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Events Calendar



Events for March 25, 2014

  • Repeating EventASBME Eboard Applications Open

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Organizations

    Student Activity


    Available until Friday, March 28th at 11:59pm.

    ASBME wants YOU to be a part of our 2014-2015 Executive Board! We are looking for dedicated and hard-working individuals who are in eager to take on leadership roles to push ASBME to be the best it can be. Everyone is encouraged to apply! Check out our application for more information and APPLY!! Click on the following link for the application. https://docs.google.com/a/usc.edu/forms/d/1HrVrJQ3C8OtqP4BysDAd5KYgcL5aBXSczAABxrin4AI/viewfor

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

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    Posted By: Associated Students of Biomedical Engineering

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  • Epstein ISE Department Seminar

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Ali E. Abbas, Art Davis Faculty Scholar, Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Talk Title: "Bracing for Today's National Security Decisions"

    Abstract: Some of the significant features of our era include the prevalence of large-scale systems; advances in artificial intelligence, medicine and public policy; the role of social networks in predicting behavior and toppling governments, and the presence of multiple stakeholders with multiple objectives. Amidst these features lie eminent possibilities of cyber and biological attacks that pose significant threats to our infrastructure; liberty and pursuit of happiness. To remain ahead, National security policies within this era must proactively capitalize on advancements in different disciplines using multidisciplinary teams that can operate together coherently and communicate their results to policy makers.

    In this talk, I will show examples of how tools derived in different disciplines can be unified into a theory of decision making that enhances national security decisions. These tools include connections between advances in utility theory (economics) and information theory to better predict adversary behavior; connections between the recent advances in multiattribute utility theory and controls theory for better mechanisms of information gathering with unmanned vehicles in hostile environments; ongoing work on connections between social networks and public policy, and essential decision analysis tools tailored to guide planetary defense missions conducted by NASA.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
    RONALD TUTOR HALL (RTH) ROOM 526
    10:00 - 11:00 AM


    Biography: Ali E. Abbas received an M.S. in electrical engineering; M.S. in engineering economic systems & operations research; PhD in management science and engineering, and PhD minor in electrical engineering all from the school of engineering at Stanford University. His research interests include all aspects of decision making under uncertainty (broadly defined), information theory, signal processing, artificial intelligence, and bioinformatics. He is co-author of two forthcoming books “The Foundations of Decision Analysis” with Ronald Howard, and the single-author book “the Foundations of Multiattribute Utility”. He is also an associate Editor for both the Operations Research and Decision Analysis journals of INFORMS and is the decision analysis area editor for IIE Transactions.

    Dr. Abbas is the Art Davis Faculty Scholar in the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He previously worked as a Lecturer in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University and in Schlumberger Oilfield Services, where he held several international positions in Wireline logging, operations management, and international training. He has organized numerous workshops including the decision analysis tracks of INFORMS 2007, 2008 and the Bayesian inference and Maximum Entropy conference in 2005. He received numerous National Science Foundation Awards including the National Science Foundation Career Award in 2008; the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS (DAS) Best Publication Award in 2011; the National Science Foundation I-Corps award in 2012, and the Decision Analysis Society of INFORMS first runner up and second runner up publication awards in 2013. Dr. Abbas’ work has been featured in numerous media outlets including CBS, The Huffington Post, the WSJ, the National Science Foundation (NSF) discoveries, INFORMS Podcasts, and he has had a recent TV appearance on “Chicago Tonight”. Dr. Abbas has also been invited to attend economic policy discussions on social welfare at the Houses of Parliament.


    Host: Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    More Information: Seminar-Abbas.doc

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 526

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Georgia Lum

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  • Career Advisement in th E-Quad

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Services

    Receptions & Special Events


    Viterbi Career Services (VCS) will be offering career advisement on March 25th from 11:00-2:00pm in the E-Quad. Drop by our table to get answers to your job/internship search questions, Viterbi connectSC, or get feedback on your resume. Don’t have a resume? Don’t have questions? Come by our table just to introduce yourself and hear more about our services. We’d love to meet you!

