Ghent Graph Theory Workshop On Structure and Algorithms

Target group

PhD students from the Doctoral School of Natural Sciences and the Doctoral School of (Bioscience) Engineering.

The course is intended for students that have at least a basic knowledge in Discrete Mathematics, preferably in Graph Theory, and an understanding of algorithms in these contexts. A basic course that is part of the regular curriculum of Mathematics or Computer Science students should suffice.

At the same time, the course is also interesting for researchers who want to catch up with the latest results of their colleagues from abroad.


  • Jan Goedgebeur
  • Nico Van Cleemput
  • Carol Zamfirescu

Content of the course

This course, designed as a workshop with heavy emphasis on interaction between the researchers and students, rests on two pillars.

On the one hand far-reaching structural results from Graph Theory will play an important role in the workshop, while on the other hand advances on graph-theoretical algorithms—which have gained enormous influence in the past decade—will be presented.

For both topics we have invited speakers which are among the world’s leading researchers not only in Graph Theory but also in adjacent fields of Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics.

This course aims at bringing together international top researchers and ambitious students interested in learning the art of Graph Theory in a productive and pleasant atmosphere.

Added value for doctoral students

In the current curriculum, students have little contact with cutting-edge research and the people doing this research abroad. At times, material learned in courses can seem dry and having little connection with modern research, and even highly motivated students may find it difficult to apply what they were taught, and how to make a contribution to the field.

In this course, students will be encouraged to actively interact with leading international researchers in Graph Theory. The course will not only consist of talks, but also of problem sessions and discussion rounds open for everyone, which are specifically designed to be engaging and interesting, and not just an after-thought.

The workshop programme will contain plenty of opportunities to discuss the students’ work and ambitions with experienced Graph Theorists in a less formal environment. Instead of packing the maximum number of possible talks into the programme, we have chosen to let a selected group of specialists give concentrated talks. The students will have time to digest the material, but also be exposed to the wide range of currents which are present in modern Graph Theory.


Check the full programme here:

The four main speakers have given presentations at the International Congress of Mathematicians (in 2014, 2010, 2014, and 1990 respectively). Below you can find their brief biographies.

Maria Chudnovsky, born in 1977, obtained her PhD in mathematics from Princeton University in 2003 and is a Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University since 2015. She has made numerous highly influential contributions to Graph Theory—most notably, together with Robertson, Seymour, and Thomas, she proved the Strong Perfect Graph Theorem in 2006. The article describing this milestone appeared in the Annals of Mathematics and has been cited more than 900 times (Google Scholar). She was awarded a “genius award” under the MacArthur Fellows Program in 2012.

Brendan D. McKay, born in 1951, obtained his PhD in mathematics from the University of Melbourne in 1980 and is Professor in Computer Science at the Australian National University since 2000. He received the Australian Mathematical Society Medal in 1990. McKay is the world leader in his field of research. His program nauty is part of practically every software system dealing with isomorphisms of graphs. McKay’s programs are used in a  wide range of applications not only in mathematics, but also physics and chemistry.

János Pach, born in 1954, obtained his PhD in mathematics from Eötvös Loránd University in 1981 and is Professor of Mathematics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne since 2008. He is a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 2016, he was elected as a fellow of the American Mathematical Society “for contributions to discrete and combinatorial geometry and to convexity and combinatorics”. Among his over 250 papers, his work has appeared in the Journal of the ACM, Advances in Mathematics, and the Journal of the American Mathematical Society.

Carsten Thomassen, born in 1948, obtained his PhD from the University of Waterloo in 1976 and is Professor of Mathematics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) since 1981. He is a member of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, a specialist regarding graphs on surfaces, and one of the world’s most influential Graph Theorists with a Web of Science Hirsch-index of 30. Thomassen has published to date more than 200 articles, among them papers in the Journal of the American Mathematical Society, Mathematische Annalen, and the Annals of Probability.

Dates and Venue

16-18 August 2017

Department of Applied Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics (WE02): Campus Sterre, Krijgslaan 281 – S9, 9000 Gent.

Check the full programme here:



Number of participants

Maximum 15 PhD students

Evaluation criteria (doctoral training programme)

100% active participation


Please use the registration page on the workshop website to register:

Cancellation policy: people who cancel their registration without valid reason after 31 May will be asked to pay the registration fee charged for non-UGent participants.

Don't hesitate to contact if you have any questions.

Registration fee

Free of charge for members of the Doctoral Schools of Natural Sciences and (Bioscience) Engineering. The registration also includes the workshop dinner.