Born in 1973 in France, Cédric studied mathematics at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, from 1992 to 1996, and spent four more years as an assistant professor there
In 1998 he defended his PhD on the mathematical theory of the Boltzmann equation. Besides his advisor Pierre-Louis Lions (Paris, France), he was much influenced by Yann Brenier (Nice, France), Eric Carlen (Rutgers, USA) and Michel Ledoux (Toulouse, France).
From 2000 to 2010 he was a professor at the École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, and now at the Université de Lyon. He occupied visiting professor positions in Atlanta, Berkeley and Princeton.
Since 2009 he has been the director of the Institut Henri Poincaré in Paris; this 80-year old national institute, dedicated to welcoming visiting researchers, is at the very heart of French mathematics.
His work has won him many national and international prizes, in particular the Fields Medal, usually regarded as the most prestigious award in mathematics, which was given to him at the 2010 International Congress of Mathematicians in Hyderabad (India), by the President of India. Since then he has served as a spokesperson for the French mathematical community in media and political circles.