Monique Laurent

Full Name
Prof.dr. M. Laurent
Scientific Staff 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.


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. 


Current projects with external funding

  • Mixed-Integer Non-Linear Optimisation Applications (MINOA)
  • Optimization for and with Machine Learning (OPTIMAL)
  • Polynomial Optimization, Efficiency through Moments and Algebra (POEMA)

Professional activities

  • Nominated: EUROPT Fellow 2021
  • Editor: Mathematics of Operations Research (2001-2014)
  • Editor: SIAM Journal on Optimization (SIOPT) (2001-2015)
  • Board Member: George B. Dantzig Prize committee 2021
  • Board Member: ICM Program committee - session Control and Optimization (2018)
  • Speaker: Fields Institute Distinguished Lecture Series (May 2021)
  • Editor: SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics (SIDMA) (2007-2019)
  • Professor: Tilburg University (from 2009)
  • Board Member: Farkas Prize committee (INFORMS) (2012)
  • Editor: Journal: Mathematical Programming Series A (from 2012)
  • Board Member: scientific committee, MFO Oberwolfach
  • Speaker: Tutorial at the LMS Research school on Combinatorics and Operators in Quantum Information Theory, Belfast (September 2016)
  • Nominated: SIAM Fellow (class 2017)
  • Speaker: Plenary speaker at the Conference Foundations of Computational Mathematics (FoCM 2017), Barcelona
  • Board Member: George B. Dantzig Prize committee 2018
  • Speaker: Plenary speaker at LAGOS'17 - IX Latin and American Algorithms, Graphs and Optimization Symposium, CIRM Marseille
  • Editor: SIAM Journal on Mathematics of Data Science (SIMODS) (from 2018)
  • Speaker: Plenary lecture at the 23rd International Symposium on Mathematical Programming (ISMP 2018), Bordeaux, 1-6 July 2018
  • Speaker: Keynote lecture at the World Meeting for Women in Mathematics - (WM)², Rio de Janeiro, 31 July 2018
  • Nominated: KNAW member (2018)
  • Speaker: Symposium Netwerken - KNAW & OBA - De Beste Kennis (October 2018)
  • Editor: Indagationes Mathematicae (from 2019)
  • Nominated: KHMW member (2019)
  • Speaker: Invited lecture at ICM 2014 in Seoul in session Optimization and Control
  • Member: CWI Fellow


  • EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), Polynomial Optimization, Efficiency through Moments and Algebra (POEMA) (2019)
  • ENW NWO Groot Grant OPTIMAL (Optimization for and with Machine Learning) (2019)
  • EU Marie Curie Initial Training Network (ITN), Mixed Integer Nonlinear Optimization Applications (MINOA) (2018)
  • 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)