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Personal profile

Research profile

Nikhil Bansal is a Full Professor and Chair of Combinatorial Optimization in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).  Nikhil’s main research interests are theoretical computer science with emphasis on design and analysis of algorithms for discrete optimization problems.  He also works in related areas such as discrete math, complexity theory, machine learning and probability.

Nikhil Bansal’s VICI-funded reserch, ‘Making discrete decisions in a continuous way’ explores the interface between continuous and discrete mathematics. The aim is to design a variety of new and powerful algorithmic techniques that find an arrangement or structure in discrete objects, which is in some sense optimal and applicable to a wide variety of problems.

Academic background

Nikhil Bansal received his BSc in Computer Science from IIT Mumbai (1999) and obtained his PhD from Carnegie Mellon University in 2003. He worked at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center until 2011, where he also managed the Algorithms group. He has received several best paper awards for his work and is the recipient of the NWO VIDI, TOP and VICI grants, and an ERC consolidator grant.

In addition to his work at TU/e, Nikhil is also a researcher at CWI, the Dutch National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in Amsterdam. He has served or is active on several Editorial Boards (Journal of the ACM, SIAM  Journal on Computing, Mathematics of  Operations Research) and Program Committees: FOCS 2018, HALG 2018, ICALP,  Approx, IPCO, SPAA, IPDPS 2017, WAOA, ITCS, ESA (chair 2015), STOC 2014 and FOCS. He has also organized and participate at workshops at CWI Amsterdam, UC Berkeley and HIM, Bonn.

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Research Output 1999 2019

12 Downloads (Pure)

An algorithm for komlós conjecture matching Banaszczyk's bound

Bansal, N., Dadush, D. & Garg, S., 30 Apr 2019, In : SIAM Journal on Computing. 48, 2, p. 534-553 20 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Set Systems
Efficient Algorithms

On a generalization of iterated and randomized rounding

Bansal, N., 23 Jun 2019, STOC 2019 - Proceedings of the 51st Annual ACM SIGACT Symposium on Theory of Computing. Charikar, M. & Cohen, E. (eds.). New York: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, p. 1125-1135 11 p.

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

On the discrepancy of random low degree set systems

Bansal, N. & Meka, R., 2019, Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms. Chan, T. M. (ed.). New York: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc, p. 2557-2564 8 p.

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

Open Access
Set Systems
Random Systems
Random Sets

The (H, k)-server problem on bounded depth trees

Bansal, N., Eliáš, M., Jeż, Ł. & Koumoutsos, G., 1 Feb 2019, In : ACM Transactions on Algorithms. 15, 2, 26 p., 28.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Competitive Ratio
Online Algorithms
Resource Augmentation

Achievable performance of blind policies in heavy traffic

Bansal, N., Kamphorst, B. & Zwart, B., 1 Aug 2018, In : Mathematics of Operations Research. 43, 3, p. 949-964 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Heavy Traffic
Applied Probability
Competitive Analysis
Sojourn Time


Algorithms for coping with uncertainty and intractability

N. Bansal (Recipient), 2013

Prize: ERCConsolidatorScientific

Combinatorial optimization
Approximation algorithms
Computer science
Optimum design

NWO Vici Award : Continuous Methods in Discrete Optimization

N. Bansal (Recipient), 2018

Prize: NWOViciScientific

Discrete Optimization
Computer Science
Stable Polynomials

NWO Vidi Award : Coping with an unknown future

N. Bansal (Recipient), 2011

Prize: NWOVidiScientific

Decision making

Student theses

An instance for the Polacek-Svensson algorithm with a quasi-plynomial running time

Author: den Toonder, R., 31 Aug 2013

Supervisor: Bansal, N. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


A second look at the asymptotic PTAS for square packing

Author: Ficker, A., 31 Dec 2013

Supervisor: Bansal, N. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master


Counting matroids

Author: van der Pol, J., 30 Jun 2013

Supervisor: Bansal, N. (Supervisor 1), van der Hofstad, R. (Supervisor 2) & Pendavingh, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Improved algorithms for clustering ASML event log data: fast hierarchical clustering by a combination of cosine similarity and Fiedler vectors

Author: Slenders, T., 31 Aug 2014

Supervisor: Bansal, N. (Supervisor 1) & Hamer, van den, P. (External person) (External coach)

Student thesis: Master


On local search and LP and SDP relaxations for k-set packing

Author: Oosterwijk, T., 31 Oct 2013

Supervisor: Bansal, N. (Supervisor 1)

Student thesis: Master