Bruno Cessac

Research director at INRIA
Head of the





Short vitae



I am a doctor in theoretical physics. I got a Master degree in theoretical physics at the center of theoretical physics, Marseille in 1990. I did my pHD in the ONERA Center of Research in Toulouse with M. Samuelides. Then I spent two years (1994-1996) in Bielefeld, Germany, as a post doc in Ph. Blanchard’s team, in the group of mathematical physics BiBoS. I was lecturer (Maitre de Conférences) in Nice University from September 1996 to September 2010. I got my Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches in 2001.  I am now Directeur de Recherches (Senior Research Scientist) at INRIA Sophia-AntipolisI have been member of the Non Linear Institute of Nice (INLN) from 1996 to 2008,  of the Laboratoire Jean-Alexandre Dieudonné from 2008 to 2010. I am research director at INRIA since 2010 .

My research were initially modeling and analysis of large sized dynamical systems arising in various fields such as physics, biology, sociology, computers networks. I have worked on subjects such as self-organized criticality, linear response in chaotic systems, social networks, communications networks. My main interest concerns neuronal networks dynamics. I have developed methods combining dynamical systems theory, statistical physics and ergodic theory allowing to classify dynamics arising in canonical neuronal networks models like integrate and fire models or firing rate models. I have applied these methods for the study of synaptic and intrinsic plasticity, spike coding, spike train statistics analysis, mean-field dynamics. I am now involved in developing models for the visual system, especially the retina, as well as numerical methods and software for neuroscientists.


Some recent publications

  • B. Cessac, R. Cofre, Linear Response of General Observables from Spiking Neuronal Network Models. Submitted
  • R. Herzog, M.-J. Escobar , A. G. Palacios, B. Cessac, Dimensionality Reduction and Reliable Observations in Maximum Entropy Models on Spiking Networks, submitted
  • D. Karvouniari, L. Gil, O. Marre, S. Picaud, B.Cessac. A biophysical model explains the spontaneous bursting behavior in the developing retina, submitted.




Complete list.

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Documents publiés sous licence Creative Commons


(1994-1996 ) Dynamical systems, 2nd year (Sup' Aero, Toulouse). 
(1994-1996 ) Introduction to chaos theory, 2nd year (Sup' Aero, Toulouse).

(2008- ) Neuronal dynamics. Lecture, M2, master Omega, physics,Université de Nice;
master of Computational Biology, Ecole Polytechnique Universitaire de Nice, Ecole des Houches.

(2000) Ergodic theory for physicists. Lecture for the researchers of INLN.

Thermodynamics. Lecture and exercises, L2, physics. Université de Nice.

(2008- ) Quantum mechanics. Lecture and exercises, L2, physics, Université de Nice.
(2002-2006; 2008) Non equilibrium Statistical physics. Exercises M1, physics. U. Nice.
(2002-2006) Statistical physics. Exercices L3. Université de Nice.
(2003-2006; 2008) Probability theory Lecture and exercices L3 physics and M1 geology.
(1996-) Numerical Simulation in physics. Lecture and exercics. L3 physics.
(1996-2000; 2002-2004) Non linear physics. Exercises M1. Université de Nice.
(1996-2000) Linear Algebra. Lecture and exercises. M1 Geology. Université de Nice.
(2003-2006) Language C. Lecture. M2 biomedical engineering. Université de Nice.
(2002-2003) Dynamique Qualitative. Première année de DEUG. TD (6H, 40 étudiants). Université de Nice.
(1990-1994) Electromagnetism. Exercises L2 Physics. Université de Toulouse.
(1990-1994) Quantum mechanics.  Exercises L2 Physics. Université de Toulouse.
(1993-1994) Relativity. Exercises L2 Physics. Université de Toulouse.
(1990-1991) Mean-field theory, Lecture M1 Physics. Université de Toulouse. 

Systèmes dynamiques

Neurons and synapses.
Neural Networks Dynamics.
Mean-Field Models in neuroscience.

Théorie ergodique pour physiciens

Bases de thermodynamique
Transitions de Phase;
Machines Thermiques;
Physique statistique.


Algèbre linéaire

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PhD students
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Current PhD students

Selma Souhiel.
Theodora Karvouniari.

Former PhD students

Horacio Rostro.

Juan-Carlos Vasquez.
Hassan Nasser
Rodrigo Cofre


Vivien Robinet (2010-2011)

Olivier Marre (2011-2012)
Wahiba Taouali (2012-2013)
Daniela Pamplona(2014-2016)

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Master-PhD-PostDoc subjects
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Master 2 Internship: Studying the impact on vision of silencing cells in the retina

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Contact me
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Bruno Cessac
2004 Route des Lucioles
06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex 2

Phone: +33-4-9238-5035
Fax: +33-4-9238-7845

Team assistant: Marie-Cecile Lafont

Phone: +33-4-9238-7979
Fax: +33-4-9238-7845