Cédric Villani

Cédric Villani

Cédric Villani in 2015
Born (1973-10-05) 5 October 1973
Brive-la-Gaillarde, France[1]
Residence Paris, France
Nationality French
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Institut Camille Jordan
Institut Henri Poincaré
University of Lyon
Alma mater École Normale Supérieure, Paris Dauphine University
Doctoral advisor Pierre-Louis Lions
Doctoral students Alessio Figalli
Clément Mouhot
Known for Boltzmann equation
Kinetic theory
Landau damping
Transportation theory
Otto–Villani theorem
Notable awards EMS Prize (2008)
Fermat Prize (2009)
Henri Poincaré Prize (2009)
Fields Medal (2010)
Joseph L. Doob Prize (2014)

Cédric Patrice Thierry Villani (born 5 October 1973) is a French mathematician working primarily on partial differential equations, Riemannian geometry and mathematical physics. He was awarded the Fields Medal in 2010.


After attending the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, Villani was admitted at the École normale supérieure in Paris and studied there from 1992 to 1996. He was later appointed an assistant professor in the same school. He received his doctorate at Paris Dauphine University in 1998, under the supervision of Pierre-Louis Lions, and became professor at the École normale supérieure de Lyon in 2000. He is now professor at the University of Lyon. He has been the director of Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris since 2009.[2][3]


Villani has worked on the theory of partial differential equations involved in statistical mechanics, specifically the Boltzmann equation, where, with Laurent Desvillettes, he was the first to prove how quickly convergence occurs for initial values not near equilibrium.[3] He has written with Giuseppe Toscani on this subject. With Clément Mouhot, he has worked on nonlinear Landau damping.[4] He has worked on the theory of optimal transport and its applications to differential geometry, and with John Lott has defined a notion of bounded Ricci curvature for general measured length spaces.[5]

Villani received the Fields Medal for his work on Landau damping and the Boltzmann equation.[3] He described the development of his theorem in his autobiographical book Théorème vivant (2012), published in English translation as Birth of a Theorem: A Mathematical Adventure (2015). He gave a TED talk at the 2016 conference in Vancouver.[6]

Awards and honors

Diplomas, titles and awards

Extra-academic distinctions

Selected writings


  1. Sylvain Guilbaud; Antoine Walraet. "Cédric Villani", Encyclopædia Universalis.
  2. Mathematics Genealogy Project – Cédric Villani. Accessed on line 20 August 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 Fields Medal – Cédric Villani. Accessed on line 20 August 2010
  4. Clément Mouhot; Cédric Villani (2010). "Landau damping". Journal of Mathematical Physics. 51 (15204): 015204. arXiv:0905.2167Freely accessible. doi:10.1063/1.3285283.
  5. John Lott; Cedric Villani (2004). "Ricci curvature for metric-measure spaces via optimal transport". arXiv:math/0412127Freely accessible [math.DG].
  6. "Cédric Villani: What's so sexy about math?". TED. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
  7. Josiah Willard Gibbs Lectures - No. 86, January 2013, San Diego, CA; Cédric Villani Accessed on line 20 May 2015.
  8. Joseph L. Doob Prize - Most Recent Prize: 2014 Accessed on line 20 May 2015.
  9. Cédric Villani, new member of the French Academy of Science Accessed on line 20 May 2015.
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