    Location: E-Quad

    Audiences: All Viterbi Students

    Posted By: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Services

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  • Astani CEE Department Seminar

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Chiara Villani , Purdue University

    Talk Title: Transport Processes in Partially Saturated Concrete: Testing and Influence of Liquid Properties

    Abstract: The interest of the scientific community in transport properties of cementitious materials is motivated by their relevance in the service life prediction, an attractive instrument to move towards more sustainable construction practices. This aspect has encouraged the development of several transport tests. However, designing a transport test that is sensitive, robust, easy to perform, that provides a material property seems to be a real challenge in the case of concrete. Permeability tests have been proved to be highly sensitive to several parameters. In this context, this study aimed at investigating existing gas transport tests comparing their performance in terms of repeatability and variability. The influence of several parameters was investigated such as moisture content, mixture proportions and gas flow. A closer look to the influence of pressure revealed an anomalous trend of permeability with respect to pressure. An alternative calculation is proposed in an effort to move towards the determination of intrinsic material properties.

    The impact of deicing salts exposure was also analyzed with respect to gas transport of cementitious materials focusing on their alteration of the drying processes. Limited information were previously available on liquid properties such as surface tension, viscosity, water activity in presence of deicing salts over a wide range of concentrations. To overcome this limitation, this study quantified those properties in a broad concentration range and at different temperatures. Existing models were applied to predict the change of fluid properties during drying. Desorption tests were performed to investigate the influence of deicing salts presence on the non-linear moisture diffusion coefficient. In an effort to predict moisture profiles semi-empirical models were applied to quantify the initiation and the rate of drying using liquid properties and pore structure information as inputs. Concrete exposed to deicing salts resulted to have a reduced gas transport due to the higher degree of saturation (DOS). This is believed to contribute to the premature deterioration observed in concrete pavements exposed to deicing salts.


    Biography: Chiara Villani is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin. Prior to Purdue University, she worked as a researcher in the CEMEX Research Group AG characterizing low carbon footprint fiber-reinforced self-compacting composites. While at Purdue, she investigated limitations and potentials of existing and new transport tests for permeability evaluations. She analyzed the deterioration mechanisms associated with deicing salts presence focusing on their influence on the drying process of cementitious materials. She has also contributed to the mechanical and microstructural characterization of sustainable composites containing supplementary cementitious materials and of composites cured with carbon dioxide. Her research interests include development and characterization of sustainable cementitious materials, drying processes in cementitious composites and durability of concrete structures.

    Host: Astani CEE Department

    Location: Kaprielian Hall (KAP) - 209

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Cassie Cremeans

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  • Sparse Representation in Highly Coherent Dictionary by Minimizing Difference of L1 and L2

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Prof. Jack Xin, University of California, Irvine

    Talk Title: Sparse Representation in Highly Coherent Dictionary by Minimizing Difference of L1 and L2

    Series: Medical Imaging Seminar Series

    Abstract: Over-complete bases appear in human visual and auditory systems and related mathematical constructions such as Gabor frames and Gammatone filters. Though one gains robustness and resolution, finding an optimal compact representation requires minimization of sparsity or L0. The L1 norm is an effective convex proxy that works very well when dictionary elements (basis vectors) are incoherent enough. However, it may fail when some of the basis vectors are nearly aligned or degeneracy appears (loss of uniqueness of minimizer). We introduce a Lipschitz continuous non-convex alternative, the difference of L1 and L2 norms, and show its analytical and numerical properties for sparse recovery in highly coherent dictionaries. We present the difference of convex algorithms, their convergence and enhancement by sparsity driven simulated annealing strategies. Applications include over-sampled discrete cosine transform, optical spectroscopy, image denoising and reconstruction.



    Biography: ack Xin received his B.S in computational mathematics at Peking University in 1985, and Ph.D. in applied mathematics at New York University in 1990. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley and Princeton in 1991 and 1992. He was assistant and associate professor of mathematics at the University of Arizona from 1991 to 1999. He was a professor of mathematics from 1999 to 2005 at the University of Texas at Austin. He has been a professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, Center for Hearing Research, Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences, and Center for Mathematical and Computational Biology at UC Irvine since 2005. He is a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Mathematical Society. His research interests include applied analysis and computation in nonlinear and multi-scale problems, mathematical modeling and signal processing. He authored two Springer books and is involved in undergraduate research training and mentoring such as the iCAMP funded by the NSF.



