History of Inria
André Lichnerowicz: a reformer and a visionary
The inaugural chairman of IRIA's scientific council, this graduate of the Ecole Normale Supérieure and professor at the Collège de France was quick to understand the limitations of an institute devoted exclusively to issues associated with the Plan Calcul (the French government's plan to develop a new discipline of computer science).
André Lichnerowicz was a visionary, denouncing the growing gap between people's training and the development of infrastructures. A strong character, he played a prominent role in the renewal of mathematics teaching, from secondary schools to universities. Convinced that the future of the institute depended on its having a strong and proudly held scientific ambition, he never stopped demanding additional resources for IRIA. His ambition was to make the institute a "club" that was open to a diverse range of people (including control experts and computer scientists). His objective was to enable France to assert itself as a major player on the global computer science scene.