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Events for March 30, 2018

  • Meet USC: Admission Presentation, Campus Tour, and Engineering Talk

    Fri, Mar 30, 2018

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    University Calendar

    This half day program is designed for prospective freshmen (HS juniors and younger) and family members. Meet USC includes an information session on the University and the Admission process, a student led walking tour of campus, and a meeting with us in the Viterbi School. During the engineering session we will discuss the curriculum, research opportunities, hands-on projects, entrepreneurial support programs, and other aspects of the engineering school. Meet USC is designed to answer all of your questions about USC, the application process, and financial aid.

    Reservations are required for Meet USC. This program occurs twice, once at 8:30 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m.

    Please make sure to check availability and register online for the session you wish to attend. Also, remember to list an Engineering major as your "intended major" on the webform!


    Location: Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC) - USC Admission Office

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Viterbi Admission


    Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Dr. Lily Lai, Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery, City of Hope

    Talk Title: Utilization of Engineering in Cancer Care

    Host: Dr. Prata & EHP

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 101

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Su Stevens

  • EE-EP Faculty Candidate - Mercedeh Khajavikhan, Friday, March 30th @ 2pm in EEB 132

    Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Mercedeh Khajavikhan, University of Central Florida

    Talk Title: Non-Hermitian Photonics: Optics at an Exceptional Point

    Abstract: In recent years, non-Hermitian degeneracies, also known as exceptional points (EPs), have emerged as a new paradigm for engineering the response of optical systems. At such points, an N-dimensional space can be represented by a single eigenvalue and an eigenvector. As a result, these points are associated with abrupt phase transition in parameter space. Among many different non-conservative photonic configurations, parity-time (PT) symmetric systems are of particular interest since they provide a powerful platform to explore and consequently utilize the physics of exceptional points in a systematic manner. In this talk, I will review some of our recent works in the area of non-Hermitian (mainly PT-symmetric) active photonics. For example, in a series of works, we have demonstrated how the generation and judicial utilization of these points in laser systems can result in unexpected dynamics, unusual linewidth behavior, and improved modal response. On the other hand, biasing a photonic system at an exceptional point can lead to orders of magnitude enhancement in sensitivity- an effect that may enable a new generation of ultrasensitive optical sensors on chip. Non-Hermiticity can also be used as a means to promote or single out an edge mode in photonic topological insulator lattices. This effect has been recently utilized to demonstrate the first magnetic free topological insulator laser. In this talk, I will also discuss other topological behaviors in non-Hermitian systems, especially those associated with encircling an exceptional point in parameter space.

    Biography: Mercedeh Khajavikhan received her Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 2009. Her dissertation was on coherent beam combining for high power laser applications. In 2009, she joined the University of California in San Diego as a postdoctoral researcher where she worked on the design and development of nanolasers, plasmonic devices, and silicon photonics components. Since August 2012, she is an assistant professor in the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) at the University of Central Florida (UCF), working primarily on novel phenomena in active photonic systems. She received the NSF Early CAREER Award in 2015, the ONR Young Investigator Award in 2016, and the University of central Florida Reach for the Stars Award in 2017.

    Host: EE-Electrophysics

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Marilyn Poplawski

  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Farimah Shirmohammadi, Astani CEE Ph.D. Student

    Talk Title: TBA

    Abstract: TBA

    Location: Ray R. Irani Hall (RRI) - 101

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Evangeline Reyes

  • NL Seminar-Generating Adversarial Examples with Syntactically Controlled Paraphrase Networks

    Fri, Mar 30, 2018 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Mohit Iyyer , AI2, UMass Amherst)

    Talk Title: Generating Adversarial Examples with Syntactically Controlled Paraphrase Networks

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: Many datasets for natural language processing problems lack linguistic variation, which hurts generalization of models trained on them. Recent research has shown that it is possible to break many learned models by evaluating them on adversarial examples, which are generated by manually introducing lexical, pragmatic, and syntactic variation to existing held-out examples from the data. Automating this process is challenging, as input semantics must be preserved in the face of potentially large sentence modifications. In this talk, I will focus specifically on syntactic variation in discussing our recent work on syntactically controlled paraphrase networks SCPN for adversarial example generation.
    Given a sentence and a target syntactic form e.g., a constituency parse, an SCPN is trained to produce a paraphrase of the sentence with the desired syntax. We show it is possible to create training data for this task by first doing back translation at a very large scale, and then using a parser to label the syntactic transformations that naturally occur during this process. Such data allows us to train a neural encoder decoder model with extra inputs to specify the target syntax. A combination of automated and human evaluations show that SCPNs generate paraphrases that almost always follow their target specifications without decreasing paraphrase quality when compared to baseline uncontrolled paraphrase systems. Furthermore, they are more capable of generating syntactically adversarial examples that both 1. Fool pretrained models and 2. improve the robustness of these models to syntactic variation when used for data augmentation.

    Biography: Mohit Iyyer will be joining UMass Amherst as an assistant professor in Fall 2018. Currently, he is a Young Investigator at the Allen Institute of Artificial Intelligence; prior to that, he received a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland, College Park, advised by Jordan Boyd Graber and Hal Daume III. His research interests lie at the intersection of natural language processing and machine learning. More specifically, he focuses on designing deep neural networks for both traditional NLP tasks e.g., question answering, language generation and new problems that involve creative language e.g., understanding narratives in novels). He has interned at MetaMind and Microsoft Research, and his research has won a best paper award at NAACL 2016 and a best demonstration award at NIPS 2015.

    Host: Nanyun Peng

    More Info: http://nlg.isi.edu/nl-seminar/

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - 11th Flr Conf Rm # 1135, Marina Del Rey

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Peter Zamar

    Event Link: http://nlg.isi.edu/nl-seminar/