Minerva group - Spectral Hypergraph Theory

Raffaella Mulas (Email)

+49 (0) 341 - 9959 - 547

+49 (0) 341 - 9959 - 658

Inselstr. 22
04103 Leipzig

Spectral Hypergraph Theory

Spectral hypergraph theory studies the qualitative properties of a hypergraph that can be inferred from the eigenvalues and the eigenvectors of either square matrices or tensors associated with it. It generalizes the spectral theory of graphs, which has a long history and is widely used in applications.

Research topics in this area include, but are not limited to:

  • Spectra of given hypergraphs
  • Relations between the spectra of hypergraphs and their structural properties
  • Eigenvalue bounds
  • Spectral classes
  • Algorithmic aspects
  • Applications to dynamical systems and applications to data analysis of empirical networks (e.g. biological and chemical networks)

Selected publications

J. Jost and R. Mulas: Normalized Laplace Operators for Hypergraphs with Real Coefficients
Journal of Complex Networks, 9 (2021) 1, cnab009
R. Mulas and D. Zhang: Spectral theory of Laplace operators on oriented hypergraphs
Discrete mathematics, 344 (2021) 6, 112372
R. Mulas: A Cheeger Cut for Uniform Hypergraphs
Graphs and combinatorics, (2021) Vol. not yet known, pp. not yet known


  • Speaker at the 1st East German Tensor Day
    (September 1, 2021 | Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Magdeburg)

Group Members

Surname, first nameEmailPhoneOfficeHomepage
Group Leader
Mulas, RaffaellaRaffaella.Mulas547A3 13personal, external

Raffaella Mulas

I obtained my Master's degree at the University of Bonn (2017), where I worked on mathematical neurosciences and combinatorial stochastic processes under the supervision of Ngoc Mai Tran. I then received my PhD (2020) at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences under the supervision of Jürgen Jost, with a thesis on the spectral theory of graphs and hypergraphs. From 2020 to 2021, I did a postdoc between the Alan Turing Institute of London and the University of Southampton, where I worked in the group of Ben MacArthur, and was a Visiting Researcher at the London Institute for Mathematical Sciences. During this postdoc, I had the chance to deepen the mathematical foundations of spectral hypergraph theory, as well as to apply this theory to problems arising in physics and biology. In 2020, I was also awarded the Prize "Donna di Scienza - Giovani" (Woman of Science - Young) from my home island of Sardinia. In 2021, I was awarded a Minerva Fast Track Fellowship from the Max Planck Society and chose to become a Minerva Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences. In the same year, I was elected Member of the Elisabeth-Schiemann-Kolleg.
Besides research, I am active in science communication, and enjoy drawing, traveling, reading, swimming, and swing dancing.

Christiaan Van De Ven

I am currently a PhD student in Mathematics at the University of Trento and will join the Minerva Group "Spectral Hypergraph Theory" at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences in the fall of 2021. My scientific interests are diverse and lie in the field of Mathematical Physics and applications. The methods I use range from operator algebras and functional analysis to discrete mathematics and numerical analysis. In addition to the pleasure I find in math I also have a great passion for mountain biking, football and landscape painting.

Giulio Zucal

I am currently a master's student in Mathematics at the Technical University of Munich. Before moving to Germany, I obtained my bachelor's degree in Mathematics at the University of Trento in Italy. I also spent one exchange semester at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. My mathematical interests lie at the intersection of Analysis and Probability theory, but I am always looking for new directions and applications to explore. In particular, I am curious to discover the connections between my fields of interest and Spectral Hypergraph Theory. Apart from Mathematics, I love hiking and doing sport. You can easily spark my interest with every type of outdoor activity, but my true love is orienteering, which I have practiced since I was a child.

23.09.2021, 01:40