Optimization Group

Picture GraTho

Graph Theory and Optimization with Applications in Industry and Society

The project "GraThO - Graph Theory and Optimization with Applications in Industry and Society" is part of the DAAD-Programme "Subject related Partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education".

Brief description

The main goal of this network is to strengthen the mathematical education in graph theory and optimization at the mathematics departments of the partner institutions and to promote and enhance the cooperation between these institutions beyond the current, already existing contacts.

The focus lies on areas that are interesting from a mathematical point of view and can be used to model real-world problems from industry and society. Examples of such problems include traditional questions of location, transportation, and work flow, but also disaster risk management, design and maintenance of water sewage systems, or the planning of radiation therapies. At the end of the funding period the two South-South Partners will have introduced new courses into their curricula and will cooperate in these fields amongst each other and the University of Kaiserslautern.


The MSU-IIT Iligan, Philippines, was founded in 1946 as Iligan City High School and obtained the status as an autonomous campus of the Mindanao State University system in 1975. The university is located on the Philippine island Mindanao and has around 12,000 students.  In 2010, MSU-IIT was designated by the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) as a Center of Excellence in Marine Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Teacher Education. This makes the university a leading institution in Science and Mathematics in Mindanao. The vision of IIT is to become a recognized national center in Science and Mathematics. The college has a very competent faculty, which includes a total of 31 Ph.D. holders, the highest concentration of Ph.D.s in Visayas and Mindanao. The physics department of MSU-IIT already has a research co-operation with the Faculty of Mathematics of the University of Kaiserslautern, especially with the Functional Analysis and Stochastic Analysis group (Prof. Grothaus) in the area of theoretical polymer physics. In our project we extend this cooperation to the Mathematics Department of IIT and to the research group optimization of the University of Kaiserslautern.

Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal, established in 1959, is the first and largest national institution of higher education in Nepal. The university has sixty constituent campuses together with around nine hundred affiliated ones spread over the nation. There are five institutes and four faculties. The institute of science and technology (IOST), which is one of the five institutes, consists of 13 central departments, 21 constituent campuses and 71 affiliated campuses. All the central departments run Master’s degree and Ph.D. programs. The constituent and affiliated campuses run Master’s (five campuses) and Bachelor’s degree programs. The university has established wider collaboration around the world.


The Central Department of Mathematics (CDM) is the oldest department of IOST at the Tribhuvan University. The CDM has a great responsibility in enhancing the mathematics curriculum all over the country. The department has a very good academic record, but would like to enhance the access of its graduates to applications in industry and society. The department consists of eighteen faculty members (six professors, two readers, nine lecturers, and an assistant lecturer) and offers M.A./M.Sc., M.Phil., and Ph.D. programs. In addition to the already introduced courses in pure and applied mathematics, optimization, scheduling and graph theory are relatively newly introduced areas in the curricula of the department of mathematics in CDM-IOST. The department has so far not introduced teaching methodology, computer programming languages, and enough real-world applications in its curriculum. An urgent need of introducing them in a restructured and modernized course has been realized. This requires a strong restructuring and modernizing of the Master level courses, including the implementation of courses in applied mathematics.


The CDM at IOST has had strong academic links with the Department of Mathematics at the University of Kaiserslautern for more than 20 years. During this time, more than 12 students have visited Kaiserslautern for their Master's or Ph.D. degree. Most of them were supported by DAAD funding. Among them, one has been working in Kaiserslautern, some are contributing in teaching and research in Kathmandu, and some are involved in teaching and research in other countries abroad. At present, also a number of Master’s degree students are studying mathematics in Kaiserslautern. The main contact person is Prof. Dr. Tanka Nath Dhamala, Central Department of Mathematics.


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