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Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars
Events for April

  • CS Colloquium: Ian Miers (Cornell Tech) - Cryptography in context: Bitcoin, breaches, and security in the real world

    Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ian Miers, Cornell Tech

    Talk Title: Cryptography in context: Bitcoin, breaches, and security in the real world

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: This talk will cover the design, implementation, and deployment of new cryptography to solve security issues that arise in real-world applications. Providing security for practically-deployed systems requires a new approach to cryptography, one that begins with the context in which cryptographic protocols will be used and reasons backwards in order to obtain the necessary security properties. This talk will cover two examples of this approach. First, I will take a detailed look at confidentiality for payments and how to solve the privacy failures of blockchain protocols such as Bitcoin. I will detail the design, implementation, and commercial deployment of Zcash, the first system to offer confidentiality while preserving public verifiability for cryptocurrencies. Next, I will explore cryptography in the context of securing data against breaches, considering the reality that attackers will gain access to cryptographic key material --- thus rendering traditional encryption ineffective. I will show how to use new applications of puncturable encryption to address these vulnerabilities for messaging and device encryption.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium



    Biography: Ian Miers is a postdoctoral researcher at Cornell Tech working on computer security and applied cryptography. His research focuses on making systems secure by exploring cryptography in the context of real world problems. This includes Zerocoin and Zerocash, the first systems to provide strongly confidential payments on top of public blockchains and work improving secure messaging including attacks on Apple's iMessage protocol and new techniques for puncturable forward secure encryption. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Economist, and denounced in at least two editorials. He is one of the founders of Zcash, a privacy preserving cryptocurrency based on Zerocash.

    Host: Muhammad Naveed

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 115

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • CS Colloquium: Xinyu Wang (UT Austin) - A unified program synthesis framework for automating end-user programming tasks

    Tue, Apr 02, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Xinyu Wang, UT Austing

    Talk Title: A unified program synthesis framework for automating end-user programming tasks

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Programming has started to become an essential skill for an increasing number of people, including novices without formal programming background. As a result, there is an increasing need for technology that can provide basic programming support to such non-expert computer end-users. Program synthesis, as a technique for automatically generating programs from high-level specifications, has been used to automate real-world programming tasks in a number of application domains (such as spreadsheet programming and data science) that non-expert users struggle with. However, developing specialized synthesizers for these domains is notoriously hard.

    In this talk, I will describe a unified program synthesis framework that can be applied broadly to automating tasks across different application domains. This framework is also efficient and achieves orders of magnitude improvement in terms of synthesis speed compared to existing techniques. In particular, I have used this framework to build synthesizers for three different application domains and achieved up to 450x speed-up compared to state-of-the-art synthesis techniques.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Xinyu Wang is a PhD candidate at UT Austin advised by Isil Dillig. He works at the intersection of programming languages, software engineering and formal methods. He is interested in developing foundational program synthesis techniques that are applicable to automating real-world programming tasks.

    Host: Chao Wang

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • ECE Seminar: Towards Embodied Visual Intelligence

    Tue, Apr 02, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dinesh Jayaraman, Postdoctoral Scholar/University of California, Berkeley

    Talk Title: Towards Embodied Visual Intelligence

    Abstract: What would it mean for a machine to see the world? Computer vision has recently made great progress on problems such as finding categories of objects and scenes, and poses of people in images. However, studying such tasks in isolated disembodied contexts, divorced from the physical source of their images, is insufficient to build intelligent visual agents. My research focuses on remarrying vision to action, by asking: how might vision benefit from the ability to act in the world, and vice versa? Could embodied visual agents teach themselves through interaction and experimentation? Are there actions they might perform to improve their visual perception? How might they construct visual plans to achieve long-term action goals? In my talk, I will set up the context for these questions, and cover some strands of my work addressing them, proposing approaches for self-supervised learning through proprioception, visual prediction for decomposing complex control tasks, and active perception. Finally, I will discuss my long-term vision and directions that I hope to work on in the next several years.

    Biography: Dinesh Jayaraman is a postdoctoral scholar at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD from UT Austin (2017) and B. Tech from IIT Madras (2011). His research interests are broadly in computer vision, robotics, and machine learning. In the last few years, he has worked on visual prediction, active perception, self-supervised visual learning, visuo-tactile robotic manipulation, semantic visual attributes, and zero-shot categorization. He has received an ACCV Best Application Paper Award (2016), a Samsung PhD Fellowship (2016), a UT Austin Graduate Dean's Fellowship (2016), and a Microelectronics and Computer Development Fellowship Award (2011). He has published in and reviewed for conferences and journals in computer vision, machine learning, and robotics, received a CVPR Outstanding Reviewer Award (2016), is as an Area Chair for NeurIPS (2018 & 2019).

