I am applying for a doctoral position in Yale University, in the Department of ElectricalEngineering. Considering my foundations in both theoretical and practical aspects of ComputerScience, Engineering and Mathematics, excellent performance during my studies (top 4%),proficiency in programming, and experience working in academic settings (finishing a yearlongMaster’s Thesis), I am positive I would be a valuable addition to the program.While my interest in programming goes back to high school, I did not initially succeed inbeing admitted to an intended university when I first took the National Exams due to havingfundamental knowledge gaps in Mathematics and Physics.
However, I was persistent, trying asecond time the following year, and entering one of the most competitive engineering schools inGreece with grades in Mathematics and Physics at approximately top 1% of the country. During thatextra year I greatly strengthened my skills in Mathematics, and eventually my work paid off, both atthe exams and during my university years.In my time in the university, I concluded that I am interested in researching challengingproblems with an underlying structure and frequently of dynamical nature, drawing from theories ofComputer Science and Mathematics. Courses like Algorithms and Complexity, StochasticProcesses, Systems Performance, Neural Networks and Intelligent Systems (enrolled now incampus) and Social Networks Analysis (audited) were very influential to the development of myresearch interests. I enrolled in many mathematical courses to further extend my analytical skills(Something I plan to keep improving in my doctoral studies).For the past two years I have been tasked by the Dean of the School of Civil Engineering,NTUA, D. Koutsoyiannis, to recreate the main website of the School. I also administrate thecorresponding servers.
This job requires, apart from being adept at a wide variety of technical fields,handling the responsibility of being in charge of an official site which includes vital services for thestudents, and making sure it is always accessible. After a substantial part of the website wascompleted, I was invited to join the development team of ECE NTUA, where Associate Professor G.Stamou was directing us according to Human-Computer Interaction paradigms, for thereconstruction of the website of the School.The last year I have also been introduced to formal research as part of the NetworkManagement & Optimal Design Laboratory (NETMODE) under the Supervision of Professor S.Papavassiliou, where I have been working with members of the laboratory, on a problem ofResource Allocation, in Wireless Sensor Networks, which we have formulated as an optimizationproblem of conflicting objectives (maximizing sensing coverage, minimizing energy consumed). Thesetting of the problem consists of opaque convex obstacles, and randomly deployed sensors withvarying sensing ranges.
In that setting we have provided deterministic and randomized centralized approaches, as well as a more pragmatic local variation, in order to achieve global optimality of theratio of the objectives. Our intention is to publish the results of our proposed methods in the comingmonths.Throughout my studies, I was also informally exploring problems or new ideas, inspired bymy studies or extracurricular stimuli.
A problem I conceived of a blind predator targeting an ingeneral moving and potentially conscious prey, in which the predator is only given information onthe distance from the prey, is an exemplar of those exploration projects. The objective in thisproblem is to find an optimal strategy for both entities. I have offered an efficient strategy for thepredator and I intend to continue studying that problem or modifications of it, consideringneuroevolutionary techniques. Some of my projects can be found in my personal site(https://ctsan.github.io).
Most of them are based on visualizations and simulations, which isfrequently an important part of the way I research a topic.Network Science, combining theories of graph theory, statistics, and other disciplines, whilehaving an interdisciplinary flavour, is collectively a fascinating emerging field which can fulfil mybroad interests. Provided that, the work of Professor Leandros Tassiulas is in proximity to myinterests as well as to the work I have done in my Thesis. Furthermore my solid understanding ofnetworks and the engineering constraints imposed across the various network layers will allow meto adapt quickly and effectively to certain research areas covered; As a result I believe ProfessorTassiulas would be an appropriate advisor and I would be thrilled to work with him. Additionallythere are a few other researchers in the systems section of EE I could also work with, making theoverall environment suitable for my development.Characterized by curiosity, tendency to look for existing patterns as well as to analyze thenature and structure of problems, makes the PhD a fitting and exciting path.
My intention, in thatperiod, is to get engaged with academic activities and conferences, become prolific and haveimpact in the fields of my interest with meaningful work, and put emphasis on research bycooperation (apart from independent work), something that I truly enjoyed during my time inNETMODE. I would also enjoy to engage in teaching activities were I given the opportunity. Afterthe completion of the PhD, my initial plan is to continue as a Postdoctoral Researcher or in a relatedResearch and Development position.
My work, dedication, and non-saturating passion for the field led to a huge progress for meas an individual as well as a potential researcher over the last five years. The natural extension andculmination of that growth, I am confident, will be those graduate studies, and I would be happy topursue them in ?Yale.