Cédric Villani

Birth of a Theorem
  • Birth of a Theorem

  • “This man could plainly do for mathematics what Brian Cox has done for physics” Sunday Times

    How does a genius see the world? Where and how does inspiration strike?

    Cédric Villani takes us on a mesmerising adventure as he wrestles with the Boltzmann equation – a new theorem that will eventually win him the most coveted prize in mathematics and a place in the mathematical history books. Along the way he encounters obstacles and setbacks, losses of faith and even brushes with madness.

    His story is one of courage and partnership, doubt and anxiety, elation and despair. Of ordinary family life blurring with the abstract world of mathematical physics, of theories and equations that haunt your dreams and seeking the elusive inspiration found only in a locked, darkened room.

    Blending science with history, biography with myth, Villani conjures up an inimitable cast: the omnipresent Einstein, mad genius Kurt Godel, and Villani’s personal hero, John Nash.

    Step inside the magical world of Cédric Villani…

Cédric Villani is a French mathematician who has received many international awards for his work including the Jacques Herbrand Prize, the Prize of the European Mathematical Society, the Fermat Prize and the Henri Poincaré Prize. In 2010 he was awarded the Fields Medal, the International Medal for Outstanding Discoveries in Mathematics, for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation. Often called ‘the mathematicians’ Nobel Prize’, it is awarded every four years and is viewed by some as the highest honour a mathematician can achieve. He is a professor at Lyon University and Director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris, working primarily on partial differential equations and mathematical physics.

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