    Host: Professor Rahul Jain, rahul.jain@usc.edu

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 248

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • Epstein Institute Seminar - ISE 651

    Tue, Apr 02, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Jian Liu, Associate Professor, University of Arizona

    Talk Title: Functional Data Analytics for Detecting Bursts in Water Distribution Systems

    Host: Dr. Qiang Huang

    More Information: April 2, 2019.pdf

    Location: Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) - 206

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Lecture Series with Dr. Andrew Gordon - Playing Story Creation Games With Logical Abduction

    Tue, Apr 02, 2019 @ 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Organizations

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Andrew S. Gordon, Research Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of Interactive Narrative Research at USC ICT

    Talk Title: Playing Story Creation Games With Logical Abduction

    Series: AAAI@USC Lecture Series

    Abstract: Story Creation Games, such as Rory's Story Cubes and the Tell Tale card game, require players to invent creative and coherent narratives from a set of unconnected elements assembled by random chance, e.g., the throw of a die or the draw of a card. Often producing comical and entertaining storylines, these games also demonstrate the remarkable human capacity for sense-making, where one's knowledge and experience is used to explain the co-occurrence of novel combinations of observations. In this talk, I describe our recent efforts to build a computer program that could successfully play story creation games. We view this task as an interpretation problem, where the aim is to identify a coherent narrative where each narrative element plays a structural role. Our approach is to solve this interpretation problem using logical abduction, searching for sets of narrative assumptions that logically entail each of the given narrative elements. The search proceeds by backchaining from narrative elements through a knowledge base of narrative and causal axioms expressed as first-order definite clauses, unifying assumptions wherever possible. After finding connected solutions that entail the given set of narrative elements, the structure of the proof graphs are then used to generate the natural language text representation of the interpretation. In this talk, I demonstrate this approach in generating eight creative narratives given the same set of three Tell Tale cards, depicting a train, a baseball player, and the symbol of a heart. These examples demonstrate that logical abduction is well-suited to this task, but also underscore the enormous knowledge bottleneck that must be overcome to play this game with arbitrary cards. I contrast our approach with recent efforts to generate narrative text using deep neural networks trained with narrative corpora, and discuss whether these approaches fundamentally change the nature of this knowledge bottleneck.

    RSVP: https://forms.gle/FXMS1nJ8W3oqveYv8


    Biography: Andrew S. Gordon is Research Associate Professor of Computer Science and Director of Interactive Narrative Research at the Institute for Creative Technologies at the University of Southern California. His research advances technologies for automatically analyzing and generating narrative interpretations of experiences. A central aim of his research is the large-scale formalization of commonsense knowledge, and reasoning with these formalizations using logical abduction. He is the author of the 2004 book "Strategy Representation: An Analysis of Planning Knowledge," and the 2017 book "A Formal Theory of Commonsense Psychology: How People Think People Think" (with Jerry R. Hobbs). He received his Ph.D. in 1999 from Northwestern University.

    Host: AAAI@USC

    Location: Seeley G. Mudd Building (SGM) - 124

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: AAAI@USC

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  • CS Colloquium: Mukund Raghothaman (University of Pennsylvania) - Precise Program Reasoning using Probabilistic Methods

    Wed, Apr 03, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Mukund Raghothaman, University of Pennsylvania

    Talk Title: Precise Program Reasoning using Probabilistic Methods

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: The enormous rise in the scale, scope, and complexity of software projects has created a thriving marketplace for program analysis and verification tools. Despite routine adoption by industry, developing such tools remains challenging, and their designers must carefully balance tradeoffs between false alarms, missed bugs, and scalability to large codebases. Furthermore, when tools fail to verify some program property, they only provide coarse estimates of alarm relevance, potential severity, and of the likelihood of being a real bug, thereby limiting their usefulness in software projects with large teams.

    I will present a framework that extends contemporary program reasoning systems with rich probabilistic models. These models emerge naturally from the program structure, and probabilistic inference refines the deductive process of the underlying system. In experiments with large programs, such probabilistic graphical representations of program structure enable an order-of-magnitude reduction in false alarm rates and invocations of expensive reasoning engines such as SMT solvers.

