PhD Position Geometric Optimization Problems with Time-varying Input at Eindhoven University of Technology

Eindhoven University of Technology is pleased to invite applicants to apply for a PhD position in operations research. Applications will be evaluated on a continuous basis.

We are looking for a strong, motivated PhD student with a background in computer science and/or mathematics for a four-year project on geometric optimization problems.

In traditional (combinatorial) optimization problems, the focus is on computing a solution to a single instance of the problem.In this project we deviate from this paradigm by not being interested in finding a single solution; instead, we want to maintain a solution as the input data or parameters of the problem change over time, and changing the solution comes at a cost. The goal of the project is to study trade-offs between the maintenance cost and the quality of the maintained solutions, for various geometric (network) problems.

The project is part of the NETWORKS program (see below) and is a joint project of the Algorithms Group and the Combinatorial Optimization Group at the TU Eindhoven. Prof. Mark de Berg and prof. Frits Spieksma will jointly supervise the project.

NETWORKS is a 10-year research program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science through the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The NETWORKS consortium consists of top researchers from four different institutions: University of Amsterdam (UvA), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Leiden University (UL) Center for Mathematics and Computer Science (CWI). The program started in the summer of 2014 and covers a broad range of topics dealing with stochastic and algorithmic aspects of networks. The aim of the program is to address the pressing challenges posed by large-scale networks with the help of stochastics and algorithmics. See more details. Through the NETWORKS program we offer various post-graduate educational opportunities to our PhDs. This comes mainly in the form of "Training Weeks", where one or more experts give an intensive week-long course on a topic relevant to NETWORKS, as well as the opportunity for PhDs to do a more extensive, guided internship in a different scientific group (or company) associated with NETWORKS.

The TU/e Algorithms and Combinatorial Optimization Groups The TU/e has one of the largest and strongest groups in the world working on various areas within algorithms and combinatorial optimization. Besides the two supervisors of the project, Mark de Berg and Frits Spieksma, there are many other faculty members active in these areas; see,, and

The TU Eindhoven and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

The TU Eindhoven (TU/e) was established in 1956 as a polytechnic. It has grown into a university with nine departments. The TU/e now has approximately 3000 employees (incl. PhD students) and 8000 BSc and MSc students. Our Department offers several bachelor and master programs, all of which are taught in English. The TU/e campus is in the center of Eindhoven. The city of Eindhoven is located in the south of the Netherlands. It is a lively city with about 200,000 inhabitants, making it the fifth largest city of the Netherlands. Including suburbs the population is about 400,000.

Being a PhD student in the Netherlands In the Netherlands, every PhD student gets paid a salary; no additional grants are needed. Moreover, although PhD students sometimes take courses, there is no minimum requirement. Hence, PhD students are more like employees than like students. Indeed, the Dutch word for PhD student translates to “research trainee”. The work of a PhD student may include assisting in courses of BSc or MSc programs of the department. This amounts to around 10% of the time; the remaining time is spent on research and research-related activities. Foreign PhD students need not speak Dutch: it is easy to get by with English, not only at the university but also in everyday life.

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with an MSc in mathematics or computer science or operations research. The candidate should be interested in algorithms and combinatorial optimization, and preferably already have a good background in at least one of these two areas.

We offer a PhD position on an exciting topic at the intersection of algorithms and combinatorial optimization. The project will take place in a very stimulating environment, and the embedding into the NETWORKS project offers great opportunities post-graduate educational opportunities in the form of training weeks, workshops and internships. Gross salary ranges from 2.325 per month in the first year increasing up to 2.972 in the fourth year. The TU Eindhoven offers a broad package of fringe benefits (e.g. excellent technical infrastructure, child daycare and excellent sports facilities).

For more information about the project or about the working conditions, please contract Mark de Berg (M.T.d.Berg[at], or Frits Spieksma (F.C.R.Spieksma[at]

Applications should be done through the website: the Apply for this Job button).

Do not upload any other documents.

In addition, please provide one or two letters of reference. These letters should be sent directly (by the person providing the letter) to Ms. Meivan Cheng (winalg[at] The subject line of the email should be: “Letter of recommendation for …” (with the name of the applicant inserted).


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