Seyed Rasoul Etesami

10/27/2016 9:09:52 AM Rebecca Nash, ECE ILLINOIS

ECE ILLINOIS alums are some of the most interesting people we know. To celebrate them, we’ve decided to ask them questions both serious and fun. Here, you’ll find their Ten Answers.

Seyed Rasoul Etesami received a BSEE from Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran, in 2010. He then joined the University of Illinois to complete his MS degree in Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering in 2012 and earned his PhD from ECE ILLINOIS in 2015. He is the winner of the first annual CSL PhD Thesis Award for his thesis, “Potential-Based Analysis of Social, Communication, and Distributed Networks.” 

Currently, he is a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University where he is working on developing new models for design and analysis of smart grids. His research interests include social and distributed networks, networked games, smart grids and resource allocation, algorithm design, and computational complexity.

What was your favorite ECE class?

My favorite course was ECE 580: Optimization with vector spaces methods. I especially liked this course for two reasons. First, it was taught by my own PhD advisor, ECE Professor Tamer Başar, and many of my officemates and friends were attending that class. Second, the course contained interesting mathematical tools which were quite helpful in my PhD studies with many applications, although the course itself was quite abstract.

What's one of your favorite quotes?

There are many interesting quotes that I have heard or seen around, but I particularly like the one which says: “Oh God! Please give me something that you like the most for me, not the one that I like the most.” I first learned this quote in a literature book in high school, describing a spiritual connection between a person and his creator. Many times in my life I was wishing for something that was not important, but luckily I did not receive it!

Where would you like to visit?

My country, Iran. Specifically the house where I spent my childhood.

When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you spend it?

If I am at home, I cook something or go outside for a walk. If I am in the office, I usually read news from all over the world. If I am out, I call friends to chat or go out to eat. 

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

An eagle! I always like flying freely.

Do you have a secret talent, and if so, what is it?

I do not think I have a secret talent. Although If I did, I would not speak about it, otherwise it would not be “secret” anymore!

If you could spend an hour with anyone, alive or deceased, who would it be?    

I would definitely choose my father. He passed away when I was very young, but his lessons and thoughts have always been an inspiration. Both of us would have so many things to talk about!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Try your best, be patient, and believe.

What was your happiest moment?

My marriage ceremony.

Who's been the biggest influence on your life?

I think all the people who have been actively involved in my life, such as my family members, teachers, advisors, and close friends, were very influential. I think of them like a chain, tightly linked together. It is very hard for me to point at any specific person.