    To the analysis user, these techniques offer a lens by which to focus their attention on the most important alarms and a uniform method for the tool to interactively generalize from human feedback. To the analysis designer, they offer novel opportunities to leverage data-driven approaches in analysis design. And to researchers, they offer new challenges while performing inference in models of unprecedented size. I will conclude by describing how these ideas promise to underpin the next generation of intelligent programming systems, with applications in diverse areas such as program synthesis, differentiable programming, and fault localization in complex systems.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Mukund Raghothaman is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. His research spans the areas of programming languages, software verification, and program synthesis, with the ultimate goal to help programmers create better software with less effort. He previously obtained a Ph.D. in 2017, also from the University of Pennsylvania, where he developed programming abstractions for data stream processing systems.

    Host: Jyotirmoy Deshmukh

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • AME Department Laufer Lecture

    Wed, Apr 03, 2019 @ 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Bala Balachandran, University of Maryland

    Talk Title: Nonlinear Dynamics with Noise

    Abstract: Nonlinearity influenced dynamics occurs in a variety of mechanical and structural systems. For operations of many of these systems, noise is often viewed as being undesirable. However, the interplay between noise and nonlinearity in a system can result in significant response changes that can be beneficial to a systems performance. In this spirit, the work carried out to further our understanding on the constructive use of noise in a nonlinear system to realize noise-enhanced responses, noise-enabled stabilization, and noise-assisted response steering will be discussed. Efforts undertaken with partial control will be discussed. Representative physical systems that will be considered include coupled oscillator arrays at the micro-scale and macro-scale, flexible rotor systems, and pendulum systems. The findings of these studies are expected to be relevant to a variety of different nonlinear, mechanical and structural systems. Some thoughts on future directions in the realm of applied nonlinear dynamics will be presented to close the talk.

    Bala Balachandran received his B. Tech (Naval Architecture) from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, M.S. (Aerospace Engineering) from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA and Ph.D. (Engineering Mechanics) from Virginia Tech. Currently, he is a Minta Martin Professor of Engineering at the University of Maryland, where he has been since 1993. His research interests include nonlinear phenomena, dynamics and vibrations, and control. The publications that he has authored/co-authored include over ninety journal publications, a Wiley textbook entitled Applied Nonlinear Dynamics: Analytical, Computational, and Experimental Methods (1995, 2006), a third edition of a textbook entitled Vibrations (2019) by Cambridge University Press, and a co-edited Springer book entitled Delay Differential Equations: Recent Advances and New Directions (2009). He holds four U.S. patents and one Japan patent, three related to fiber optic sensors and two related to atomic force microscopy. He is a Contributing Editor of the International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics and the Editor of the ASME Journal of Computational and Nonlinear Dynamics. He is a Fellow of ASME and AIAA.

    Wednesday, April 3, 2019
    Reception at 12:00 NOON
    Seminar Immediately Following
    The Franklin Suite, Third Floor of Tutor Campus Center

    Host: AME Department

    Location: Franklin Suite, 3rd floor, Tutor Campus Center

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • Viterbi Keynote Lecture

    Wed, Apr 03, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Leonard Kleinrock, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science/University of California, Los Angeles

    Talk Title: On Some of My Simple Results

    Series: Viterbi Lecture

    Abstract: A number of interesting problems that I have addressed over the years which
    yielded surprisingly simple results will be presented. Many of these had intuitively
    pleasing interpretations or especially simple proofs and/or insights.

    Biography: Professor Leonard Kleinrock is Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at UCLA.
    He is considered a father of the Internet, having developed the mathematical theory of
    packet networks, the technology underpinning the Internet as an MIT graduate student
    in 1962. His UCLA Host computer became the first node of the Arpanet, predecessor
    of the Internet, in 1969 and it was from his lab that he directed the transmission of the
    first Internet message in October, 1969. Kleinrock received the 2007 National Medal
    of Science, the highest honor for achievement in science bestowed by the President of
    the United States.

    Leonard Kleinrock received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1963. He has served as Professor of
    Computer Science at UCLA since then, and was department Chairman from 1991-1995.
    He received a BEE degree from CCNY in 1957 (Evening Session) and an MS degree from
    MIT in 1959. He has received eight honorary degrees, has published over 250 papers,
    authored six books, and has supervised the research for 50 Ph.D. students.

