France, in Western Europe, encompasses medieval and port cities, tranquil villages, mountains and Mediterranean beaches. Paris, its capital, is known worldwide for its couture fashion houses, classical art museums including the Louvre and monuments like the Eiffel Tower. The country is also renowned for its sophisticated cuisine and its wines. Lascaux’s ancient cave drawings, Lyon’s Roman theater and the immense Palace of Versailles are testaments to its long history.
France is about 80% the size of Texas. In the Alps near the Italian and Swiss borders is western Europe's highest point-Mont Blanc (15,781 ft; 4,810 m). The forest-covered Vosges Mountains are in the northeast, and the Pyrénées are along the Spanish border. Except for extreme northern France, the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau. Three of the streams flow west-the Seine into the English Channel, the Loire into the Atlantic, and the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 mi (161 km), the Rhine is France's eastern border. In the Mediterranean, about 115 mi (185 km) east-southeast of Nice, is the island of Corsica (3,367 sq mi; 8,721 sq km).
Since World War II (1939-45), France has implemented a series of economic plans, introduced to direct the postwar recovery period but later expanded to provide for generally increasing governmental direction of the economy. The first postwar modernization and equipment plan (1947-53) was designed to get the machinery of production going again; the basic economic sectors-coal, steel, cement, farm machinery, and transportation-were chosen for major expansion, and productivity greatly exceeded the target goals. The second plan (1954-57) was extended to cover all productive activities, especially agriculture, the processing industries, housing construction, and expansion of overseas production. The third plan (1958-61) sought, in conditions of monetary stability and balanced foreign payments, to achieve a major economic expansion, increasing national production by 20% in four years. After the successful devaluation of 1958 and an improvement in the overall financial and political situation, growth rates of 6.3% and 5% were achieved in 1960 and 1961, respectively. The fourth plan (1962-65) called for an annual rate of growth of between 5% and 6% and an increase of 23% in private consumption; the fifth plan (1966-70), for a 5% annual expansion of production, a 25% increase in private consumption, and the maintenance of full financial stability and full employment; and the sixth plan (1971-75), for an annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of between 5.8% and 6% and growth of about 7.5% in industrial production. The sixth plan also called for increases of 31% in private consumption, 34% in output, and 45% in social security expenditure.
The Abel Prize, established by the Norwegian government in 2001 as an annual "Nobel Prize for Mathematics" and first awarded last year, will go this year to Professor Isadore Singer, 80, of MIT and Sir Michael Atiyah, 75, who has held an honorary position at the University of Edinburgh since he retired from Cambridge University a few years ago. The Norwegian Academy of Science, which oversees and manages the new prize, referred to the Index Theorem as "one of the great landmarks of 20th century mathematics". In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that the result changed the landscape of mathematics. Atiyah, who trained as an algebraic geometer and topologist, and Singer, who came from analysis, worked on ramifications of the theorem for twenty years. The Journal des Mathématiques Pures et Appliquées is the second oldest international mathematical journal in the world. It was founded by Joseph Liouville and published continuously by leading French Mathematicians - among the latest: Jean Leray, Jacques-Louis Lions, Paul Malliavin and presently Pierre-Louis Lions. IAENG International Journal of Applied Mathematics is published with both online and print versions. The journal covers the frontier issues in the applied mathematics and their applications in business, industry, science and other subjects. Applied Mathematics is a branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the connections between mathematics and other domains with the applications of the mathematical knowledge.