Françoise Chatelin was an Emeritus Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University Toulouse 1 – Capitole and Head of the Qualitative Computing group at the Centre Européen de Recherche et de Formation Avancée en Calcul Scientifique (Cerfacs) in Toulouse, France. Her expertise included many areas, from spectral theory for linear operators in Banach spaces and finite precision computation of very large matrix eigenproblems to Dickson algebras.

After graduating from the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), Professor Chatelin taught at the Universities Grenoble 2 – Pierre Mendes-France and Paris 9 – Dauphine before moving to Toulouse. She was a visiting researcher at Berkeley and Stanford Universities, IBM San Jose (Ca) and Yorktown Heights (NY). For almost a decade (1984 -1993) she was a scientific manager (in charge of intensive computing) at the Centre Scientifique IBM – France in Paris and the Laboratoire Central de Recherches Thales near Paris.

She strongly promoted relations between academia and industry since her contract in 1974 at IBM. She proved that the initial model of inkjet printers was unstable due a turbulent flow of the ink drop. Her work contributed to the release in 1976 of the IBM6640, one of the world's first office inkjet printers (“La passion des nombres” Science et Avenir numéro 502, p. 18, Décembre 1988.)

Professor Chatelin has authored four books; the first three are now classic references available from SIAM. Her second book Valeurs Propres de Matrices (Masson, Paris, 1988) has received the IBM – France prize for « Meilleure publication scientifique et technique 1988 ».

Françoise Chatelin has supervised 32 PhD theses and shared her skills with strong determination for all who wanted to learn and work hard. Her involvement for her students to reveal at best their professional and personal skills went further than a mere professional experience.

For more than twenty years, she was working on a comprehensive Algebraic Information Processing theory based on the dual role of addition and multiplication in Computing. Her deep and fruitful mathematical research cannot be separated from philosophy and epistemology. Her legacy can be meditated thanks to her favourite sentence:

“How the human mind computes its own image of the world ?”

If you want to honour her memory and share personal or professional pieces of your relationship with Françoise, you can contribute to this page by sending your testimony that will appear in the menu “TESTIMONIALS”.

Association IMAG

Liste resumée des Titres et Travaux de Françoise Chatelin
“Calculer juste, est-ce bien utile ?” Les Nouvelles IBM-France, pp. 18-21, Juillet-Septembre 1988.
TEDxDanubia 2011 — Françoise Chatelin – Mathematics of Life

Françoise Chatelin, née Laborde (1941-2020)