Illya V. Hicks



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

BS in Mathematics, Texas State University, 1995.


Faculty Advisor to the President, Rice University (July 2016 - present)

Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University (Fall 2014 - present)

Associate Professor of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University (Spring 2007 - Spring 2014)

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

2015 Presidential Mentoring Award, Rice University

Academic & Research Interest

Branch Decompositions and Tree Decompositions

TSP website offered by my advisor Bill Cook

Operations Research

Graph Theory

Graph Instances


CAAM 210: Intro to computational Engineering

CAAM 378: Intro to Operations Research

CAAM 570: Graph Theory

CAAM 471/571: Linear and Integer Programming

CAAM 574: 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)

American Mathematical Society (AMS)

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

Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM)

Papers & Projects

Current Doctoral Students

  1. Derek Mikesell

  2. Logan Smith

Past Post-Doctoral Students Supervised

  1. Franklin Kenter, US Naval Academy

  2. Susan Margulies, US Naval Academy

Past Doctoral Students

  1. 1. Ivette Arambula Mercado (Texas A&M University), "A New Polyhedral Approach to Combinatorial Designs", Spring 2004, Operations Optimization Manager for Amazon

  2. 2.John Arellano, “Algorithms to Find the Girth and Cogirth of a Linear Matroid”, Spring 2014, currently works for MEI Technologies

  3. 3.Tim Becker, “Bilevel Clique Interdiction and Related Problems”, Spring 2017, Systems Analyst for Goodman Manufacturing

  4. 4.Boris Brimkov, “Graph Coloring, Zero-Forcing, and Related Problems”, NSF Graduate Fellowship, Spring 2017, Rice Academy of Fellows Postdoc

  5. 5.Caleb Fast, “Novel Techniques for the Zero-Forcing and p-Median Graph Location Problems”, ExxonMobil Fellowship, Spring 2017, Senior Operations Research Analyst for FedEx Express

  6. 6.Benjamin McClosky, “Independence Systems and Stable Set Relaxations”, Spring 2008, Senior Research Scientist for Amazon

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

  8. 8.Jeffrey Warren (Texas A&M University), “Independent Set Problems and Odd-Hole-Preserving Graph Reductions”, Spring 2007, Senior Network Planning Analyst for American Airlines

  9. 9.Cynthia Woods, “Clique Generalizations and Related Problems”, NSF Graduate Fellow, Spring 2016, Data Scientist for SAP

Past Masters Students

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

  2. 2.Jing Ma, MA, “Branch Decomposition Heuristics for Linear   Matroids”, spring 2009

  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.