    Host: Hosted By Dr. Angel Pineda

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia Veal

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  • Epstein Institute / ISE 651 Seminar Series

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jordan B. L. Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London

    Talk Title: "Using Large Datasets to Understand the Perception of Structure in Music"

    Series: Epstein Institute Seminar Series

    Abstract: The perception of grouping structure in music is one of the most fundamental and yet poorly understood aspects of listening. Grouping structure refers to how a listener divides a sequence of sounds into segments, and groups these segments together recursively. This process is somewhat automatic at the shortest timescales, but modelling how the mind forms larger groups is a formidable challenge. I will present two projects that seek to improve our understanding of what musical attributes listeners are most likely to focus on.

    The first is a study of the correlation between acoustic changes and the perception of boundaries, and is based on an analysis of SALAMI, a large collection of structural annotations. While datasets like this are generally used for evaluating analysis algorithms, we have repurposed SALAMI to study the inverse problem: deducing how listeners interpret acoustic signals as structured events. We computed smoothed differential functions of a number of musical features and observed how often moments of change coincided with boundaries and non-boundaries. Reinforcing and extending results from psychological experiments, we found that a change in some musical feature is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a point in time to be considered a boundary, and that the number of simultaneous changes in different musical features correlates with the salience of the boundary.

    In the second project, we developed a tool that seeks to identify the acoustic parameters a listener was plausibly focusing on when they analyzed the piece. Our approach uses multiple self-similarity matrices, which are often used to detect repeated patterns for music structure analysis. Using Quadratic Programming, we find the optimal piece-wise combination of matrices to reproduce the listener's analysis, resulting in a time-series estimate of the listener's attentional focus. Examples illustrate many aspects of listener disagreements, such as the origin and independent plausibility of conflicting interpretations.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
    VON KLEINSMID CENTER (VKC) ROOM 100
    3:30 - 4:50 PM


    Biography: Jordan B. L. Smith is a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London, studying with Prof. Elaine Chew. He received his M.Sc. in operations research engineering in 2012 at University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA, USA), his M.A. in music technology in 2010 at McGill University (Montreal, QC, Canada), and in 2006 his A.B. in music and physics at Harvard College (Cambridge, MA, USA).

    As a research assistant at McGill, he planned and implemented the collection of ground truth for the Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI) project. His current research, which focuses on differences among listeners in the perception of musical structure, has been published in IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and at the ACM Conference on Multimedia, and he has delivered talks on the subject at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and at the Digital Music Research Network.

    In 2012, Smith was awarded doctoral fellowships from both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec; both agencies also awarded him a master’s fellowship in 2009. He was awarded a Provost’s Ph.D. fellowship from the University of Southern California in 2010.


    Host: Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    More Information: Seminar-Smith_Jordan.doc

    Location: Von Kleinsmid Center For International & Public Affairs (VKC) - Room 100

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Georgia Lum

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  • Epstein Institute / ISE 651 Seminar Series

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jordan B. L. Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London

    Talk Title: "Using Large Datasets to Understand the Perception of Structure in Music"

    Series: Epstein Institute Seminar Series

    Abstract: The perception of grouping structure in music is one of the most fundamental and yet poorly understood aspects of listening. Grouping structure refers to how a listener divides a sequence of sounds into segments, and groups these segments together recursively. This process is somewhat automatic at the shortest timescales, but modelling how the mind forms larger groups is a formidable challenge. I will present two projects that seek to improve our understanding of what musical attributes listeners are most likely to focus on.

    The first is a study of the correlation between acoustic changes and the perception of boundaries, and is based on an analysis of SALAMI, a large collection of structural annotations. While datasets like this are generally used for evaluating analysis algorithms, we have repurposed SALAMI to study the inverse problem: deducing how listeners interpret acoustic signals as structured events. We computed smoothed differential functions of a number of musical features and observed how often moments of change coincided with boundaries and non-boundaries. Reinforcing and extending results from psychological experiments, we found that a change in some musical feature is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a point in time to be considered a boundary, and that the number of simultaneous changes in different musical features correlates with the salience of the boundary.

    In the second project, we developed a tool that seeks to identify the acoustic parameters a listener was plausibly focusing on when they analyzed the piece. Our approach uses multiple self-similarity matrices, which are often used to detect repeated patterns for music structure analysis. Using Quadratic Programming, we find the optimal piece-wise combination of matrices to reproduce the listener’s analysis, resulting in a time-series estimate of the listener's attentional focus. Examples illustrate many aspects of listener disagreements, such as the origin and independent plausibility of conflicting interpretations.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
    VON KLEINSMID CENTER (VKC) ROOM 100
    3:30 - 4:50 PM


    Biography: Jordan B. L. Smith is a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London, studying with Prof. Elaine Chew. He received his M.Sc. in operations research engineering in 2012 at University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA, USA), his M.A. in music technology in 2010 at McGill University (Montreal, QC, Canada), and in 2006 his A.B. in music and physics at Harvard College (Cambridge, MA, USA).

