Be prepared for the most joyful part of your life.
“This was what one of my professors at Shiraz University in Iran told me in the fall of 1986 when he learned that I was leaving the country to do my graduate studies at the University of Illinois,” says Mohammad Haghighat (’90), who’d go on to become a senior principal engineer at Silicon Valley-based tech giant Intel.
“He had done his own Ph.D. at UIUC years earlier, and he was absolutely right. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Illinois (1987-94), where I completed my master’s and Ph.D. in computer science.
“In addition to the privilege of doing my graduate research at the world’s top-notch research center in the field, I had access to one of the most incredible libraries in the world — the third-largest academic library nationwide, with over seven million books then.
"I had dedicated Friday afternoons to continue studying Persian literature, poetry and history on my own. I was always at the Persian section of the Asian Library, which was on the fourth floor of the main library, right above the stacks. I was spending so much time there that the director of the Asian Library would often consult me when they wanted to order Persian books.
“Oh, I really miss the magnificent Main Library of the University of Illinois. Many years after my graduation, whenever I visit UIUC, I make sure to visit the Main Library.”