Elfarouk Harb

PhD Student at UIUC.

About Me

Hi, my name is Farouk! I am a first year PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in the CS theory group. I enjoy thinking about recreational math and combinatorial optimization problems. In my free time, I enjoy creating Youtube videos about problem solving. Prior to joining UIUC, I worked at Citadel as a Quantitative Trader in the index arbitrage team.

Publications and Projects

KFC: A Scalable Approximation Algorithm for k-center Fair Clustering


NeurIPS 2020

Speeding up the AIFV-2 dynamic programs by two orders of magnitude using Range Minimum Queries


Theoretical Computer Science Journal

Polynomial Time Algorithms for Constructing Optimal AIFV Codes


DCC 2019. Extended Version submitted to IEEE Transaction on Information Theory.

Greedy Approximation Framework for Top-k Diverse Topological Sorts.



Citadel Securities


Quant Trader

July 2019 - July 2021

Rewrote the simulation system and some strategy code using Python 3 and C++11 that resulted in a 15x speedup on simulation runtimes.

Credit Suisse


Technology Analyst Intern

June 2018 - August 2018

Implemented a recommender system for recommending financial instruments to potential customers. 92% of users reported improved recommendations in their feed



Software Engineering Intern

June 2017 - August 2017

Built a Restful speech-to-text back-end service that transcribes audio files into text and inserts them into a Google Spreadsheet with Flask and MongoDB. The code freed 32 working hours daily for the firm.


Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Double Major in Mathematics and Computer Science (First Class Honors)


GPA: 3.932/4.300. Academic Achievment Medal For being in Top 2% of CGAs.

A Little More About Me

Alongside my interests in software engineering and combinatorial optimization, some of my other interests and hobbies are:

  • Creating Youtube videos
  • Gaming
  • Playing Chess