Michèle Audin / Walls & Bridges
Michèle Audin is a French mathematician, and a professor at the Institut de recherche mathématique avancée (IRMA) in Strasbourg (France), where she does research notably in the area of symplectic geometry. Born in 1954, she is a former student of l’École normale supérieure de jeunes filles within the École normale supérieure de Sèvres. Audin became a member of the OuLiPo in 2009. She is the daughter of mathematician Maurice Audin, who died under torture in Algeria in 1957, following his arrest by General Jacques Massu’s parachutists. On January 1, 2009, she refused the Legion of Honor, on the grounds that the President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, had refused to respond to a letter written by her mother regarding her father’s disappearance.
Une vie brève
[A short life]
This book deals with a short life. Not that of an unknown, chosen by chance because I saw his picture, his smile, in an old newspaper, but that of my father, Maurice Audin. Maybe you’ve heard of him. Maybe you’ve heard about the so-called “Audin affair.” Or maybe not. But I’ll tell you right now, the subject of this book is not the martyr, his death, or his disappearance. On the contrary, the subject is life, his life, traces of which are still left, that I intend to talk about here.
Proposed lectures (in French)
1-Mathematics and Literature - the case of the OuLiPo
The members of the OuLiPo (workshop for potential literature) look for mathematical structures and constraints to build their texts. Raymond Queneau, and more recently Paul Fournel, used graph theory to write tales and novels, and combinatorics provided rules for writing poetry and prose, for instance in Jacques Roubaud's work or the celebrated novel Life a User's Manual by Georges Perec. Geometric structures can also be used, as we shall explain.
2-Scientific Publications in Occupied France (1940-1944)
Concentrating on the case of the mathematician Jacques Feldbau (1914-1945), Audin will give an overview of the way French Jewish scientists were excluded from scientific journals during the Occupation and Vichy time.
Dates already booked
Tuesday October 15th: Walls and Bridges, New York
New York University 16 Washington Mews, New York, NY