    As a research assistant at McGill, he planned and implemented the collection of ground truth for the Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI) project. His current research, which focuses on differences among listeners in the perception of musical structure, has been published in IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and at the ACM Conference on Multimedia, and he has delivered talks on the subject at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and at the Digital Music Research Network.

    In 2012, Smith was awarded doctoral fellowships from both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec; both agencies also awarded him a master's fellowship in 2009. He was awarded a Provost's Ph.D. fellowship from the University of Southern California in 2010.


    Host: Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    More Information: Seminar-Smith_Jordan.doc

    Location: Room 100

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Georgia Lum

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  • Epstein Institute / ISE 651 Seminar Series

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jordan B. L. Smith, Ph.D. Candidate, Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London

    Talk Title: "Using Large Datasets to Understand the Perception of Structure in Music"

    Series: Epstein Institute Seminar Series

    Abstract: The perception of grouping structure in music is one of the most fundamental and yet poorly understood aspects of listening. Grouping structure refers to how a listener divides a sequence of sounds into segments, and groups these segments together recursively. This process is somewhat automatic at the shortest timescales, but modelling how the mind forms larger groups is a formidable challenge. I will present two projects that seek to improve our understanding of what musical attributes listeners are most likely to focus on.

    The first is a study of the correlation between acoustic changes and the perception of boundaries, and is based on an analysis of SALAMI, a large collection of structural annotations. While datasets like this are generally used for evaluating analysis algorithms, we have repurposed SALAMI to study the inverse problem: deducing how listeners interpret acoustic signals as structured events. We computed smoothed differential functions of a number of musical features and observed how often moments of change coincided with boundaries and non-boundaries. Reinforcing and extending results from psychological experiments, we found that a change in some musical feature is a necessary but not sufficient condition for a point in time to be considered a boundary, and that the number of simultaneous changes in different musical features correlates with the salience of the boundary.

    In the second project, we developed a tool that seeks to identify the acoustic parameters a listener was plausibly focusing on when they analyzed the piece. Our approach uses multiple self-similarity matrices, which are often used to detect repeated patterns for music structure analysis. Using Quadratic Programming, we find the optimal piece-wise combination of matrices to reproduce the listener’s analysis, resulting in a time-series estimate of the listener’s attentional focus. Examples illustrate many aspects of listener disagreements, such as the origin and independent plausibility of conflicting interpretations.

    TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2014
    VON KLEINSMID CENTER (VKC) ROOM 100
    3:30 - 4:50 PM


    Biography: Jordan B. L. Smith is a Ph.D. candidate at the Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London, studying with Prof. Elaine Chew. He received his M.Sc. in operations research engineering in 2012 at University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA, USA), his M.A. in music technology in 2010 at McGill University (Montreal, QC, Canada), and in 2006 his A.B. in music and physics at Harvard College (Cambridge, MA, USA).

    As a research assistant at McGill, he planned and implemented the collection of ground truth for the Structural Analysis of Large Amounts of Music Information (SALAMI) project. His current research, which focuses on differences among listeners in the perception of musical structure, has been published in IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and at the ACM Conference on Multimedia, and he has delivered talks on the subject at the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and at the Digital Music Research Network.

    In 2012, Smith was awarded doctoral fellowships from both the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Fonds de recherche du Québec; both agencies also awarded him a master’s fellowship in 2009. He was awarded a Provost’s Ph.D. fellowship from the University of Southern California in 2010.


    Host: Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    More Information: Seminar-Smith_Jordan.doc

    Location: Von Kleinsmid Center For International & Public Affairs (VKC) - Room 100

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Georgia Lum

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  • VARC Workshop: Dealing with Procrastination

    Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? If you ask yourself that question a lot, then this is the workshop for you! We'll cover techniques you can use to help get over that procrastination habit so you're not cramming for exams at the last minute.

    RSVP online at bit.ly/VARC_Workshops

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 211

    Audiences: Undergrad

    Posted By: Viterbi Academic Resource Center

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