When Professor Chaleyat-Maurel presented the World Mathematical Year project to me, my adhesion was immediate. The town Council even decided to make Mathematics the theme of communal activities in the Year 2000.
The town of Bures-sur-Yvette lies in the heart of a valley where advanced scientific research has made its home. There is the IHES, and there are other structures too, all of whose teachers and researchers are made welcome. These institutions are an integral part of the Bures setting.
Bures and its people very much want to bring Mathematics within the reach of the wider public and in particular of the very young. It was with this in mind that in 1996 we organized a week of Mathematics with two aims : to make people more aware of Mathematics and to make it more accessible. Primary schoolchildren were very much involved and solicited. The success of the talks and of the exhibition brought home to me the sometimes unexpected extent to which Mathematics are part and parcel of our everyday life. One outcome was the mathematical sculpture donated to the town by an artist taking part in the competition we organized.
That is why we support and will actively participate in the celebration of the World Mathematical Year. Various projects are under study, another mathematical sculpture competition, for example, and the hosting of a mathematical Olympiad.
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