Computer Vision News - March 2021

325 Stéphanie Allassonnière You said that in a 2013 interview! Oops! [ Both laugh… ] That was a trap! But it’s the only one that I have for you today [ laughs ]. Do you still agree with yourself? Yes! I really think that we can take the best of math to increase the knowledge in each environment, in medical or sociological knowledge. We have tools, and we have to make them available to the whole population. I am particularly interested in medical applications myself, but I am really sure we have many things to do with math in all these areas that are surrounding us every day! When did you discover that you liked math? Was it at school when you were very young? No, actually I was good at math, but I also liked foreign languages. I studied English, German, and Russian. At the end, I didn’t know whether I’d rather go for scientific studies or if I wanted to go for literature and languages. In France, we have this cultural bias, which says that if you are good at math then everything is open for you. So I went into a scientific career just because I thought it could open doors to anything, except that I liked it, and I didn’t want to change! [ laughs ] Was it also a way to delay some drastic decision? No, finally the decision was easy for me. When I decided to go into scientific studies after my bachelor’s degree, I went to this classe préparatoire, which is highly competitive. I really enjoyed doingmath. Therewas nomorequestion about whether or not I wanted to do math. My only question was, “What for? ” Was it just for teaching, and going to teach in high schools or a little bit higher in these “préparatoire” classes? The other option was to do research. The choice I made was probably easy to make because I was able to enter the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Cachan, where I was surrounded by tremendous researchers, who gave me this feeling that there was a scientifically deep area to go and look for. They were my mentors. What made them your mentors? What made you interested in learning from them? Their passion! They were passionate about what they did, especially my PhD advisor, Alain Trouvé. He is still a “I had the romantic vision that an engineer must be creative, to invent things and find solutions.” “This is perfect for a supervisor!”