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Events for April 04, 2019

  • Washington, DC - Admitted Student Reception

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    University Calendar

    These Admitted Student Programs, hosted by the Undergraduate Admission Office, provide admitted students and their families an opportunity to meet admission counselors, representatives from academic departments, alumni, and you will have the opportunity to meet other admitted students from your local area. Viterbi and University Admission counselors will be there to answer any questions you might have, tell you more about campus life and your specific academic program, and welcome you to the Trojan Family. The program will last approximately two hours.

    We love seeing our newly admitted students in person! if you live in or near a city we will be visiting, we encourage you to join us!

    Once admitted, students can find the RSVP link in their USC Applicant Portal.

    Audiences: Admitted Students & Family Members

    Contact: Viterbi Admission

  • CS Colloquium: Yixin Sun (Princeton University) - Providing secure Internet services with insecure infrastructure

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 09:30 AM - 10:30 AM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Yixin Sun, Princeton University

    Talk Title: Providing secure Internet services with insecure infrastructure

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: The insecurity of Internet services can lead to disastrous consequences -“ confidential communications can be monitored, financial information can be stolen, and our critical Internet infrastructure can be crippled. However, many prior works on Internet services only focus on the security of an individual network layer in isolation, whereas the adversaries do quite the opposite -“ they look for opportunities to exploit the interactions across heterogeneous components and layers to compromise the system security. This gap leaves the privacy and security of billions of users as well as our critical infrastructure at risk.
    I aim to bridge this gap to build privacy-preserving and secure Internet services. In this talk, I will focus on two Internet services, the Tor network and the Public Key Infrastructure. I have uncovered new vulnerabilities in these services by taking a cross-layer approach to exploit the interdependencies across different network layers. I have demonstrated attacks in the wild (ethically) to evaluate the real effects of vulnerabilities. Consequently, I have built practical defenses that have received real-world deployment by the Tor Project which serves millions of users, and Let\'s Encrypt which is the world\'s largest Certificate Authority that has issued hundreds of millions of digital certificates.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Yixin Sun is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at Princeton University. Her research focuses on building privacy-preserving and secure networked systems. She received the Information Controls Fellowship from the Open Technology Fund, the SEAS Award for Excellence from Princeton, and the EECS rising star from MIT. Throughout her career, Yixin has collaborated with many industrial labs and non-profit organizations, such as the Tor Project, Let\'s Encrypt, Verisign Labs, NEC Labs and International Computer Science Institute (ICSI). Previously, Yixin received her Bachelor\'s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Virginia.

    Host: Muhammad Naveed

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 109

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

  • ECE Seminar: Rethinking the Hardware-Software Contract: Enabling Practical and General Cross-Layer Optimizations

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 10:30 AM - 11:45 AM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Nandita Vijaykumar, PhD Candidate/Carnegie Mellon University

    Talk Title: Rethinking the Hardware-Software Contract: Enabling Practical and General Cross-Layer Optimizations

    Abstract: Layered abstractions in the computing stack are critical to building complex systems, but the existing *interfaces* between layers restrict what can be done at each level. Enhancing cross-layer interfaces--specifically, the hardware-software interface--is crucial towards addressing two important and hard-to-solve challenges in computer systems today: First, significant effort and expertise are required to write high-performance code that harnesses the full potential of today\'s diverse and sophisticated hardware. Second, as a hardware or system designer, architecting faster and more efficient systems is challenging as the vast majority of the program\'s semantic content and programmer intent gets lost in translation with today\'s hardware-software interface. Moving towards the future, these challenges in programmability and efficiency will be even more intractable as we architect increasingly heterogeneous and sophisticated systems.

    In this talk, I will highlight my work [ISCA\'15, MICRO\'16, ISCA\'18, ISCA\'18] on how to design rich cross-layer abstractions that provide layered interfaces to directly communicate higher-level program semantics and intent from the application to the lower levels of the stack. In doing so, we can effectively bridge the so-called \"semantic gap\" between applications and computer systems, and enable a wide range of cross-layer optimizations in future systems with a single unifying interface. I will discuss how cross-layer approaches with these abstractions can significantly enhance (1) performance and efficiency by enabling the system to adapt to application characteristics and (2) programmability and portability by enabling application software to easily leverage diverse underlying hardware resources without specific knowledge of system details. For example, daunting aspects of programming GPUs can be made much simpler with a rich cross-layer programming abstraction. I will describe how such abstractions can be designed to be highly practical and low-overhead, requiring only small additions to existing abstractions.

    Biography: Nandita Vijaykumar is a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, advised by Prof. Onur Mutlu and Prof. Phillip Gibbons. She is also currently a visiting student at ETH Zurich. Her research focuses on the interaction between programming models, system software, and hardware architecture in an increasingly diverse compute landscape, with a focus on memory systems and modern accelerators like GPUs. She is excited about enabling cross-layer full-stack solutions to make future systems highly efficient and easy-to-program. She is the recipient of the Benjamin Garver Lamme/Westinghouse Fellowship at CMU. During her Ph.D., she has been fortunate to intern at Microsoft Research, Nvidia Research, and Intel Labs.

