Developing and understanding mathematical structures and models.


Insmi’s mission is to develop and coordinate the whole spectrum of French mathematical research, from the theoretical research to the various applications. The Institute contributes to structure the French mathematical community and attends to its integration within the international community.

While supporting internal developments in mathematical theories, Insmi encourages the interaction of mathematics with other disciplines and with society, so as to meet growing demand for modeling, quantitative analysis and simulation. The Institute also takes part in the coordination and promotion of training through research, as well as in mathematical research. It supports initiatives to disseminate knowledge and promote mathematics, especially with young people and the general public.


Strategic Axes

To carry out its missions, Insmi

  • recruits a steady flow of young researchers, a significant proportion of whom work at the interface with other disciplines;
  • promotes researcher's mobility, whether thematic, geographical (domestic and international), or between institutions;
  • develops cross-cutting research structures;
  • strengthens international relations by developing international units and laboratories and by establishing international conference and visiting researchers centres;
  • takes part in the creation of multidisciplinary programs and in cross-appointments for researchers;
  • develops relations with business and society.


Research structures

On the national territory, mathematicians mainly work in laboratories named Unité mixte de recherche (UMR, Joint Research Unit), based in French universities and gathering the mathematicians of a geographic area. UMRs usually cover the whole spectrum of mathematics. Most researchers also participate in thematic networks named Research Groups or GDRs, which gather any French mathematician involved in specific research topics in mathematics. Finally, UMRs gather at the regional level in Fédérations de Recherche (FR, Research Federation) which represent the regional mathematic community as far as documentation policy, dissemination of mathematics and relations with industrial world and firms are concerned.

At the international level, exchanges play an essential role in maintaining French teams’ excellence. In addition to a large number of voluntary partnerships and collaboration agreements, Insmi organizes exchanges between networks through specific CNRS tools such as international joint units, international associated laboratories and international research networks. 



France’s mathematics community boasts a number of national tools solely or jointly managed by Insmi and organised in Unités mixtes de service (UMS, Joint support unit) or Groupes de Services (GDS, Support group).

  • International centers: the Institut Henri Poincaré (IHP - UMS 839) in Paris and the Centre International de Rencontres Mathématiques (Cirm - UMS 822) in Luminy, next to Marseille, where thousands of mathematicians take part in conferences, seminars and theme-based six-month sessions every year;
  • Documentary resources: the Hadamard Library (UMS 1786), the National Network for Mathematics Libraries (RNBM - GDS 2755) and the Mathdoc unit (UMS 5638) serve as a national documentation resource network;
  • Professional and skill-based networks: the Mathrice network (GDS 2754), which brings together computer specialists from mathematics laboratories, and the Computing group (GDR 3275), which conducts exchanges between experts in scientific computing;
  • An agency promoting interaction between researchers, industry players and society in the field of mathematics, AMIES (UMS 3458). Its purpose is to encourage and develop relations between mathematicians and the business world;
  • Dissemination network : the AuDiMath network (GDS 3745), which coordinates all actors involved in initiatives aimed at disseminating mathematical knowledge and supports the popularization website Images des maths.