    Professor Kleinrock is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the American
    Academy of Arts and Sciences, is an IEEE fellow, an ACM fellow, an INFORMS fellow,
    an IEC fellow, an inaugural member of the Internet Hall of Fame, a Guggenheim fellow,
    and an Eminent member of Eta Kappa Nu. Among his many honors, he is the recipient
    of the National Medal of Science, the Ericsson Prize, the NAE Draper Prize, the Marconi
    Prize, the Dan David Prize, the Okawa Prize, the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award,
    the ORSA Lanchester Prize, the ACM SIGCOMM Award, the IEEE Leonard G. Abraham
    Prize Paper Award, the IEEE Harry M. Goode Award and the IEEE Alexander Graham
    Bell Medal.

    Host: Richard Leahy, leahy@sipi.usc.edu

    More Info: https://bluejeans.com/734846093

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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

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

    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

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • 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

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • 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

    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

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • 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

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • W.V.T. RUSCH ENGINEERING HONORS COLLOQUIUM

    Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Scott Huennekens, (Retired) President & CEO, Verb Surgical Inc.

    Talk Title: Technical Medicine: The Future of Surgical Robotics

    Host: EHP and Dr. Prata

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • Mahsa Shoaran Seminar - Friday, April 5th @ 2PM in EEB 248

    Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Mahsa Shoaran, Cornell University

    Talk Title: Ultra-Low-Power Neural Interfaces: from Monitoring to Diagnosis and Therapy

    Abstract: Implantable and wearable medical devices are increasingly being developed as alternative therapies for intractable diseases. In particular, undertreated neurological disorders such as epilepsy, migraine, and Alzheimer's disease are of major public health concern around the world, driving the need to explore such new approaches. Despite significant advances in neural interface systems, the small number of recording channels in existing technology remains a barrier to their therapeutic potential. This is mainly due to the fact that simultaneous recording from a large number of electrodes imposes stringent energy and area constraints on the integrated circuits that interface with these electrodes. In this talk, I will first discuss an efficient compressive sensing framework for multichannel cortical implants. Next, I will present the design of our sub-microwatt per channel closed-loop seizure control device and both its in-vivo and offline performance. I will then discuss our latest work on the integration of machine learning algorithms for on-chip classification of neural data. Finally, I will give examples of how these results may be used towards designing new devices, to enhance the lives of millions of people suffering from disabling neurological conditions in future.

    Biography: Mahsa Shoaran is currently an Assistant Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to joining Cornell, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. She received her PhD from EPFL in 2015 and her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Sharif University of Technology. Her research interests broadly include circuit, system, and algorithm design for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Mahsa is a recipient of the 2019 Google Faculty Research Award, the Early and Advanced Swiss National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships, and the NSF Award for Young Professionals Contributing to Smart and Connected Health. She was named a Rising Star in EECS by MIT in 2015.

    Host: ECE-Electrophysics

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 248

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Marilyn Poplawski

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  • 2019 Eberhardt Rechtin Lecture

    Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Juan Perez, Chief Information & Chief Engineering Officer, UPS

    Talk Title: IE + IT, A Match Made for Innovation

    Host: Daniel J. Epstein Dept. of Industrial & Systems Engineering

    More Information: Rechtin Lecture_Juan Perez bio.pdf

    Location: Radisson Midcity Hotel (RMH) - Center Ballroom

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Astronautical Engineering Seminar

    Fri, Apr 05, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Astronautical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Stephanie A. Coronel, Sandia National Laboratories

    Talk Title: Ignition Dynamics of Reactive Gaseous Mixtures

    Abstract: The study of ignition dynamics is important for a wide range of safety,environmental, and transportation applications. This talkpresentsexperimental and numerical investigations of the processes leading to ignition of reactive gaseous mixturesin the presence of ignition sources-”specifically, hot surfaces and compressive devices. Anovel experimental techniqueis presented whichgeneratesrepeatable high-temperature particles that can be injected intoa reactive environment. An interferometer that makes useof large-angle dual birefringent prisms performshigh-speed temperature imaging of the particle injection and subsequent ignition and flamepropagation of the reactive gas. The interferometer is a combination ofa differential and Mach-Zehnder interferometer and is highly stable in aninfinite fringe configuration. Numerical workanalyzesthechemical kinetics of a reactive gaseous mixture adjacent to a hot surface.A simplified expression of the thermal boundary layer growth is presentedbased on a variation of the Rayleigh problem; the use of a simplifiedexpression rather than three-dimensional calculations allows us to use adetailed chemical kinetic mechanism to simulate the chemistry while stillsaving on computational cost. Lastly, a novel experimentfor compression ignition testing of reactive gasis described. The experiment makesuse of a water column rather than a solid piston to compress a pocket ofreactive gas. The compression process leads to the formation of a multi-phase mixture consisting of reactive gas, water droplets, and water vapordue to the development of Richtmyer-Meshkovand Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities. Hydrocarbon-air and hydrogen-oxygenreactive mixtures are used in these investigations to simulate potentialexplosion hazards in the aviation and nuclear sectors.

    Biography: Stephanie Coronel is a postdoctoral appointee at Sandia NationalLaboratories working in the Energetic Materials Dynamic & Reactive Science Department. Her research broadly focuses on abnormal thermal response of energetic materials as well as diagnostic development. Prior tojoining Sandia, she was a postdoctoral scholar at GALCIT (Caltech). She received her Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Caltech in 2016, where she workedfor Professor Joseph E. Shepherd on experimental combustion in the Explosion Dynamics Laboratory. She received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009 and an M.S. inAeronautics from Caltech in 2010. Her Ph.D. research focused on experimental and numerical ignition in thermal boundarylayers.

    Host: Dan Erwin

    More Information: StephanieCoronel-Seminar-2019-04-05.pdf

    Location: Vivian Hall of Engineering (VHE) - 217

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Dan Erwin

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  • ECE Seminar: A Real-Time Algorithmic Framework for Robust and Risk-Sensitive Planning and Decision-Making

    Mon, Apr 08, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Sumeet Singh, PhD Candidate, Dept of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Stanford University

    Talk Title: A Real-Time Algorithmic Framework for Robust and Risk-Sensitive Planning and Decision-Making

    Abstract: Integrating autonomous robots into safety-critical settings requires reasoning about uncertainty at all levels of the autonomy stack. In this talk, I will present novel algorithmic tools leveraging Lyapunov-based analysis, convex optimization, and risk measures to address robustness in robotic motion planning and decision-making under uncertainty. In the first part of the talk, by harnessing the theories of incremental stability and contraction, I will describe a unified framework for synthesizing robust trajectory tracking controllers for complex underactuated nonlinear systems with analytical bounded-input-bounded-output disturbance rejection guarantees. These results will be combined with computational tools drawn from semi-infinite convex programming to design real-time motion planning algorithms with certifiable safety guarantees. In addition, I will illustrate how to leverage these tools for sample-efficient model-based reinforcement learning with control-theoretic guarantees. In the second part of the talk, I will describe a framework for lifting notions of robustness from low-level motion planning to higher-level sequential decision-making using the theory of risk measures. Specifically, by leveraging a specific class of risk measures with favorable axiomatic foundations, I will demonstrate how to design decision-making algorithms with tuneable robustness properties. I will then discuss a novel application of this framework to inverse reinforcement learning for humans in safety-critical scenarios. The domains of aerial robotics and autonomous cars will be used throughout the talk as running examples.

    Biography: Sumeet Singh is a Ph.D. candidate in the Autonomous Systems Lab in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at Stanford University. He received a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering and a Diploma of Music (Performance) from University of Melbourne in 2012, and a M.Sc. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 2015. Prior to joining Stanford, Sumeet worked in the Berkeley Micromechanical Analysis and Design lab at the University of California, Berkeley in 2011 and the Aeromechanics Branch at NASA Ames in 2013. Sumeet's research interests include (1) Robust motion planning for constrained nonlinear systems, (2) Risk-sensitive inference and decision-making with humans in-the-loop, and (3) Design of verifiable learning architectures for safety-critical applications. Sumeet is the recipient of the Stanford Graduate Fellowship (2013-2016), the most prestigious Stanford fellowship awarded to incoming graduate students, and the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship (2018).

