Discrete Optimization

Trimester Program

September 6 - December 17, 2021

Organizers: Daniel Dadush, Jesper Nederlof, Neil Olver, Laura Sanità, László Végh

Discrete optimization is an extremely active area with increasingly deepening connections to other areas of mathematics. We aim to take classical areas of discrete optimization in modern directions, and to foster the use of techniques from other areas.

The trimester program will:

  • explore links between tropical geometry and the geometry of linear programming, in order to tackle fundamental questions in these areas;
  • exploit techniques from continuous optimization to make progress on new and classical problems in combinatorial optimization and online optimization;
  • build on recent progress in approximation algorithms, such as the very exciting successes regarding the travelling salesman problem;
  • consolidate technology transfer between the above areas and the theory of parameterized complexity.

By bringing together the best researchers from the above areas, we anticipate making new connections between these areas as well as deepening existing ones.

The trimester program comprises one introductory school covering various topics in discrete optimization relating to the program and four workshops with the following preliminary titles and dates:

  • Tropical geometry and the geometry of linear programming (September 20-24, 2021)
  • Continuous approaches to discrete optimization (October 11-15, 2021)
  • Approximation and relaxation (November 15-19, 2021)
  • Parametrized complexity and discrete optimization (December 6-10, 2021)


Given the current situation with COVID-19, the ongoing hygienic restrictions, difficulties in obtaining visas and further obstacles for travelers, some parts of the program may take place virtually. Please note that the program itself is an on-site event and physical presence is vital.

Online Application