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Computational sciences


Nicholas Ayache is the newly appointed professor on the Chair in Informatics and Computational Sciences at the Collège de France

Nicholas Ayache Nicholas Ayache - © Loran Dherines

Nicholas Ayache is the newly appointed professor on the Chair in Informatics and Computational Sciences at the Collège de France for the year 2013-2014. He is a world-renowned specialist in the analysis and simulation of digital medical images.

Created in 2009 by the Collège de France and Inria, the aim of the "Computing and computational sciences" chair is to promote computer science and applied mathematics.

Nicholas Ayache trained as a civil engineer at the Ecole des Mines in St. Etienne (1980), before obtaining a Master of Science (1981) from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a PhD (1983) and a State doctorate (1988) from the Université de Paris-XI (Orsay).  He has been an Inria researcher since 1982, starting at Rocquencourt, before moving to Sophia Antipolis in 1992, where he led the Epidaure and then Asclepios teams.

He was a visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at Harvard in 2007. He has taught at the Ecole Centrale de Paris and in several  French  universities and "Grandes Ecoles". He has also been the Scientific Director of the Strasbourg University Hospital Institute (IHU) since its creation in January 2012.

His current research focuses mainly on the automated analysis of medical images and the construction of personalised digital models of the patient designed to assist medical treatment and surgery. Considered as one of the pioneers in this research field, he is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the scientific review Medical Image Analysis (Elsevier Science). His previous research (1981-1988) concerned artificial vision for mobile robots, and has been published in the book Artificial Vision for Mobile Robots (MIT-Press, 1991). 

Nicholas Ayache has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) grant for the 5-year period from 2012 to 2017. His previous honours include the Microsoft European Science Award in 2008 (awarded by a panel of judges from the Royal Society and Académie des sciences (French Academy of Sciences)), the EADS Foundation Prize for Information Sciences in 2006 (awarded by judges from the Académie des sciences), and several other prizes for his scientific articles. He is the incumbent of the Computing and Computational Sciences Chair of the Collège de France for 2013-2014.

Closely involved in the technology transfer and practical application of his research work, Nicholas Ayache has regularly served as a scientific consultant to industry and taken part in the creation of five high-tech companies. His team works with three French University Hospital Institutes (IHU) created in 2012: IHU Strasbourg (image-guided minimally-invasive surgery), IHU Bordeaux (heart rate disorders), and the neuroscience IHU at Pitié Salpêtrière hospital in Paris.

Keywords: Collège de France Medical imaging Health