Two PhD Position at University of Twente (UT) and Maastricht University (UM) are available within an NWO project on probabilistic analysis of algorithms, called “Rigorous Analysis of Local Search”.

The positions are at the group Discrete Mathematics and Mathematical Programming (DMMP) of UT and at the Operations Research group of the Quantitative Economics department of MU. DMMP currently consists of 12 faculty members. The Department of Quantitative Economics of UM consists of over 20 faculty members, of which 6 are part of the Operations Research group.

About the project

Large-scale optimization problems appear in many areas, ranging from engineering over scheduling to the sciences. Unfortunately, for many optimization problems it is unlikely that we can find optimal solutions efficiently. Still, in practice often quite simple local search heuristics succeed in finding close-to-optimal solutions surprisingly quickly. As this is at stark contrast to their theoretically predicted performance, which is usually very poor, the goal of this project is to prove rigorous bounds on the performance of heuristics in the framework of smoothed analysis. Smoothed analysis is a paradigm to analyze algorithms where classical worst-case analysis fails. Although this is still a young field, it has proved to be a successful tool to analyze a variety of algorithms. Therefore, it will be the right framework to understand why simple local search heuristics show such a remarkable performance. We will not only analyze “pure” local search algorithms, but we go one step further towards rigorously analyzing algorithms used in practice by considering hybrid heuristics and metaheuristics.


•You have, or will shortly acquire, a M.Sc. degree in the field of Mathematics, Computer Science or a closely related field.
•A solid background in Discrete Optimization, Theoretical Computer Science, or the Analysis of Algorithms is highly appreciated but not a must as you will have the opportunity to follow courses of the LNMB PhD program during the first two years.
•You have good team spirit and like to work in an internationally oriented environment where many cultures meet.
•You are proficient in English


We offer an exciting research position in a dynamic and international environment. We offer excellent working conditions and good secondary conditions.
•The position is fulltime and for four years, with a qualifier in the first year.
•You’ll have a full status as an employee at the UT or UM, including pension and health care benefits.
•The salary ranges from EUR 2.395,- (1st year) to EUR 3.061,- (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
•You can make use of excellent facilities for professional and personal development.
•You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede or Maastricht. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.


Interested to be part of our team? All applications received at or before January 31st. 2021 will be considered and we keep on considering applications until the positions are filled.

Include in your application:
•a motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications and motivation to apply for this position
•a detailed CV (resume) including a short summary of your MSc research and contact information of at least two references that may be consulted
•copies of certificates

An assessment could be part of the application procedure.
Please do not hesitate to send any questions to Bodo Manthey (UT, b.manthey@utwente.nl) or Tjark Vredeveld (UM, t.vredeveld@maastrichtuniversity.nl).


The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow’s digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the EEMCS Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customizable conditions.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology’ we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT’s departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.2 PHD POSITIONS IN RIGOROUS ANALYSIS OF LOCAL SEARCH


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