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History of Inria

Gérard Berry: How the world is turning digital

Gérard Berry © INRIA Photo J.M.Ramès Gérard Berry - © Inria Photo J.M.Ramès

A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the Ecole des Mines, he completed a PhD in mathematics in 1979. In 1980 he joined Inria, where much of his research work centred around the development of the Esterel language. This language is used to explain the temporal synchronisation of tasks and prove that they are correctly executed.

In addition to his innumerable research contributions (lambda calculus, functional programming) he has been involved in industry with Esterel Technologies, a company where he served as scientific director for eight years (2001-2009).

A member of the Institute since 2002, world-renowned researcher Gérard Berry is also a passionate and engaging teacher. For several years, he has been working with various audiences to demonstrate how much digital technology shapes our everyday lives. This was the subject of his inaugural lecture as a professor of technological innovation at the Collège de France in 2007, which was entitled "Why and how the world is turning digital"

Since 2009, he has held a chair in information technology and computational science at the Collège de France, where he works to give computer science the recognition it is due.

His work has won him many honours, including the CNRS bronze medal in 1979, the Ministry of Defence's prize for Science and Defence in 1999 and the EADS Foundation's Grand Prize for industrial applications of science in 2005.

Keywords: Esterel Lambda calcul Collège de France Mathematics Digital Académie des sciences (French Academy of Sciences)