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Yves Chiricota


Yves Chiricota

Univertsité du Québec à Chicoutimi

B.S., Mathematics
Univertsité du Québec à Montréal, 1987

M.Sc., Mathematics
Univertsité du Québec à Montréal, 1989

Ph.D., Mathematics
Univertsité du Québec à Montréal, 1992

Postdoctoral studies, Computer Sc.
Laboratoire Bordelais de Recherches en Informatique, 1992-1994

Project Manager PAD System Technologies, 1994-1999

I have always been drawn to music in all its forms. By the end of high school, my interest focused on the electronic synthesis of sound. Up to that point I had never thought of undertaking advanced studies in mathematics, but reading several articles in a music and computer science magazine led me in this direction. The articles discussed various techniques of sound analysis and synthesis involving Bessel functions, the Fourier transform, etc. Intrigued and wanting to understand these concepts, I decided to major in mathematics.

My interest in mathematics crystallized during the subsequent years. What attracted me was its aesthetic dimension, surely as profound as that of music - though without the sounds. I gradually began to do mathematics for its own sake, eventually obtaining a doctorate, all the while maintaining my musical interests. I pursued postdoctoral studies in computer science and afterwards was hired by a company that makes software for the garment industry. My background as researcher and mathematician played a prominent role in overcoming the challenges which confronted me in this line of work.

One of the main problems that I tackled at this time was the development of software which allowed a computer to produce 3D images of clothes starting from their 2D patterns. Mathematics played a crucial role in accomplishing this task and in particular geometry, numerical methods and differential equations were of essential importance. This was not an isolated phenomenon. Mathematics presentented itself in all the problems I dealt with during this period. Indeed computer science turned out to be a vehicle for the realization of various mathematical objects and ultimately my knowledge of mathematics allowed for the production of particularly efficient models of real-life problems.

After five years in the industry I have now returned to academics. As of December 1999, I am a professor in the department of computer science and mathematics at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi. Undoubtedly my experiences will convince my students of the fact that a solid background in mathematics is an essential ingredient for a productive and gratifying career in computer science, or other scientific disciplines for that matter.

In summary I would say that the study of mathematics, beyond the aesthetic pleasures this affords, has given me a marked advantage with regards to problem solving, analytic reasoning and the power of abstraction. These advantages have played an essential role in my professional evolution both in the computer science industry and academics.