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Personal profile


“Networks are fascinating. They are all around us – from social networks to power grids. Yet we know so little about them and even less we can prove. But we are getting there!”

Research profile

Nelly Litvak is professor in Algorithms for Complex Networks and has a background in Applied Probability and Stochastic Operations Research. She works on mathematical methods and algorithms for complex networks, such as social networks and the WWW. Real-life networks are modeled as random graphs, and algorithms are used to extract information from the massive network data.

The overall goal of her research is to extract value from (Big) Data, focusing on network data. Her research revolves around three main topics: Information extraction and predictions based on data, mathematical analysis of network characteristics and randomized algorithms. The first looks at defining and collecting the correct measurements and data for specific purposes and deducing networks from data. The second examines mathematical properties of algorithms in networks, for example, the famous PageRank that Google invented to rank web pages. The third looks at efficient algorithms for computing network characteristics when the complete network data is not available.

Academic background

Nelly Litvak received her PhD from TU/e / EURANDOM in 2002 and joined the University of Twente, where she became an Associate Professor in 2012. She was a visitor at INRIA, University of South Australia and Columbia University. She joined the TU/e as a part-time professor in 2017. Besides her work on Algorithms for Complex Networks, she has also actively contributed to the area of Healthcare Logistics within the Centre for Healthcare Operations Improvement & Research (CHOIR).  She is a Managing editor of Internet Mathematics. Her teaching career began in 1995, at the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, Russia. She has developed many courses and innovative teaching methods. Nelly is an author of several best-selling non-fiction books. Besides her academic work, she also gives many public lectures about mathematics and education.

Affiliated with

  • 4TU Applied Mathemarics Institute
  • Data Science Center Eindhoven
  • Institute for Information and Communication Technology - CTIT

Partners in (semi-)industry

  • ABN-AMRO bank
  • Philips Lighting
  • Thales


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Research Output

Uncovering disassortativity in large scale-free networks

Litvak, N. & Hofstad, van der, R. W., 2013, In : Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics. 87, 2, p. 022801-1/7 7 p., 022801.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 36 Citations (Scopus)
    93 Downloads (Pure)

    Learning clusters through information diffusion

    Prokhorenkova, L., Tikhonov, A. & Litvak, N., 13 May 2019, The Web Conference 2019 - Proceedings of the World Wide Web Conference, WWW 2019. New York: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, p. 3151-3157 7 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Limit theorems for assortativity and clustering in null models for scale-free networks

    Hofstad, R. V. D., van der Hoorn, P., Litvak, N. & Stegehuis, C., 18 Oct 2019, In : arXiv.org,e-Print Archive, Mathematics. 59 p., 1712.08097v3.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    Open Access
  • Average nearest neighbor degrees in scale-free networks

    Yao, D., van der Hoorn, P. & Litvak, N., 1 Jan 2018, In : Internet Mathematics. 2018, Januari 10, 38 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    32 Downloads (Pure)

    Fascinating random networks

    Litvak, N. V., 20 Apr 2018, Eindhoven: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven. 28 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportInaugural speechAcademic

    Open Access

    Press / Media

    NPCS Annual Conference

    Nelly Litvak & J.K. (Koen) Kok


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment


    N.V. Litvak


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    1st international symposium on web algorithms (ISWAG 2015)

    N.V. Litvak


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Student theses

    Choosing vertices for sentinel surveillance in graphs using simulation and decision trees

    Author: Besems, J., 18 Jun 2019

    Supervisor: Litvak, N. (Supervisor 1)

    Student thesis: Bachelor