Monique Laurent

Full Name
Prof.dr. M. Laurent
Scientific Staff Member, MT member, Professor - Universiteit Tilburg
+31 20 592 4105
Networks and Optimization


Monique 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. She gave an invited lecture at ICM in 2014 and was elected SIAM Fellow in 2017.


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,
- new  search algorithms for general weighted graphs, with application to the efficient recognition of structured matrices arising in combinatorial data analysis. 


Current projects with external funding

  • Wiskundecluster DIAMANT
  • Approximation Algorithms, Quantum Information and Semidefinite Optimization (AQSO)
  • Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications (MINOA)

Professional activities

  • Editor: Associate editor Journal: SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics - [SIDMA]
  • Professor: Universiteit van Tilburg
  • Editor: Journal: Mathematical Programming Series A
  • Board Member: Lorentz Center Advisory Board
  • Board Member: scientific committee, MFO Oberwolfach
  • Committee member: Oberwolfach, Germany - Oberwolfach Scientific Committee
  • Committee member: scientific committee NMC 2017
  • Nominated: SIAM Fellow (class 2017)
  • Editor: SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics


  • NWO TOP grant (Compartiment 1) Approximation Algorithms, Quantum Information and Semidefinite Optimization (2013)
  • EU Marie Curie - EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), Mixed Integer Nonlinear Optimization (MINO) (2012)
  • Vidi Innovational Research Grant NWO - NWO-639-032-203, 2003-2008 (2003)