Cédric, could you tell us how you got here?
I've always loved science. I joined Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris 6) for a Physics license after a Bac S. I then chose to pursue an IT Master with a focus in networks. This often poorly-understood field makes it possible to cover very different issues and to combine math, physics, and programming. Research seemed like an obvious next step to me, so I continued with a thesis on Resource Allocation in wireless networks. Since 2011, I've been a lecturer at IRISA, which is an IT and assorted systems research unit affiliated with the University of Rennes 1.
What research issues do you work on at b<>com?
I'm assigned to the Network Interfaces labo and I'm made available by IRISA for 60% of the workweek. I mainly work on improving radio communications, and particularly on how different cells (telephone connections, Wi-FI, etc.) can be combined to achieve an optimal solution. I'm also overseeing Malo Manini's thesis, which is along the same lines as my own thesis. The issue is to improve wireless communications: increasing bitrates, reducing timeframes, reducing the energy consumed out of a desire to streamline batteries or increase the coverage area.
Do you have your own routine at b<>com?
Indeed I do, I love the coffee-fueled debates on the b<>com rooftop! At times, I ask one of my colleagues to come up with me to the 5th floor rooftop, and get into whatever subject we feel like and bounce ideas off one another. These discussions are always very interesting, because the other person often doesn't have the same opinion or even the same background as me! It's a different way to work, and it often leads to real ideas for the lab.
What do you like about b<>com?
At b<>com, I like working with people who come from different backgrounds (academia, industry, etc.) with varying, often complementary knowledge and different visions. In support of what I said, b<>com's people are always open to debate, which is conducive to achieving constructive solutions. The most important thing in our business as researchers is to get a broad perspective.
What are the strengths of the b<>com model?
Successfully creating synergies by getting open-minded, skilled people from different backgrounds to work together. This model makes it possible to create innovative, effective solutions. Furthermore, the b<>com model encourages real collaboration. The idea is not just that each brick works separately, but that everything works when put together.
What are the cultural differences between IRISA and b<>com?
Clearly, they're two different models. I've always wanted to do research in a way that will substantially improve things, which often requires a paradigm shift. That's the purpose of basic research. At b<>com, I'm faced with that same challenge of substantial improvement, but with time and technology constraints that require meeting certain standards. The idea is to achieve solutions that meet an immediate industrial need. This is an everyday challenge for an academic researcher like myself!