Pim van der Hoorn defended his PhD thesis cum laude on October 7, 2016. The thesis entitled `Asymptotic analysis of network structures: degree-degree correlations and directed paths’ solves several fundamental problems in analysis of large directed networks. For example, how do we measure whether popular nodes are usually connected to other popular nodes? The answer to this question has important implications such as networks robustness to attacks, and resistance to virus spreading.
The research was funded by the EU FP7 funded project `New tools and Algorithms for Directed NEtwork Analysis’ (Nadine). NADINE was a collaboration between physicists from CNRS in Toulouse, computer scientists from Budapest and Milan, and mathematicians from the SOR group at the University of Twente. The project produced many interesting results such as open ranking on Wikipedia (http://wikirank-2016.di.unimi.it/) and computation of distances in Facebook. Dr. Nelly Litvak was the node leader at the University of Twente and the supervisor of the thesis.
The committee especially noted the rare combination of deep mathematical theory and massive large-scale numerical experiments in Pim’s work. Professor of Computer Science Paolo Boldi from the University of Milan, one of the world’s leading experts in the analysis of large real-life networks, said that Pim’s thesis has direct practical implication on his field.
Pim will continue his research career as a post-doc at the Network Science Institute at the Northeastern University in Boston. We wish him a lot of success!