Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques

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The Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (I.H.É.S., en: Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies) is a French institute supporting advanced research in mathematics and theoretical physics. It is located in Bures-sur-Yvette just south of Paris.

The IHÉS, founded in 1958 by businessman and mathematical physicist Léon Motchane with the help of Robert Oppenheimer and Jean Dieudonné, aims to bring together top researchers in the field. It has a small number of permanent professors, appointed for life, and invites about 200 visitors a year for varying terms averaging three months. It also has a small number of so-called long-term visitors. Research is not contracted or directed: it is left to each individual researcher to pursue their own goals. Permanent professors are only required to be in residence six months a year.

Design of the IHÉS is said to be influenced by Robert Oppenheimer, who was then the Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. The strong personality of Alexandre Grothendieck and the broad sweep of his revolutionizing theories were a dominating feature of the first ten years at the IHÉS. René Thom was another prominent figure in its early history. Dennis Sullivan is remembered as one who had a special talent for encouraging fruitful exchanges among visitors and provoking a new and deeper insight into their ideas.

The IHÉS runs a highly regarded mathematical journal, Publications Mathématiques de l'IHÉS.

The Directors of the IHÉS in chronological order: Léon Motchane (1958–71), Nicolaas Kuiper (1971–85), Marcel Berger (1985–94) and Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (1994–present).

Some of the top mathematicians who were or are now permanent professors at the IHÉS include Jean Bourgain, Alain Connes, Pierre Deligne, Mikhail Gromov, Alexandre Grothendieck, Oscar Lanford III, Laurent Lafforgue, Maxim Kontsevich, Dennis Sullivan and René Thom. The long-term visitors are Christophe Breuil, Dirk Kreimer, Ofer Gabber and Christophe Soulé.

The theoretical or mathematical physicists who were or are now permanent professors at the IHÉS are Louis Michel, Juerg Fröhlich, David Ruelle, Thibault Damour, Nikita Nekrasov.

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