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Martina Hofmanova, originaire de République Tchèque

Doctorante, en co-tutelle, en mathématiques.

Martina Hofmanova revient (en anglais) sur ses 3 années passées à l'ENS Cachan - Bretagne.

Martina Hofmanova<br>© G. Mirand / CAPA Pictures

Martina Hofmanova
© G. Mirand / CAPA Pictures

"I come from the Czech Republic where I also completed my bachelor and master studies. While thinking about my possible options for PhD, I found out about the joint PhD program organised by the French Gouvernment and immediately got interested. Students in this program work with two supervisor - one from their home country and the other from France - and partage their time between the two countries. I liked the idea that I could study in France and get my PhD there while staying in touch with my family and collegues in the Czech Republic. I left the choice of the french co-supervisor up to my professor Jan Seidler who recommanded professor Arnaud Debussche from ENS de Cachan. I was very happy when professor Debussche accepted and agreed to come up with a PhD topic for me. With this in hand, I applied in the joint PhD program and after an interview that was held in french I was awarded a PhD scholarship.

I started my PhD in October 2010 at ENS de Cachan, Antenne de Bretagne. I must admit that the beginning was pretty hard. I came in a new country, my french was very far from perfect and, moreover, I started to work on a new subject that I didn't know much about before. I remember that when I first discussed my work with professor Debussche, he just gave me two articles and said: "Take this equation with these assumptions and prove existence and uniqueness..." Hmmm... Now I can laugh about it but at the time I didn't have any idea about where to start, how to do it or what this equation even meant. Nevertheless, I worked very hard and eventually - I did succeed. I got deeper in the subject and the work became much more fun. Also the communication with my supervisor became more efficient and now I am very grateful I had the opportunity to work with him.  I learnt very much here.

In my second year, I already had some results so I tried my chances and applied for the Women in Science fellowship "La bourse L'Oreal France - Unesco - Pour les femmes et la science". To be honest, I didn't expect much from it as it was open to all girls in their second year of PhD in any scientific domain in France. That's a lot of girls... The more I was surprised when I got the call from L'Oreal saying that I got it! I was even afraid my french was bad and I didn't understand well. As this was very prestigious we (me and the other 24 girls) were awarded the fellowship during a very nice ceremony at Palais de la Découverte in Paris where also our supervisors and families were invited. What followed then was a series of interviews - for newspapers, radios, magazines etc. It was really funny to see my face for instance in Cosmopolitan, I have never imagined this happening...

After the initial difficulties, I soon started to enjoy my work and decided to stay in research even after my PhD. As my thesis is almost finished now I've already applied for several postdoctoral positions. Unfortunately, due to family reasons, I couldnt stay in France so I tried some positions in Germany and also in the Czech Republic. I got several job offers and in the end I decided to go to the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in Leipzig, Germany, where I will continue to work in the field of stochastic partial differential equations.

Concerning the cultural shock when I first came here, I remember as the most shocking thing from when I first came here are the moving and searching an apartment troubles. Well, in fact this was to be repeated every year when I came back. Despite all my efforst, it has never gone smoothly."


Mise à jour le 15 décembre 2016