    Host: Professor Massoud Pedram, pedram@usc.edu

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 248

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • CS Colloquium: Yuke Zhu (Stanford University) - Closing the Perception-Action Loop

    Mon, Apr 08, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Yuke Zhu, Stanford University

    Talk Title: Closing the Perception-Action Loop

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Robots and autonomous systems have been playing a significant role in the modern economy. Custom-built robots have remarkably improved productivity, operational safety, and product quality. However, these robots are usually programmed for specific tasks in well-controlled environments, unable to perform diverse tasks in the real world. In this talk, I will present my work on building more effective and generalizable robot intelligence by closing the perception-action loop. I will discuss my research that establishes a tighter coupling between perception and action at three levels of abstraction: 1) learning primitive motor skills from raw sensory data, 2) sharing knowledge between sequential tasks in visual environments, and 3) learning hierarchical task structures from video demonstrations.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Yuke Zhu is a final year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, advised by Prof. Fei-Fei Li and Prof. Silvio Savarese. His research interests lie at the intersection of robotics, computer vision, and machine learning. His work builds machine learning and perception algorithms for general-purpose robots. He received a Master's degree from Stanford University and dual Bachelor's degrees from Zhejiang University and Simon Fraser University. He also collaborated with research labs including Snap Research, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and DeepMind.

    Host: Joseph Lim

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 115

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Fall 2018 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Apr 08, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jason Marden, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Talk Title: If agents could talk, what should they say?

    Abstract: The goal in networked control of multiagent systems is to derive desirable collective behavior through the design of local control algorithms. The information available to the individual agents, either through sensing or communication, invariably defines the space of admissible control laws. Hence, informational restrictions impose constraints on the achievable performance guarantees. The first part of this talk will provide one such constraint with regards to the efficiency of the resulting stable solutions for a class of distributed submodular optimization problems. Further, we will also discuss how strategic information exchange can help mitigate these degradations. The second part of this talk will focus on how agents should utilize available information to optimize the efficiency of the emergent collective behavior. In particular, we will discuss a methodology for optimizing the efficiency guarantees (i.e., price of anarchy) in distributed resource allocation problems through the design of local agent objective functions. Lastly, we will highlight some unintended consequences associated with these optimal designed agent objective functions -“ optimizing the performance of the worst-case equilibria (i.e., price of anarchy) often comes at the expense of the best-case equilibria (i.e., price of stability).

    Biography: Jason R. Marden is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer, Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Jason received a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 from UCLA, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2007, also from UCLA, under the supervision of Jeff S. Shamma, where he was awarded the Outstanding Graduating PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from UCLA, he served as a junior fellow in the Social and Information Sciences Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology until 2010 when he joined the University of Colorado. In 2015, Jason joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Jason is a recipient of the ONR Young Investigator Award (2015), NSF Career Award (2014), the AFOSR Young Investigator Award (2012), the American Automatic Control Council Donald P. Eckman Award (2012), and the SIAM/SGT Best Sicon Paper Award (2015). Furthermore, Jason is also an advisor for the students selected as finalists for the best student paper award at the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control (2011, 2016, 2017). Jason's research interests focus on game theoretic methods for the control of distributed multiagent systems.

    Host: Ketan Savla, ksavla@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Spring/marden.html

    More Information: 190408 Jason Marden CSCUSC Seminar.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • AME Seminar

    Mon, Apr 08, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Cunjiang Yu, University of Houston

    Talk Title: Manufacturing and Device Innovations of Rubbery and Curvy Electronics: Toward a Seamless Integration with Humans

    Abstract: While human tissues and organs are mostly soft and curvy; conventional electronics are hard and planar. Seamlessly merging electronics with human is of imminent importance in addressing grant societal challenges in health and joy of living. However, the main challenge lies in the huge mechanical mismatch between the current form of rigid electronics and the soft curvy nature of biology.

    In this talk, I will first describe a new form of electronics, namely rubbery electronics, with skin-like softness and stretchability, which is constructed based upon elastic rubbery electronic materials. As the core basis of rubbery electronics, rubbery semiconductor has been developed through composite engineering based on commercial available materials and manufactured in a scalable and reliable manner. These manufacturing and device innovations set a foundation to realize fully rubbery electronics, circuits and sensors. In particular, rubbery transistors, logic gates, integrated electronics, sensors, smart skins, implants, neuro devices, and integrated function systems will be demonstrated. In the second part of the talk, I will introduce the invention and development of conformal additive stamp (CAS) printing, a novel, reliable and versatile manufacturing technology for developing 3D curvy electronics. Electronics with 3D curvilinear layouts, especially in the size range from millimeter to centimeter with accuracy of microns, are technically very challenge to build. The major hurdle lies in the lack of a proper manufacturing technology. CAS printing has therefore been developed to solve this long-standing manufacturing challenge. Systematic understanding and extensive employment of CAS printing for various curvy electronics will be presented to illustrate its manufacturing fidelity. Devices such as smart contact lens with integrated sensors and electronics for multiple diagnostic functions will be demonstrated. Soft and curvy electronics have open a new paradigm for personal healthcare, medical diagnosis, biological studies, human-machine interfaces, soft machines, etc.

