INSMI National Institute for Mathematical Sciences and their Interactions

Developing and understanding mathematical structures and models

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

Christoph Sorger, Director


The INSMI’s mission is to develop and coordinate the whole spectrum of French mathematical research, from theory to practical applications.

The Institute helps structure France's mathematical community and facilitates its integration at the international level.

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.

Centre de recherche de mathématique de la décision, Paris, France.


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

  • International centers: the Henri Poincaré Institute in Paris and the CIRM (International Center for Mathematical Research Meetings) in Marseille, where thousands of mathematicians take part in conferences, seminars and theme-based six-month sessions every year;
  • documentary resources: the Orsay Library, the National Network for Mathematical Libraries (RNBM) and the MathDoc joint service unit serve as a national documentation network;
  • professional and skill-based networks: the Mathrice network, which brings together computer specialists from mathematics laboratories, and the Computing group, which conducts exchanges between experts in scientific computing;
  • AMIES, an agency promoting interaction between researchers, industry players and society in the field of mathematics. Its purpose is to encourage and develop relations between mathematicians and the business world;
  • the AuDiMath network, which coordinates all actors involved in initiatives aimed at disseminating mathematical knowledge.

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.

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

  • 3 600 researchers and academics, including 400 from the CNRS, 400 engineers and technicians, 200 of whom are from the CNRS, 1 500 PhD students and 200 postdoctoral researchers
  • 50 research and service units and 13 research federations
  • 25 research networks and 3 service networks
  • 9 international joint units, 9 international associated laboratories and 4 international research networks

Figures : Febuary 2016

Artur Avila, Fields Medal laureate in 2014.