The USC Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering is the Viterbi School’s largest. With over 14,000 electrical engineering graduates, half of whom reside in California, it’s one of the largest of its kind in the nation.
The USC network in the Bay Area has grown over the past few years. Staying connected with this network is a main goal for the Ming Hsieh Institute (MHI), which is part of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering in the USC Viterbi School. On June 13, 2013, MHI hosted an alumni reception in San Jose for electrical engineers to reconnect with former classmates, collaborate with local engineering alumni, and learn about exciting accomplishments of USC Viterbi.
From left to right: Anada Roy ’05, Vasanth Namasivayam ’06, Dean Yortsos, Chandrasekar Viswanathan ’94, Pirzad Motafram ’06, and Sumit Bhargava ’04
The event began with an hour of networking, followed by welcome remarks from Professor Shri Narayanan, Director of the Ming Hsieh Institute. He gave an overview of MHI and explained that “staying connected with alums is one of our main goals for enhancing innovation and excellence.” Professor Narayanan is hopeful that a strong connection will be beneficial to alumni, as well as our department and the community as a whole.
In the past, former alumni voiced a desire for a quick overview of research being conducted in the department. Subsequently, after a short welcome, Department Chairs Sandeep Gupta and Eun Sok Kim gave a sketch of the department, highlighting new faculty, publications and achievements.
“What types of activities and programs should the department create to harness the enthusiasm and commitment of its alumni, as well as to contribute to their intellectual and professional lives?” asked department chair Sandeep Gupta. “With events like this, we try to keep in touch. We also want to hear from alumni.”
The department chairs expressed that the event program evolved from alumni suggestions, such as scheduling technical talks from selected faculty to provide examples of research underway. As such, Urbashi Mitra, professor of electrical engineering, gave an interactive presentation on current research she is working on at USC with Wireless Communications Research: Beyond CELLULAR. “I really enjoyed listening to recent research projects happening in the department,” responded one attendee. After Professor Mitra’s presentation, alumni interacted with her one on one.
Following the faculty research presentation, alumnus Dr. David Kyser, who received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in 1967, shared an inspiring retrospective about his experience at USC and since.
David Kyser, Ph.D. ’67
Talking about his days at USC, Dr. Kyser explained how he learned the value of studying under world-class faculty on how to conduct research and the importance of publishing. He also talked about his 45 years of industry experience and how he learned to value teamwork and the importance of developing a professional network. His professional interests and activities include all aspects of integrated circuit microfabrication, life membership in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), leadership in professional conferences such as the Electronic Materials Symposium and the IEEE Lithography Workshop, and over 75 publications to his credit in the scientific literature.
“There is more to life than Engineering.” Dr. Kyser continued, providing personal advice to younger alumni, encouraging them not to neglect their spiritual life, as it can help you get through the inevitable career bumps. In the past, Dr. Kyser served on the Electrical Engineering Advisory Board. He explained the importance of staying connected with USC and concluded with, “if you remember nothing else, I have season tickets to home football games, and I hope we can beat UCLA and Stanford this year – FIGHT ON!”
MHI Director Shri Narayanan and Bob Lainez ’81
Thanks to alumni participation and suggestions, the event was a success with over 50 electrical engineers from companies such as Apple, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, and Oracle.
The reception was made extra special by the attendance of Viterbi School Dean Yannis C. Yortsos who spoke about recent USC Viterbi achievements. “USC Viterbi School of Engineering was ranked in the top ten engineering schools in North America by U.S.News & World Report,” said Dean Yortsos. He also spoke about the USC Viterbi Startup Garage, an early-stage technology accelerator designed to provide financial and other strategic resources to a select group of USC student and alumni entrepreneurs, which was a popular topic later in the evening.
“As a USC Viterbi graduate, you have a lot to be proud of, and we need to make sure the USC network in the Bay Area is as strong and as proud as it should be,” said Viterbi School Dean Yannis Yortsos. Along with Dean Yortsos, the Ming Hsieh Institute is focused on fostering the Bay Area Network.