Café-livres du 1er octobre 2020

L’association Trois Lettres et le Learning Center se sont associés pour concocter une rencontre littéraire et conviviale, dont le charme et la spontanéité n’ont d’égal que la qualité des échanges qui s’y sont tenus… A regarder, sans modération !

Bad blood: secrets and lies in a Silicon Valley startup by John Carreyrou

This book is about the collapse of Theranos, an American biotech startup which was supposed to revolutionize the medical industry thanks to a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier.
Theranos  was founded in 2003 by Elizabeth Holmes and was able to raise more than 700 million dollars from venture capitalists and private investors.

A turning point happened in October 2015, when investigative reporter John Carreyrou questioned the validity of Theranos’ technology. The company faced a string of legal and commercial challenges from medical authorities, investors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state attorneys general, former business partners, patients, etc.
A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of the Silicon Valley.

Written by Audrey Sarian

Book all your rooms online


From now on you can book all the rooms in the library online !
To be able to do it, go to our website, « Service » >
« Book a study room » and simply choose the space you want to book.
You will be then redirected to Affluence or to an online form that will allow you to book a room in few clicks.
You will receive the answer within 48h after your request.
Click here to make a reservation.

Written by Céline Azzoug

Vitty Feng-Tirlot: head office manager of the LRC

Vitty was born in Canton, China. When she was a child, her mother was able to run a cosmetic business in the communist China, where women wearing make-up were not perceived well. This example inspired her.
She completed her International Management master degree in France. Then she worked as a sales representative and a sales manager. That was a good training to discover sales and marketing: her experience in these fields allowed her to develop sense of service, and ability to answer other people’s needs in a win-win spirit. In addition, Vitty had the opportunity to develop a training workshop for her staff. In her different activities, she has always been a bridge between two cultures, the Chinese and the French one.  After gaining more experience as a language teacher, it was obvious for Vitty to move forward. So she decided to enter HEC as a manager of the admissions for the MS and MSC programs. Today she decided to share her experience in management, education and languages and has become a manager of the Language Resource Center.
The LRC is a part of the Learning Center, a space where students and staff members can improve their language skills. It is all together a place to study languages, a space to work, and a place to get ready for the exams.
The LRC is also dedicated to the staff members who can benefit from an official Human Resources program of training and receive the advice of Vitty and her team about their learning process.
As the head of the LRC, Vitty develops the strategy of the Center coherent to the strategy of HEC, accompanies the course of every participant, and manages her team. Her goal is to give everyone all they need to make the studying process as autonomous as possible, so everyone can have more interest and participation in what they are doing.
One of her main goals is to collaborate even more closely with the Learning Center, as one vibrant part of it.
What it demands is a deep understanding of intercultural stakes and a solid methodology of language teaching. Qualities that are required are stubbornness and tenacity to accomplish big projects, a good attitude towards the others to develop things, and to be able to observe before rushing into action.

Interview of Vitty Feng-Tirlot by Marie-Pierre Mouillard

Accessing articles with Google Scholar

How to access articles with Google Scholar when you are off-campus
Accessing articles with Google Scholar is simple when you are on-campus. Just type your research and submit. Because you are connected to the HEC Paris network, you just need to click on one of the results to access the article page and read it – if we subscribe to the journal.

Is it also possible to do that if you are off-campus? Luckily, you can. All you need to do is to connect Google Scholar to the HEC Paris Library.
To do that go to the Library Links section in the Google Scholar settings page. In the search bar, type HEC Paris and tick the box. Save your changes and there you go. You will be now able to access and read articles published in journals we subscribe to anywhere and anytime.

Written by Antoine Haldemann

Authentification methods

With dozens of databases available, it’s easy to get lost in all the authentication methods. Although we try to make it as simple and user-friendly as possible, we often have to make compromises with the providers who have their own policies and technical constraints. So let’s go on a tour of all the authentication processes you might encounter when accessing the databases subscribed by the library. The most common and probably the most transparent solution is IP based authentication. For those of you who don’t know, an IP address is a number that uniquely identifies your computer (or your tablet or your phone) on the network. When you connect to the HEC network, you are automatically given an IP address from the pool of addresses owned by HEC. And because our providers know what IP addresses are owned by HEC, they can tell that you are accessing their servers from campus and they give you access to everything we subscribe to. No login, no password, hard to beat that! However, there’s a problem with this method: what happens when you aren’t on campus? This is where our reverse proxy comes in. The reverse proxy is an intermediary. Instead of going straight to the provider’s website, you send requests to the proxy, the proxy sends them to the provider, and sends you back the responses. Because the proxy is on the HEC network, it’s as if you were accessing the database from campus. For that method to work you have to click on the links that we put on the library website: you might think that you’re going directly to the provider’s website but actually you’re interrogating our reverse proxy (If you look carefully you will see “” in the URL). In that case, of course, you have to type in your HEC username and password, but it is still IP based authentication.


