Cédric Villani tackles perplexing problems in mathematical physics, analysis and geometry with rigor, wit and a signature personal style.

Why you should listen

His Byronesque hair, colorful ascots and spider brooches have earned Cédric Villani the nickname “the Lady Gaga of Mathematics.” But this moniker has not obscured Villani’s deeper, serious mission: inspiring students to delve into the mysteries of mathematics.

Villani’s fame is based on his work resolving difficult problems of kinetic theory, for which he received the Fields Medal in 2010. His book Birth of a Theorem is an exhilarating journey into the nocturnal dilemmas of mathematicians hot on the trail of discovery.

What others say

“Combining poetry, music and formidable sleuthing, the charismatic Cédric Villani skilfully unfolds the complex yet wondrous world of mathematics.” — Patti Smith

Cédric Villani’s TED talk