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9/07/2014

"Mouvements de foule"

Matthias Mimault, a PhD student studying Applied Mathematics for the OPALE project team under the auspices of Paola Goatin, has won second place in the “Finales 180” or “My thesis in 180 seconds" competition.

Of the 40 PhD students who underwent the training to prepare for the MT180 competition, 15 candidates made it to the final in the south of France, including Matthias Mimault of the OPALE team project. The aim of the competition was to popularize the subject of the theses in 180 seconds and using only one slide". Matthias Mimault won second place with his subject "Mouvements de foule".

"It was a great experience. It taught me to speak in public and how to popularize my research work so that I could adapt my speeches to non-scientific people".

Mathias’ research work was aimed at explaining the phenomenon of crowds, for example why and how crowds form at rush hours, and how to control this by creating mathematical models."We try to understand how pedestrians move together by studying mass movements rather than movements of the individual.To do this, we apply fluid mechanics.”

Mathias carried out studies from 2006 to 2012 at the University of Montpellier and continued studying for his masters in “Fundamental and Applied Mathematics”, option “Digital simulation” at the Inria centre in Sophia Antipolis, under the auspice of Paola Goatin. Now into the second year of his thesis as part of the OPALE project team, he is applying his knowledge of the laws of conservation to highly varied problems such as the evacuation of a corridor of pedestrians, or their auto-organisation when they pass each other. This research work is based on the mathematical framework defined by Roger L. Hughes, who was the first to carry out macroscopic analysis of crowd movements while trying to explain in particular how to avoid being trampled by pilgrims during the Mecca pilgrimage.“Using this mathematical model we determine behavioural laws, we apply fluid modelling techniques and we come up with digital models”.

Matthias’ aim is to continue his applied mathematics work to help understand group phenomena such as the formation of shoals of fish or flocks of birds.

Keywords: MT180 Digital simulation Opale

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