    Host: Professor Xuehai Qian, xuehai.qian@usc.edu

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Mayumi Thrasher

  • Individual Grammar Tutorials

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Workshops & Infosessions

    Viterbi graduate and undergraduate students are invited to sign up for individual grammar assistance from professors at the Engineering Writing Program. Sign up for one-on-one individual sessions here: http://bit.ly/grammaratUSC

    Questions? Email helenhch@usc.edu

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 106

    Audiences: Graduate and Undergraduate Students

    Contact: Helen Choi

  • CS Colloquium: Amy Babay (Johns Hopkins University) - Dependable Systems and Networks for a Complex World

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Amy Babay, Johns Hopkins University

    Talk Title: Dependable Systems and Networks for a Complex World

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: As our world grows more complex, the expectations we place on the networked systems running our society\'s infrastructure grow more demanding. In this talk, I will discuss two types of emerging demands and present infrastructure systems we have developed to meet those demands. The first part of the talk will focus on the demanding performance requirements brought by emerging highly interactive applications such as remote robotic manipulation, remote surgery, and collaborative virtual reality. These applications require communication that is both timely and highly reliable, but the Internet natively supports only communication that is either completely reliable with no timeliness guarantees (e.g. TCP) or timely with only best-effort reliability (e.g. UDP). We present an overlay transport service that can provide highly reliable communication while meeting the stringent timeliness requirements of these applications. The second part of the talk will address the demanding security and resilience needs of critical infrastructure services, in particular SCADA systems for the power grid, that are increasingly becoming exposed to malicious attacks. I will present our work building Spire, the first intrusion-tolerant SCADA system for the power grid that is resilient to both system-level compromises and sophisticated network-level attacks.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Amy Babay recently completed her PhD in Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University, where she was a member of the Distributed Systems and Networks Lab. Her research focuses on enabling new Internet services with demanding performance requirements and on building dependable critical infrastructure systems. Prior to starting her PhD, she gained experience with global overlay networks in the commercial world, working at LTN Global Communications. She is currently working to advance some of her research toward commercialization at Spread Concepts LLC.

    Host: Ramesh Govindan

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

  • AME Seminar

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Nima Fazeli, MIT

    Talk Title: Towards Robotic Manipulation, Understanding the World Through Contact

    Abstract: Why is robotic manipulation so hard? As humans, we are unrivaled in our ability to dexterously manipulate objects and exhibit complex skills seemingly effortlessly. Recent research in cognitive science suggests that this ability is driven by our internal representations of the physical world, built over a life-time of experience. Our predictive ability is complemented by our senses of sight and touch, intuitive state-estimation, and tactile dexterity. Given the complexity of human reasoning, skill, and hardware, it is not surprising that we have yet to replicate our abilities in robots. In order to bridge this gap, we must develop robotic systems that build their understanding and interpretation of the physical world through contact. Using experiments as tools, these Galilean Robots will distill their experiences into models of the physical world.

    In this talk, I will present some of my work spanning the spectrum of analytical to fully data driven methodologies for model building and inference through contact. I believe that Galilean Robots need to master tools from this spectrum for intelligent and dexterous manipulation. First, I will discuss a methodology for the inference of contact forces and system parameters of rigid bodies systems making and breaking contact. I will then touch on data augmented contact models for controls as a medium between analytical and data driven techniques. I will show how a robot can learn the physics of playing Jenga using a hierarchical learning methodology purely from data. I will conclude the talk by providing perspectives on building Galilean Robotic systems that embody intelligent manipulation.

    Nima Fazeli is a PhD student with the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT, working with Prof. Alberto Rodriguez. His research focuses on enabling intelligent and dexterous robotic manipulation by developing novel tools combining analytical methods, machine learning, and cognition/AI. During his PhD, Nima has developed inference algorithms for robotic systems undergoing frictional contact, performed empirical evaluations of contact models, demonstrated data-augmented contact models for manipulation, and developed a robotic system capable of learning the physics of playing Jenga using a hierarchical learning methodology. Nima received his masters from the University of Maryland at College Park where he spent most of his time developing analytical and data-driven models of the human (and, on occasion, swine) arterial tree together with novel inference algorithms to diagnoses cardiovascular diseases. His research has been supported by the Rohsenow Fellowship and featured in outlets such as CBS, CNN, and the BBC. He looks forward to robots playing and learning alongside his grandchildren.

    Thursday, April 4, 2019
    11:00 AM
    The Laufer Library (RRB 208)
    Refreshments will be served at 10:45 AM.

    Host: AME Department

    Location: Robert Glen Rapp Engineering Research Building (RRB) - 208 (Laufer Library)

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Tessa Yao

  • Astronautical, Aerospace, and Mechanical Engineering Alumni & Industry Spotlight

    Thu, Apr 04, 2019 @ 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions

    The Viterbi Industry & Alumni Spotlight is a great opportunity for you to connect with USC alumni and industry professionals that have been in your shoes. They will share their experiences on how they got to where they are in their career and offer words of wisdom along the way. This is an undergraduate only event.

    Location: Seeley G. Mudd Building (SGM) - 101

    Audiences: Undergrad

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections