Illya V. Hicks



PhD and MA in Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University, 2000.

BS in Mathematics, Texas State University, 1995.


Associate Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University (current)

Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Texas A&M University (Fall 2006)

Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Texas A&M University (Fall 2000 - Spring 2006)

Honors & Awards

2005 Optimization Prize for Young Researchers, Optimization Society, INFORMS

2010 Forum Moving Spirit Award, INFORMS

Academic & Research Interest

Branch Decompositions and Tree Decompositions

TSP website offered by my advisor Bill Cook

Operations Research

Graph Theory

Graph Instances


CAAM 378: Intro to Operations Research

CAAM 470: Graph Theory

CAAM 471/571: Linear and Integer Programming

CAAM 474: Combinatorial Optimization

Professional Organizations

Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)                          

Minority Issues Forum of INFORMS

Mathematical Programming Society (MPS)

National Association of Mathematicians (NAM)

Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

Conferences, Graduate Education Programs and Workshops

SIAM Minisymposium on Combinatorial Optimization, 2011 Joint Mathematics Meeting

2010 Blackwell-Tapia Conference

15th Annual Conference for African-American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS), June 23-26, 2009

Rice-Houston Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate

2007 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference

2006 Blackwell-Tapia Conference

MIP 2006: Mixed Integer Programming Workshop

NSF Workshop: Development of Minority Faculty in Engineering

CombinaTexas, April 9-10, 2004

MSRI Introductory Workshop in Discrete and Computational Geometry, August 20- 29, 2003

NCI/NSF Workshop on Operations Research and Radiation Therapy, Feb. 7-9, 2002

Papers & Projects

Current Doctoral Students

  1. Timothy Becker, TBD

  2. Boris Brimkov, TBD

  3. Caleb Fast, TBD

  4. Randy Davilla, TBD

  5. Cynthia Woods, TBD

Post-Doctoral Students Supervised

  1. Franklin Kenter

Past Post-Doctoral Students Supervised

  1. Susan Margulies (currently at US Naval Academy)

Past Doctoral Students

  1. 1.John Arellano, “Algorithms to Find the Girth and Cogirth of a Linear Matroid”, Spring 2014

  2. 2.Ivette Arambula Mercado (Texas A&M University), "A New Polyhedral Approach to Combinatorial Designs", Spring 2004, currently works for PROS Revenue Management

  3. 3.Benjamin McClosky, “Independence Systems and Stable Set Relaxations”, Spring 2008, did a post-doc at Columbia University, currently works for Amazon

  4. 4.Elif (Kolotoglu) Ulusal (Texas A&M University), “Integer Programming Techniques for the Branchwidth Problem”, Spring 2008

  5. 5.Jeffrey Warren (Texas A&M University), “Independent Set Problems and Odd-Hole-Preserving Graph Reductions”, Spring 2007, currently works for American Airlines

Past Masters Students

  1. 1.Jegganathan Balu, MS non-thesis, spring 2004

  2. 2.Jing Ma, MA, “Branch Decomposition Heuristics for Linear   Matroids”, summer 2009 (currently doctoral student at Stanford)

  3. 3.Anthony Simms, MA non-thesis, spring 2013



Name: Illya V. Hicks

Status: Married

Hometown: Waco, TX


Occupation: Professor

School: Computational and Applied Mathematics Department, Rice University

Location: Houston, TX


Computational and Applied Mathematics Department

Rice University

6100 Main St. - MS 134

Houston, TX 77005-1892

(office) 713-348-5667

(fax) 713-348-5318

Email me


My research interests are in combinatorial optimization, integer programming, graph theory and matroid theory. Some applications of interest are social networks, cancer treatment and network design. My current research is focused on using graph decomposition techniques to solve NP-complete problems. I teach courses related to discrete optimization.