Homepage of Benjamin Doerr


Professor for Computer Science
Laboratoire d'Informatique (LIX), École Polytechnique
Office: Bâtiment Alan Turing, room 2141 [map]
How to address mail to me: LIX - UMR 7161, Benjamin DOERR, 1 rue Honoré d'Estienne d'Orves, Bâtiment Alan Turing, Campus de l'École Polytechnique, 91120 Palaiseau, France
Phone: +33 1 77 57 80 16.
Email: lastname@lix.polytechnique.fr
Note: If you are a PhD student of ED IPP, please put your supervisors in cc (unless there is a good reason not to do so)! If you use this email address to ask me to submit a paper to your scientific journal, then you agree to me making public your invitation and commenting it via all kinds of electronic media.

I am a full professor at École Polytechnique (France). My main research areas are algorithms (randomized algorithms) and artificial intelligence (heuristic search). I am regularly teaching algorithms courses at École Polytechnique and in the MPRI Master program. I like both a lot and thus do not spend much time on this homepage. You find some basic information below. My teaching can be found on the Polytechnique Moodle. If you need more information, don't be shy to contact me (email works usually best).


I have worked in algebra (group theory) for my diploma, in discrete mathematics (discrepancy theory, combinatorial games, probabilistic combinatorics) for my PhD, in algorithmic mathematics (randomized rounding) for my habilitation, then on randomized algorithms (in particular, epidemic algorithms), and most recently on heuristics search. I still like all these topics and work on several of them, but the center my work now are randomized search heuristics such as evolutionary algorithms, ant colony optimizers, and estimation-of-distribution algorithms.

You can find my publications on Google Scholar or DLBP (some maths publications are missing here, though). For most publications, you can find a free preprint version on the arXiv.


I like doing top research with students on all levels.

The following students did (or currently do) their PhD with me: Tobias Friedrich (2007, now director of the HPI and full professor at U Potsdam), Edda Happ (2009, now at Deutsche Bahn), Daniel Johannsen (2010, then postdoc at Tel Aviv U, now at SAP), Anna Huber (2010, now at Teesside U), Markus Wagner (jointly supervised with Frank Neumann, continued his PhD at U Adelaide, now professor at Monash university), Carola Winzen (2011, now permanent researcher at CNRS, Paris 6), Mahmoud Fouz (2012, jointly supervised with Markus Bläser, now doing start-ups), Christian Klein (2014, now in industries), Marvin Künnemann (2016, now professor in Kaiserslautern), Anatolii Kostrygin (2017, now in industries), Jing Yang (2018, now in industries), Denis Antipov (2020, joint PhD with ITMO St. Petersburg, now in Frank Neumann's group in Adelaide), Quentin Renau (2022, CIFRE with Thales, now in Emma Hart's group in Edinburgh). Some also received a nice award for it (two Otto-Hahn medals, a Dr. Eduard Martin prize, a Digiteo-Digicosme prize, a dissertation award from the IDIA department of IP Paris, and three nominations for the GI dissertation award).

If you would like to do your PhD with me, please contact me way ahead. Polytechnique has money for excellent students (and only for these), but this requires some preparation and an application in February or Mai for a start in September. If you come with your own money, you can start any time you want, but again I would only accept students with strong mathematical skills proven via excellent grades, publications, maths or CS competitions, etc. I usually do not advertise possible PhD topics, so do not wait or search for an official announcement, but contact me and then we find a topic that fits.

I enjoyed working with PhD students where I was not the official supervisor, for example, Johannes Lengler, David Steurer, Karl Bringmann, Sebastian Mayer, Martin Krejca, Weijie Zheng, Amirhossein Rajabi, and numerous others. If you want to visit me for a few months, please contact me way ahead since administrative processes are complex in France. You do not need previous experience in my field, but strong proven mathematical skills are indispensable.

I supervised a couple of M1 and M2 internships. My last interns were Taha El Ghazi El Houssaini, Zhongdi (Delia) Qu, and Simon Wietheger.

I supervise in average two M1 research projects for Polytechnique students (projet de recherche en laboratoire). With good students, this has often led to a paper at an international conference, once even to a best paper award (at GECCO 2017). If you are interested (and have excellent marks in the algorithms course), please contact me towards the end of the second year.

I occasionally do research together with students that just like to do research besides their regular studies. This has just led to a paper at IJCAI.


Among other nice duties, I am currently the habilitation reference person of the IDIA department and a member of the executive board of the doctoral school (ED) of IP Paris (and the one responsable for the doctoral students in computer science (IDIA) at Polytechnique and INRIA Saclay). Don't be shy to contact me when you have questions w.r.t. to any of these. Some incomplete hints on how to survive adminstratively in ED IPP can be found here. Some equally inofficial thoughts on doing the HDR with us are here.