We need to scale up the ways in which we manage all this, and a change of chairman is an ideal opportunity to do just that.
So, my first challenge will be... to live up to the high standards set up by my predecessor. But, to be serious, let's say that I would like to do this by adopting an increasingly unified system of operating. This is something that the association has been working on for several months now, starting by bringing some new people into the management team, as well as organising various campaigns to recruit lots of new volunteers, especially among former participants.
Naturally, our priority remains a focus on the sort of activities that Animath has always run, for example, the work undertaken to encourage young girls to take an interest in maths by getting as many of them as possible to come and join in our activities.
At the moment, our international development is also high on the agenda. A number of projects have been launched to share our experience, setting up clubs in other countries - for instance, I have just got back from a week in Benin. In addition to these clubs, we are organising ITYM 2018 in Paris (the International Tournament of Young Mathematicians) and bidding to organise the EGMO (European Girls’ Mathematical Olympiad) in 2022 (which will coincide with Paris' bid to host the International Congress of Mathematicians) and, why not, for 2024 too.