She is known for her proof in 1978 of the existence of non-isometric Riemann surfaces with identical spectra. Such surfaces show that one cannot hear the shape of a hyperbolic drum. Another highlight of her work is the establishment of the mod-l local Langlands correspondence for GL(n) in 2000.
Her current work concerns the p-adic Langlands program
Vignéras is the author of 70 research articles and four books, two of them written with co-authors. Vignéras has made numerous invited visits to foreign universities and institutes, including the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in Bonn, the University of California at Berkeley, the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research in Mumbai, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.
She has been the Emmy Noether Professor at the university of Göttingen and has been an invited speaker at the European Congress of Mathematics (Barcelona, 2000) and the International Congress of Mathematics (Beijing, 2002). Vignéras served as Director of Mathematics at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Sèvres from 1977 to 1983.
At the conclusion of her term at the École Normale Supérieure, she rejoined her colleagues at the University of Paris 7.
Since 2010 she is Emeritus Professor at the l"Université Paris-Diderot (Paris 7). Her thesis students include Jean-Loup Waldspurger (directeur de recherches at the National Center for Scientific Research), Jean-Francois Dat (professor at l"Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris 6)), Rachel Ollivier (assistant professor at the University of British Columbia) and Tony Ly (caiman at l"Ecole Normale Supérieure). Born in 1946, Vignéras was the daughter of Janine Mocudé and Robert Vignéras (sea captain and pilot in the port of Dakar).
She spent her childhood in Senegal, and did her high school studies at the lycée Van-Vollenhoven in Dakar.
She moved to the University of Bordeaux after receiving her baccalauréat in Senegal. She received the agrégation de mathématiques in 1969 and the doctorat d"Etat in 1974.
Her thesis was written under the direction of Jacques Martinet.