General presentation

Welcome to the web portal of the mathematics and informatics at INRA.

 

Mathematics and informatics, and more generally modeling and digital sciences, are at the heart of the deep methodological renewal that currently drives the agronomic research, due mainly to the current technological evolutions in the domain of observation and data acquisition, and thanks to the rapid developments regarding data processing, modeling and digital simulation. In several fields like bioinformatics, systems biology, theoretical ecology, eco-informatics or also digital social science, teams develop research activities at the interface between mathematics/informatics and life/environmental/social sciences.

INRA has accompanied for several years this evolution by an active policy for supporting the set-up of data acquisition infrastructures and the development of skills and researches in bioinformatics, integrative and systems biology, eco-informatics, but also in mathematics and in informatics for modeling and analyzing complex systems, and by various incentive or collaborative programs with our partners.

Within INRA, the MIA division is a major actor of this dynamics. The works of MIA teams aim at developing at the same time methodological researches in mathematics and computer science, and applied research activities on INRA's scientific priorities, often in interdisciplinary contexts and in partnership with other INRA divisions. The MIA division has also for mission to accompany the development of the mathematics and the informatics in all INRA teams, and in particular to follow domains connected to the training, the maintenance of skills, the sharing of practices, the promotion of mathematical and numerical culture. As such, the MIA division department coordinates the developments in bioinformatics at INRA, through its own research, its collaborations with biologists or its contribution to the structuring of platforms at the national level. The MIA division also follows at the INRA level the developments in the field of complex systems modeling, and their adequacy and consistency with the underlying scientific issues.

 

Objectives of the portal

The web portal (the “math-info” portal) developped by the MIA division is dedicated to modeling and digital sciences in agronomic research. The main goals of this portal are: i) to promote mathematics and informatics disciplines in the field of life, environmental and social sciences (ii) to aggregate and to live up the various mathematics and informatics communities of the institute and iii) to make these various communities more visible and more attractive, especially for our potential partners (at INRA, CNRS, CIRAD, Universities,..) but also for the students (universities, high schools) we may also recruit in these fields.

 

Principles of functioning

The math-info portal is a non-specialized web site addressed to all interested members of the mathematics and informatics communities working in biology and agronomic research. Every community of these fields has its dedicated site on the portal: the type of contents of every site/community is identical, but according to the chosen community the contents displayed will changed and be filtered to be relevant for the current community. Every authenticated and recorded user can add contents in the community (ies) he had chosen to join. The members of a particular community can easily share and exchange informations.

 

Definition of communities

The notion of community is an informal and non institutional concept. The "communities" of the math-info portal brings together INRA research teams and platforms concerned by the same research area or the same domain / object of research/activity. These communities are in a preliminary construction phase. At present, two communities are defined and active and three are in construction and not yet on-line. Evolutions will be possible according to the user feedback of the portal.

The two online communities are:

  • The 'Mathematics and informatics community': a generic community which include all the contents of the portal, whatever their community attachment (useful for communities in construction).
  •  The 'Bioinformatics' community: a multidisciplinary community grouping mainly the bioinformaticians and computational biologists of INRA (researchers and engineers), but including also the mathematicians, the statisticians, the computer scientists and the biologists working on biological data and objects (given 'omics' data, high-throuput biology, etc.) with methods and tools raising mathematics and computer science.

Three communities are still in construction and will be gradually made available via the portal:

  • The 'Agro-ecosystems modeling' community ;
  • The 'Complex systems' community ;
  • The 'Text knowledge engineering' community.