Cedric Villani

Cedric Villani

7 May 2018
AI digitaltransformation systems
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With his floppy necktie and long hair, this mathematical genius certainly stands out in the French parliament.

The man in question is Cédric Villiani, who was awarded the Fields Medal in 2010 and who flies the colours of the LREM party founded by the current French President, Emmanuel Macron.

He doesn’t skimp on resources and he takes on missions that get things moving.

This local MP and former director of the Sorbonne University’s Henri Poincaré Institute has been asked by the French government to draw up a report on artificial intelligence in order to improve the teaching of maths in schools.

Quite a big ask! Concerning the teaching of maths, he certainly did his homework, writing a report called “21 measures for maths teaching” in which he set out areas for improvement and highlighted one particular point – teacher training.

Taking the example of the method used in Singapore, where teachers have five times more hours of training than in France, his idea is to de-systemise teaching.

Because while it’s easy to criticise teachers or the school syllabus it’s much more difficult to embark on change.

The current system is not exactly optimal but we need to stop stigmatising it and instead give it the resources to succeed.

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