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Faculty Profile

Ilya Safro

Ilya Safro

Associate Professor
101 Smith Hall
Newark, Delaware 19716
P: 302-831-2711

Personal Website


PostDoc | 2007-2010 | Argonne National Laboratory
Ph.D. | 2008 | Weizmann Institute of Science | Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
MSc | 2004 | Weizmann Institute of Science | Applied Mathematics and Computer Science
BSc | 1998 | Ben Gurion University of Negev | Mathematics and Computer Science


Dr. Ilya Safro received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science under the supervision of Achi Brandt and Dorit Ron. In January 2021, he joins the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Delaware. In 2012-2020, Dr. Safro held assistant and associate professor positions in the School of Computing at Clemson University. He was also a Faculty Scholar of the Clemson University School of Health Research. Before that he was a postdoc and Argonne scholar at the Division of Mathematics and Computer Science at Argonne National Laboratory.

Dr. Safro’s research is funded by several agencies including NSF, DARPA, DOE, and BMW. His research interests include algorithms and models for quantum computing, AI, machine learning, NLP, network science and graphs, and large-scale optimization.


  1. Hayato Ushijima-Mwesigwa, Ruslan Shaydulin, Susan Mniszewski, Christian Negre, Yuri Alexeev, Ilya Safro “Multilevel Combinatorial Optimization Across Quantum Architectures”, accepted in ACM Transactions on Quantum Computing, 2020, preprint at
  2. Justin Sybrandt, Ilya Tyagin, Michael Shtutman, Ilya Safro “AGATHA: Automatic Graph-mining and Transformer based Hypothesis Generation Approach”, 29TH ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM), preprint at, 2020
  3. Ruslan Shaydulin, Ilya Safro, Jeffrey Larson “Multistart Methods for Quantum Approximate Optimization”, accepted at IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC) 2019 (best student paper award), preprint at
  4. Ruslan Shaydulin, Hayato Ushijima-Mwesigwa, Christian F.A. Negre, Ilya Safro, Susan M. Mniszewski, Yuri Alexeev “Hybrid Approach for Solving Optimization Problems on Small Quantum Computers”, IEEE Computer, vol. 52(6), pp. 18-26, download, 2019
  5. Ehsan Sadrfaridpour, Talayeh Razzaghi, Ilya Safro “Engineering fast multilevel support vector machines”, Machine Learning, Vol. 108, Issue 11, 1879-1917, 2019, Springer, preprint at arXiv:1707.07657
  6. Ruslan Shaydulin, Jie Chen, Ilya Safro “Relaxation-Based Coarsening for Multilevel Hypergraph Partitioning”, SIAM Multiscale Modeling and Simulations, vol. 17, issue 1, pp. 482-506, 2019, preprint at
  7. Justin Sybrandt, Michael Shtutman, Ilya Safro “MOLIERE: Automatic Biomedical Hypothesis Generation System”, Proceedings of the 23rd ACM SIGKDD International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, pp. 1633-1642, 2017, preprint at
  8. Dorit Ron, Ilya Safro, Achi Brandt, “Relaxation-based coarsening and multiscale graph organization”, SIAM Multiscale Modeling and Simulations, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 407-423, 2011, preprint at
  9. Jie Chen, Ilya Safro, “Algebraic Distance on Graphs”, SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, Vol. 33, No. 6, pp. 3468-3490, 2011, preprint at
  10. Ilya Safro, Dorit Ron, Achi Brandt, “Graph Minimum Linear Arrangement by Multilevel Weighted Edge Contractions”, Journal of Algorithms, vol. 60/1, pp. 24-41, 2006, preprint at

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