Archive for history

la remise en cause des mathématiques comme outil exclusif de reproduction de la bourgeoisie

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2021 by xi'an


A tribune that was published by Le Monde a few days ago celebrates the end of the “dominance of mathematics [in high school programs] as the unique reproduction medium of the bourgeoisie”, in  connection with a recent reformation of French high school programs where students have to specialise in only three topics in their final years. This change has led to a major drop both in the number of students studying maths and in the contents of the maths curriculum. As a result, there will less students entering university with a basic maths background and an overall regression in their level. At a time when international scores show French pupils are on average the worst ones in Europe and when the French government has huge ambitions to develop national AI companies,  this drift should be most concerning… But not for the author of the tribune, a high school professor of history and geography, who is most happy in the rise of students specialising in his subject, with a caricaturesque opinion on the inegalitarian role of mathematics:

“[la réforme] devait dès lors permettre, par le jeu des nouvelles spécialités, l’expression d’aptitudes plus diverses et d’en finir avec la prééminence systématique des mathématiques comme instrument de sélection scolaire et sociale.” [the reformation should then allow through new specialties to account for a wider range of abilities and to end the systemic preeminence of mathematics as a tool for school and social selection]

“[les mathématiques] demeurent le choix privilégié des mâles CSP + soucieux de préserver leur rang social” [mathematics still are the favoured option of higher class males afraid to loose their social position]

“[la spécialité histoire-géographie-sciences politiques] doit contribuer à la promotion sociale des plus défavorisés et à la remise en cause des mathématiques comme outil exclusif de reproduction de la bourgeoisie.” [the history, geography and political science specialty must contribute to the social promotion of the least favoured and to the demotion of mathematics as the unique instrument of preservation of the bourgeoisie]

If it was not so sadly representative of a general perception of mathematics within the global population and among the high administration of the Education Ministry, the outdated ideological tone of the tribune would have been quite hilarious.

hommage à Samuel Paty

Posted in Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2020 by xi'an

Toute notre communauté universitaire exprime sa plus vive émotion à la suite de l’assassinat de Samuel Paty, professeur dans un collège de Conflans Sainte-Honorine. Nous nous associons pleinement à la douleur de ses proches, de ses élèves et de ses collègues.

En tant qu’université, nos missions prolongent celles assumées par nos collègues de l’enseignement secondaire, dont nous sommes pleinement solidaires. Et nous tenons à rappeler, dans ces circonstances, les principes qui inspirent nos missions d’enseignement et de recherche : le respect de la liberté de penser, le goût du débat, le développement de l’esprit critique, la production de connaissance, tout cela dans le strict respect des lois de notre République.

Patrice Geoffron, Administrateur provisoire de l’Université Paris Dauphine-PSL  & Nicolas Péjout, Directeur Général des Services

200 years making history

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2020 by xi'an

vacanze romane [jatp]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 7, 2019 by xi'an

here’s to you Nicolas and Bart

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2017 by xi'an

“If it had not been for these things, I might have live out my life talking at street corners to scorning men. I might have died, unmarked, unknown, a failure. Now we are not a failure. This is our career and our triumph. Never in our full life could we hope to do such work for tolerance, for justice, for man’s understanding of man as we now do by accident. Our words—our lives—our pains—nothing! The taking of our lives—lives of a good shoemaker and a poor fish peddler—all! That last moment belongs to us—that agony is our triumph.” B. Vanzetti

Today is the 90th anniversary of the execution of Nicolas Sacco and Bartholomeo Vanzetti, Italian anarchists executed in Boston by the State of Massachusetts after an unfair trial. Impacted by anti-Italian prejudice and the radical political views of the accused. Here’s to you is the leading song of the soundtrack of the 1971 movie Sacco e Vanzetti, song written by Ennio Morricone and Joan Baez, also a song I remember singing endlessly in summer camps, as a teenager in the 70’s…