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A Math Whiz Has Become a Crucial Political Figure in France

  • Villani set to unveil France’s AI strategy on Thursday
  • Fields Medal winner is charged with pushing math education
Cedric Villani
Cedric VillaniPhotographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

To hear Cedric Villani tell it, the French are better than everyone else at love, wine -- and math.

A winner of the Fields Medal -- the Nobel Prize equivalent for mathematics -- Villani has in less than a year risen to become a key political figure in France with the ear of the tech-savvy President Emmanuel Macron. On Thursday, Villani takes center-stage when he unveils the country’s Artificial Intelligence strategy, aimed at putting his claim of France’s mathematical superiority to work in the global battle for emerging disruptive technologies.