Michel Pierre Talagrand is a French mathematician, born on February 1952. Docteur ès sciences since 1977, he has been, since 1985, Directeur de Recherches at CNRS and a member of the Functional Analysis Team of the Institut de Mathématique of Paris. Talagrand was elected as correspondent of the Académie des sciences of Paris on March 1997, and then as a full member on November 2004, in the Mathematics section.
Talagrand studies mainly functional analysis and probability theory and their applications.
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Talagrand has been interested in probability with minimal structure. He has obtained a complete characterization of bounded Gaussian processes in very general settings, and also new methods to bound stochastic processes. He discovered new aspects of the isoperimetric and concentration of measure phenomena for product spaces, by obtaining inequalities which make use of new kind of distances between a point and a subset of a product space. These inequalities show in great generality that a random quantity which depends on many independent variables, without depending too much on one of them, does have only small fluctuations. These inequalites helped to solve most classical problems in probability theory on Banach spaces, and have also transformed the abstract theory of stochastic processes. These inequalites have been successfully used in many applications involving stochastic quantities, like for instance in statistical mechanics (disordered systems), theoretical computer science, random matrices, and statistics (empirical processes). The recent works of Talagrand concern spin glasses mean fields models. His objective is to give a mathematical foundation to numerous remarkable works of physicists in this domain. Talagrand showed for instance recently the validity of the most well known prediction: the Parisi formula.