Now let’s look at another authentication method that we use frequently, called Single Sign-On (SSO). More specifically we are going to talk about SAML (short for Security Assertion Markup Language), which is one way to do SSO. Single Sign-On basically means that you can log into many different services with only one user ID and password. It comes in many flavours and one of them is SAML, a useful implementation when the services are distributed across many domains on the web (like our databases). With SAML, when you want to access a service, you are redirected to an Identity Provider (IdP). If you log in successfully with the IdP, you are issued an “assertion” that you pass on to the service provider and in turn the service provider will grant you access to the allowed resources. In our case, HEC play the role of the Identity Provider and the Services Providers are the many database publishers with whom we have a subscription

That way, you log in once, the publishers don’t need to keep a database of all HEC users’credentials and you don’t have to remember yet another username and password.
Do you remember the software “Shibboleth” we talked about in the introduction? It’s a SAML implementation.
It’s great news when a provider allows one of these two methods of authentication. But this isn’t always possible. For some of them you need to create your own account (Bloomberg, Forrester) and for others we need to type in the password ourselves! This is by far the worst method and we try to avoid it as much as we can!

In conclusion, we know that the chosen method isn’t always ideal, but we try to improve it. Whenever we negotiate with a provider, we ask them to make the best effort to implement a user-friendly and “school-friendly” method of authentication. This might be a good time to remind you that the databases subscribed by the library are meant to help you with your academic education and are NOT meant to provide free data to the company you are working for during your internships. It’s harder for us to negotiate good resources when the providers are afraid that students in internships will share their privileges with their employers. Therefore, in a nutshell, whatever the authentication method is, don’t share your password with anyone!

La Tresse : a book to share


La tresse  is a short book that you’ll enjoy reading. We were immediately captivated by the story of the fate of these three beautiful women.

In these pages, we see how these strong women rejected what life imposed on them and had the courage to follow their convictions.

Smila the Indian girl, Guila the Sicilian and Sahra the Canadian : their destinies finally mixed together and intermingled like the wicks of a braid.

A book to share.

VOD: a world full of promise

Vod or “médiathèque numérique” allows you to select and watch video contents whenever you choose.

A substantial and various selection of contents such as movies, kids shows, cartoons, tv series, documentaries of the Arte and Univers Ciné collections are provided in original versions but with the relevant subtitles.

You can access to 3 contents/ month and stream or download them for 48 hours on your laptop, smartphone or tablet.

How to access? It’s very simple: on the library website, choose “médiatheque numérique” on the databases tab.

Fill in the registration form. Your request will be validated by the library team.

Wait for your confirmation e-mail and then enjoy!

A mother in the need for truth

Mildred , a woman whose daughter was raped and killed a few months before the film begins, isfurious and frustrated by the police’s results. As the latter have no leads, she decides to rent three abandoned billboards near her home and posts the following messages on them : RAPED WHILE DYING », « AND STILL NO ARRESTS » et « HOW COME, CHIEF WILLOUGHBY? »

These billboards will generate a chain of events.

Inspired from a true story, it is a successful film, however poignant but also full of tenderness, humor and humanity.

Frances McDormand, also an actress and a lead part in  the wondefull film Fargo in 1996, literally shines in front of the camera as a courageous mother

We warmly recommend this film.

Elon Musk: Exploring the Life of an Explorer…

Elon Reeve Musk is a famous technology entrepreneur, investor, and engineer. He is the founder or co-founder of Tesla, SpaceX, PayPal, HyperLoop, Solarcity.

The book tells the story of the entrepreneur from his childhood in South Africa until his last troubles with the American Stock Exchange in 2019.

Elon Reeve Musk was born in 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. At the age of 17, in 1989, Musk moved to Canada, avoiding the compulsory South African military service. After  studying physics and economics in Pennsylvania, he headed to Stanford University in California to pursue a PhD in energy physics. However, his move coincided with the democratization of Internet, which led him to drop out of Standford just after two days to launch with his brother his first company, Zip2 Corporation,  using the money they raised from a small group of angel investors.

This was the beginning of an amazing career.

Zip2 was a web software company. It developed and marketed an Internet city guide for the newspaper publishing industry. Compaq eventually acquired Zip2 for several hundreds of millions.

In March 1999, Musk co-founded, an online financial services and e-mail payment company, with US$10 million from the sale of Zip2. One year later, the company merged with Confinity, which had a money-transfer service called PayPal.

Fond of space exploration, he tried to regain public interest on this matter in 2001, imagining a way to build a miniature and experimental greenhouse on Mars. He developed the Company Space Exploration Technologies or SpaceX, an aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company.

Never short of ideas, his goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption and reducing the risk of human extinction by establishing a human colony on Mars.

You can find this book under the calling number 4-1731 VAN.