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Philippe Flajolet: algorithms and their applications

Philippe Flajolet © INRIA - Photo A.Eidelman

A graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and a Doctor of Computer Science, he is also a Doctor of Sciences. At Inria, he has developed a research programme concerning the determination of calculation complexity in computer science.

Philippe Flajolet is an heir to the French school of theoretical computer science pioneered by Marcel Paul Schützenberger and Maurice Nivat. He devised a unified theory called analytic combinatorics. This theory has numerous applications, including quick searches for information, communication protocols and symbolic computation.

Philippe Flajolet established himself as one of the leading figures in the field of algorithms, at a time when that subject was identified as one of Inria's strengths. In 1985, he drew up a "strategic plan" designed to guide the institute in its future developments. This document emphasises the great potential for interaction between Inria's various fields of research.

He was awarded the Prix Michel Monpetit by the French Academy of Sciences in 1994 and an honorary doctorate from the Université Libre de Bruxelles in the same year, and was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences in November 2003. Having touched upon subjects such as compilation, searching for and sorting information, databases and communication protocols, Philippe Flajolet has been involved in nearly all fields of computer science research.