prof.dr. N.V. Litvak (Nelly)

Over mij

I am a professor in Algorithms for Complex Networks. I am also a part-time professor at Eindhoven University of Technology and a visiting professor at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. My background is in Applied Probability and Stochastic Operations Research.   My main research interests are in large networks such as on-line social networks and the World Wide Web, randomized algorithms, and random graphs, and since recently in prediction for networks using machine learning.  I am passionate about teaching, as well as popularizing mathematics through popular science books, public lectures and social media. 

I received my MSc from the Lobachevsky University of Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, in 1995 and my PhD from Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands, in 2002.


Scale-Free Networks
Web Search
Engineering & Materials Science
Complex Networks
Monte Carlo Methods
Business & Economics
Resource Pooling


I study 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.  A famous example of such algorithm is PageRank that Google invented to rank web pages.  My  research revolves around three main topics: 1) Information extraction and predictions based on data. 2) Analysis of  mathematical properties of algorithms in networks. 3)  Inferring information when we do not have the data about networks, but can observe some (usually random) processes running on them, such as crawling of the web, epidemics, or spreading of topics and on-line campaigns.


Litvak, N. , & Kula, F. (2024). No exam:assessment of third-year engineering students on the basis of self-generated statistics cases. In K. Seaton, B. Loch, & E. Lugosi (Eds.), Takeaways from Teaching through a Pandemic: Practical Examples of Lasting Value in Tertiary Mathematics Education Routledge.
Litvak, N. , & Weedage, L. (2023). Do we teach what we preach? Nieuw archief voor wiskunde, 5(24/4), 233-238.
Litvak, N. (2023). Randomness and structure in complex networks. Nieuw archief voor wiskunde, 5(24), 103-113.
Dang, T. K. N. , Bucur, D., Atil, B., Pitel, G., Ruis, F., Kadkhodaei, H. , & Litvak, N. (2023). Look back, look around: A systematic analysis of effective predictors for new outlinks in focused Web crawling. Knowledge-based systems, 260, 1-16. Article 110126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.knosys.2022.110126
Prokhorenkova, L., Tikhonov, A. , & Litvak, N. (2022). When Less Is More: Systematic Analysis of Cascade-Based Community Detection. ACM Transactions on Knowledge Discovery from Data, 16(4), 1-22. Article 78. https://doi.org/10.1145/3494563
Schoot Uiterkamp, M. H. H., Gösgens, M., Heesterbeek, H., van der Hofstad, R. , & Litvak, N. (2022). The role of inter-regional mobility in forecasting SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 19(193), 1-17. Article 20220486. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2022.0486
Avrachenkov, K., Brown, P. , & Litvak, N. (2022). Red Light Green Light Method for Solving Large Markov Chains. Journal of scientific computing, 93(18), 1-43. Article 18. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10915-022-01976-8

Google Scholar Link


I am passionate about teaching and modern interactive teaching methods. In all my courses I have implemented a homework system developed by Eric Mazur (Harvard University), where students are encouraged to develop their problem-solving skills and get graded for completeness rather than correctness of their answers. 

Verbonden aan Opleidingen



Vakken Collegejaar  2022/2023


I am a non-fiction writer in my free time. I write popular books about mathematics, and non-fiction books related to upbringing and  education. Up to now, I have published five books, four of them are in Russian (my native language). I also run a large Facebook group on popularizing mathematics (in Russian).




Universiteit Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede

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Universiteit Twente
Postbus 217
7500 AE Enschede

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