• Training

MATh.en.JEANS 2023 > experience mathematics!

The MATh.en.JEANS 2023 regional congress was held at UPHF from March 27 to 29, in the premises of INSA Hauts-de-France.

The principle of MATh.en.JEANS is to have small groups of students, from middle school or high school, work during the school year on open mathematical topics, within their reach but difficult for them. The topics are proposed by "real" researchers and should allow them to discover, at their own scale, the uncertainty and the pleasures of research.

The congress is the conclusion of this action: as in a real scientific congress, the students present their results in front of their peers - in this case also in front of their teachers and the researchers who proposed the topics.

This conclusion is in principle provisional, because like any real researcher one must then publish. Examples of work can be seen here, but it must be recognized that not all students achieve this goal.

The Abel de Pujol 1 building and its surroundings were thus animated for three days by 280 students (186 middle school students and 94 high school students) and 51 accompanying adults (40 teachers and 11 researchers). They came from 13 middle schools and 10 high schools in the Hauts-de-France region, as well as from three schools in Luxembourg. The quality of the work and presentations of the Luxembourg students was particularly appreciated. Note that the girls were largely present (153 girls for 127 boys).


The opening of the congress on Monday morning was marked by the presence of the UPHF president, its vice president in charge of training, and by speeches from the delegated vice president in charge of student life, the director of the INSA Gaston Berger Center, and the director of CERAMATHS. The director of INSA Hauts-de-France and the regional educational inspector (IA-IPR) in charge of the Valenciennois region had been unable to attend, but they visited the delegates the following days.

MATh.en.JEANS_2023 Equipe

During three days, participants alternated between lectures in the lecture hall and presentations at their booths - the equivalent of "posters" at a scientific conference. Everyone was also invited to learn about the results of others.
Let's mention a few titles of student presentations, among the 76 topics presented: "the magic of the ones", "the mystery laces", "the head with squares" or "Dédé plays with dice".


The students were also able to attend lectures by real researchers.  These were given by four members of CERAMATHS - DMATHS and adapted to their age. For example, "How to predict the fish population in the ocean?" was a lively presentation of the problems of scientific computing.


An hour was also devoted to a freewheeling discussion between the students and three "representative" researchers: a very young one, a more experienced one, and a senior one. This meeting was a great success, and the hour was not enough to exhaust all the questions: "how do you become a researcher?", "what is the use of what you find?", etc; and of course "how much do you earn?"

MATh.en.JEANS_2023 rencontre chercheurs

It was also necessary to relax sometimes. The concert planned for Monday evening could not take place, but it was replaced by an improvised and (well) animated "quiz" by the students of licence 2 of mathematics who had been recruited to help with the organization. Initiative very much appreciated by the students, as well as the "lecture-show" on Tuesday evening: the "mathemagician" Dominique Souder showed how to amaze his entourage with magic tricks, and how to explain them with mathematics.


Participants had the opportunity to visit scientific facilities on campus (VALUTEC - C3T and AIP - PRIMECA, thanks to the welcome of the managers of these facilities), or to discover the Valenciennes heritage, thanks to the support of the Médiathèque de Valenciennes and  du Comité de Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Valenciennois. 

MATh.en.JEANS_2023 Visite Vauban
MATh.en.JEANS_2023 visite C3T

The conference was organized by the Department of Mathematics of CERAMATHS, with the support of the Gaston Berger Center of INSA Hauts-de-France and the help of the IREM of Lille. It received financial support from UPHF, INSA Hauts-de-France, CERAMATHS and the Federation of Mathematical Research of Hauts-de-France.

The participants said they were delighted with the welcome, and made an appointment for the 2024 edition, which should take place at another regional university. The Valenciennes tour will return... in a few years!

MATh.en.JEANS_2023 visite C3T
MATh.en.JEANS_2023 Visite Vauban

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