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Wuhan University leads establishment of ‘Sino-French Joint Research Center for Mathematics’


To implement the achievements agreed upon by President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron during Xi's visit to France in May 2024, the Chinese Ministry of Education and the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research co-hosted the ‘2024 Sino-French Education Development Forum’ in Paris on June 21. The forum, attended by nearly 200 representatives from various universities and institutions, featured speeches by Chinese Minister Huai Jinpeng and French Minister Sylvie Retailleau. Vice President of Wuhan University, Yuan Yufeng, delivered a keynote address.

Focusing on the topic of ‘Balanced Student Mobility’, Yuan Yufeng delivered a speech titled ‘Embarking on a New Journey of Sino-French Joint Research and Talent Cultivation in Mathematics’. He highlighted the achievements agreed upon during the May meeting between the two heads of state, including ‘Accelerating Mutual Cultural Exchange’, the ‘Three-Year 10,000 Student Exchange Program’, and the ‘Doubling of European Exchanges’. Yuan introduced Wuhan University’s initiatives to enhance Sino-French mathematical talent cultivation and joint research, such as the re-launch of the Sino-French Mathematics Elite Class and the establishment of the ‘Sino-French Joint Research Center for Mathematics’ in collaboration with the Université Paris Cité. He noted that the rapid development of new information technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, and blockchain, considered the ‘Fourth Technological Revolution’ in human history, poses new challenges and opportunities for mathematics in scientific research and talent cultivation. He expressed hope for continued Sino-French collaboration in exploring new cooperation models and pathways in the field of mathematics to meet the needs of the times and national strategic demands.

On the afternoon of the 20th, during the parallel session on ‘Fundamental Sciences, Knowledge Innovation, and Talent Cultivation’, Yuan Yufeng delivered a speech titled ‘The Role of Universities in Sino-French Cooperation: A Core Force in Promoting Fundamental Scientific Research’. He signed a memorandum of cooperation with Édouard Kaminski, President of Université Paris Cité, representing relevant Chinese and French institutions to establish the ‘Sino-French Joint Research Center for Mathematics’, and jointly unveiled the center. The signing and unveiling ceremony was witnessed by Minister Huai Jinpeng, Vice Minister Chen Jie, President of Peking University Gong Qihuang, Fields Medalist Laurent Lafforgue, renowned mathematicians Marc Rosso and Claude Le Bris, and alumni from the Sino-French Mathematics Class of Wuhan University, including Ma Xiaonan, Fang Shizan, Liu Quansheng, Wu Jie, and Ge Yuxin.

It is reported that Sino-French cooperation in mathematics has a long history. From 1980 to 1994, under the leadership of Professor Yu Jiarong, Wuhan University established the Sino-French Mathematics Class, producing a large number of outstanding mathematicians, including winners of the Sophie Germain Prize of the French Academy of Sciences, making significant contributions to the advancement of mathematics in China and Sino-French educational and cultural exchanges. The ‘Sino-French Joint Research Center for Mathematics’ aims to pool resources from both sides and carry out practical cooperation in scientific research, talent cultivation, academic exchange, and graduate summer schools.