I would like to acknowledge all who have helped me reach my dreams.

I am incredibly thankful for my advisor, Professor Amelia Regan. She has stood by my side and supported me every step of the way through my graduate studies. I am also grateful for my longtime mentors and dear friends, Professors Frank Vahid and Tony Givargis. They both have tirelessly supported and advised me throughout my career. I am forever indebted to them for their generosity and support. Without their help, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I am thankful for my parents and my brother for supporting me all of my life, and for their sacrifices for me to pursue my dreams. I dedicate my life and works to them.

I would like to give a special thanks to my cousin and dear friend, Farbod Misaghian, who has believed in me and has been a role-model for me in my academic endeavor.

Finally, I thank all of my friends and family for their kindness and support.