Charl Ras is a Lecturer in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Melbourne. His research primarily involves the use of techniques from graph theory, optimisation, and computational geometry for designing minimal networks. He is also interested in the design and asymptotic analysis of geometric network optimisation and approximation algorithms, including aspects such as computational complexity, fixed-parameter tractability, and approximability. Some of the applications of his work are the optimisation of energy consumption in wireless ad-hoc networks, VLSI design, and phylogenetic tree construction.

One of Charl's current projects seeks to find tools and algorithms for the deployment and augmentation of optimal survivable networks. In this problem one is required to introduce a set of nodes and links into a geometric space so that the resultant network is multi-connected and is optimal with respect to some objective (for instance the sum of all link-lengths). Finding good solutions to this problem will contribute to the economical construction of robust infrastructure and telecommunications networks, including transportation networks, utility networks, and fibre-optic networks such as the NBN.

I have a number of available projects in algorithms, network design and combinatorial optimisation. Some potential research topics include: Steiner trees, bounded-degree networks, survivable networks and the topological design of wireless sensor networks and other infrastructure networks. I would also be interested in supervising any projects at the intersection of combinatorial optimisation and approximation algorithms; including topics involving algorithm design, computational complexity and approximability.