Javad Lavaei is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. He received the Ph.D. degree in Control & Dynamical Systems from California Institute of Technology in 2011, and worked as a postdoc in Electrical Engineering and Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University from 2011 to 2012. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Milton and Francis Clauser Doctoral Prize for the best university-wide Ph.D. thesis, Canadian Governor General's Gold Medal, Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools Master's Thesis Award, 2011 New Face of Engineering, and Silver Medal in the 1999 International Mathematical Olympiad. Lavaei works in the intersection of control theory, power systems, and optimization theory. His current research is focused on the design of the electric grid of the future (known as Smart Grid). In particular, he works on the optimization techniques specialized for energy systems with the aim of solving hard nonconvex problems, such as the 50-year-old optimal power flow problem. In the past, he has also worked on the application of control and optimization in communications, circuits, networks, and computer science.