BiographyMonique Laurent obtained her PhD in Mathematics at the University Paris Diderot in 1986. During her PhD studies she was a visiting researcher at New York University in the period 1984-1986. After two years as researcher at CNET (Paris) she became in 1988 researcher at CNRS, affiliated first with University Paris Dauphine and from 1992 with Ecole Normale Superieure. In 1990-1992 she visited the Institute of Discrete Mathematics in Bonn as a Humboldt Fellow. From 1997 she joined CWI as senior researcher. She was group leader of Networks and Optimizaton (N&O) between 2005 and 2016, and since 2016 she is a member of the CWI Management Team. She is also affiliated as a part-time full professor at Tilburg University since 2009.
Her field of research is discrete mathematics and optimization. She is in particular interested in the design of efficient algorithms for hard combinatorial problems and, more generally, polynomial optimization problems, where objective and constraints are multivariate polynomial functions. Her focus lies in understanding and exploiting combinatorial and algebraic structure in order to develop methods from algebra, geometry and optimization leading to efficient algorithms. Recent areas on which she has been working include:
- semidefinite programming based hierarchies for combinatorial graph parameters and polynomial optimization,
- non-commutative polynomial optimization approach for bounding matrix factorization ranks, and for approximating quantum graph parameters and bounding entanglement dimension in quantum information,
- convergence analysis of approximation hierarchies,
- new search algorithms for general weighted graphs, with application to the efficient recognition of structured matrices arising in combinatorial data analysis.