I am applying for a doctoral position in Yale University, in the Department of Electrical
Engineering. Considering my foundations in both theoretical and practical aspects of Computer
Science, Engineering and Mathematics, excellent performance during my studies (top 4%),
proficiency in programming, and experience working in academic settings (finishing a yearlong
Master’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 in
being admitted to an intended university when I first took the National Exams due to having
fundamental knowledge gaps in Mathematics and Physics. However, I was persistent, trying a
second time the following year, and entering one of the most competitive engineering schools in
Greece with grades in Mathematics and Physics at approximately top 1% of the country. During that
extra year I greatly strengthened my skills in Mathematics, and eventually my work paid off, both at
the exams and during my university years.
In my time in the university, I concluded that I am interested in researching challenging
problems with an underlying structure and frequently of dynamical nature, drawing from theories of
Computer Science and Mathematics. Courses like Algorithms and Complexity, Stochastic
Processes, Systems Performance, Neural Networks and Intelligent Systems (enrolled now in
campus) and Social Networks Analysis (audited) were very influential to the development of my
research 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 the
corresponding 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 the
students, and making sure it is always accessible. After a substantial part of the website was
completed, 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 the
reconstruction of the website of the School.
The last year I have also been introduced to formal research as part of the Network
Management & Optimal Design Laboratory (NETMODE) under the Supervision of Professor S.
Papavassiliou, where I have been working with members of the laboratory, on a problem of
Resource Allocation, in Wireless Sensor Networks, which we have formulated as an optimization
problem of conflicting objectives (maximizing sensing coverage, minimizing energy consumed). The
setting of the problem consists of opaque convex obstacles, and randomly deployed sensors with
varying 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 the
ratio of the objectives. Our intention is to publish the results of our proposed methods in the coming
Throughout my studies, I was also informally exploring problems or new ideas, inspired by
my studies or extracurricular stimuli. A problem I conceived of a blind predator targeting an in
general moving and potentially conscious prey, in which the predator is only given information on
the distance from the prey, is an exemplar of those exploration projects. The objective in this
problem is to find an optimal strategy for both entities. I have offered an efficient strategy for the
predator and I intend to continue studying that problem or modifications of it, considering
neuroevolutionary 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 is
frequently an important part of the way I research a topic.
Network Science, combining theories of graph theory, statistics, and other disciplines, while
having an interdisciplinary flavour, is collectively a fascinating emerging field which can fulfil my
broad interests. Provided that, the work of Professor Leandros Tassiulas is in proximity to my
interests as well as to the work I have done in my Thesis. Furthermore my solid understanding of
networks and the engineering constraints imposed across the various network layers will allow me
to adapt quickly and effectively to certain research areas covered; As a result I believe Professor
Tassiulas would be an appropriate advisor and I would be thrilled to work with him. Additionally
there are a few other researchers in the systems section of EE I could also work with, making the
overall environment suitable for my development.
Characterized by curiosity, tendency to look for existing patterns as well as to analyze the
nature and structure of problems, makes the PhD a fitting and exciting path. My intention, in that
period, is to get engaged with academic activities and conferences, become prolific and have
impact in the fields of my interest with meaningful work, and put emphasis on research by
cooperation (apart from independent work), something that I truly enjoyed during my time in
NETMODE. I would also enjoy to engage in teaching activities were I given the opportunity. After
the completion of the PhD, my initial plan is to continue as a Postdoctoral Researcher or in a related
Research and Development position.
My work, dedication, and non-saturating passion for the field led to a huge progress for me
as an individual as well as a potential researcher over the last five years. The natural extension and
culmination of that growth, I am confident, will be those graduate studies, and I would be happy to
pursue them in ?Yale.