INSMI National Institute for Mathematical Sciences

Developing and understanding mathematical structures and models

The CNRS National Institute for Mathematical Sciences (INSMI) seeks to promote excellence in French mathematics by managing and coordinating a network of research units, national interest organizations and international laboratories.


INSMI's mission is to develop and coordinate research in the various fields of pure and applied mathematics. The Institute contributes towards the organization of the French mathematical community and to its integration within the international community.

While supporting internal developments in mathematical theories, INSMI encourages the interaction of mathematics with other disciplines and with society, so as to meet growing demand for modeling, quantitative analysis and simulation. The Institute also takes part in the coordination and promotion of training through research, as well as in mathematical research. It supports initiatives to disseminate knowledge and promote mathematics, especially with young people and the general public.

Strategic axes

To carry out its mission, INSMI:

  • recruits a steady flow of young researchers, a significant proportion of whom work at the interface with other disciplines;
  • promotes researchers' mobility - whether thematic, geographical (domestic and international), or between institutions;
  • develops cross-cutting research structures;
  • strengthens international relations by developing international units and laboratories and by establishing international conference and visiting researchers centers;
  • takes part in the creation of multidisciplinary programs and in crossappointments for researchers;
  • develops relations with business and society.


France's mathematics community boasts a number of tools solely or jointly managed by INSMI:

  • international centers: the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris and the Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques in Luminy (Marseille) where thousands of mathematicians take part in conferences, seminars and theme-based six-month sessions every year;
  • documentary resources: the Bibliothèque d'Orsay (Orsay Library), the Réseau National des Bibliothèques de Mathématiques (RNBM), and the Cellule MathDoc, which organize mathematical documentation in France;
  • professional and skill-based networks: the "Mathrice" network, which brings together computer specialists from mathematics laboratories, and the Calcul group, which conducts exchanges between experts in scientific computing;
  • an organization that aims to promote the emergence and development of relations between mathematicians and the business world: the Agence pour les Mathématiques en Interaction avec l'Entreprise et la Société (AMIES).

International influence

Not only do international exchanges play an essential role in maintaining French teams' excellence, they also testify to such excellence. In addition to a large number of voluntary partnerships and collaboration agreements, INSMI organizes exchanges between networks through specific CNRS tools such as international joint units, international associated laboratories and international research networks.

Key figures

  • 3 200 researchers and academics, including 400 from CNRS, 410 engineers and technicians, including 210 from CNRS, and 1 200 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers
  • 50 research and service units and 13 research federations
  • 26 research networks and 2 service networks
  • 9 international joint units, 6 international associated laboratories and 7 international research networks