Arnaud Couairon is a research director at the CNRS. He studied at Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris and did his Ph.D. at Ecole Polytechnique (1997) on the dynamics of open shear flows. Since 1997, he has been working on ultrashort laser pulse filamentation and associated phenomena. He developed a virtual numerical laboratory for simulating the nonlinear propagation of ultrashort laser pulses in gases, liquids, or solids. His research interests include laser-matter interaction, ultrafast and nonlinear optics, and plasma physics.