    Cunjiang Yu is currently the Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Houston, with joint appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Biomedical Engineering. He completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering within three years at Arizona State University in 2010 and was trained as a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before joining University of Houston in 2013. Dr. Yu was a recipient of NSF CAREER Award, ONR Young Investigator Award, MIT Technology Review 35 Top Innovators under the age of 35 -“ TR35 China, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, Young Investigator Awards from American Vacuum Society and American Chemical Society, 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award, and a few research and teaching awards at University of Houston. His recent research has been reported or highlighted by many media outlets, such as Time, Discovery, BBC News, NBC News, Science News, USA Today, etc.

    Monday, April 8, 2019
    3:30 PM
    Laufer Library (RRB 208)
    Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm.

    Host: AME Department

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • Epstein Institute Seminar - ISE 651

    Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Erick Delage, Associate Professor, HEC Montreal

    Talk Title: Preference Robust Utility-based Shortfall Risk Minimization

    Host: Dr. Phebe Vayanos

    More Information: April 9, 2019.pdf

    Location: Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) - 206

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Seminar - Lyman L. Handy Colloquia

    Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Nick Sahinidis, Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

    Talk Title: ALAMO: Machine learning from data and first principles

    Abstract: We have developed the ALAMO methodology with the aim of producing a tool capable of using data to learn algebraic models that are accurate and as simple as possible. ALAMO relies on (a) integer nonlinear optimization to build low-complexity models from input-output data, (b) derivative-free optimization to collect additional data points that can be used to improve tentative models, and (c) global optimization to enforce physical constraints on the mathematical structure of the model. We present computational results and comparisons between ALAMO and a variety of learning techniques, including Latin hypercube sampling, simple least-squares regression, and the lasso. We also describe results from applications in CO2 capture that motivated the development of ALAMO.

    Host: Dr. Joe Qin

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 200

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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  • Joint Seminar Series on Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and METRANS

    Wed, Apr 10, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Qi Alfred Chen, Computer Science at University California, Irvine

    Talk Title: Ghost Cars and Fake Obstacles: Automated Security Analysis of Emerging Smart Transportation Systems

    Series: Joint Seminar Series on Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and METRANS

    Abstract: Transportation systems today will soon be transformed profoundly due to two recent technology advances: Connected Vehicle (CV) and Autonomous Vehicle (AV). Such transformation leads to the creation of a series of next-generation transportation systems which can substantially improve the quality of our everyday life. However, this also brings new features and operation modes into the transportation ecosystem, e.g., network connectivity and machine learning based sensing, which may introduce new security problem and challenges. In this talk, I will describe my current research that initiates the first effort towards systematically understanding the robustness of the software-based control in CV and AV systems.

    Biography: Qi Alfred Chen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UCI. His research interest is network and systems security, and addressing security challenges through systematic problem analysis and mitigation. His work has high impact in both academic and industry with over 10 top-tier conference papers, a DHS US-CERT alert, multiple CVEs, and over 50 news articles by major news media such as Fortune and BBC News.


    Host: Ketan Savla

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Apr 10, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Owen McCarty, Oregon Health & Science University

    Talk Title: The Blood Microenvironment in Thrombosis and Hemostasis: The Good, Bad and the Sticky

    Abstract: Hemostatic plug formation upon blood vessel breach is initiated by platelet recruitment, activation and aggregation in concert with thrombin generation and fibrin formation. However, a similar process can also lead to pathological processes including deep vein thrombosis, ischemic stroke, or myocardial infarction, among others. We have developed narrow mechanism-specific agents targeting the intrinsic pathway of coagulation and demonstrated that experimental thrombosis and platelet production in primates is interrupted by selective inhibition of activation of coagulation factor (F)XI by FXIIa. In this seminar, I will present new data on the role of the endothelium in inactivating FXI, as well as studies on whether inhibiting FXI is beneficial in a non-human primate model of sepsis. I will present our first data from our clinical trial on the safety of inhibition of FXI, and plans to test the efficacy of FXI inhibition in dialysis. The understanding of the mechanisms by which the intrinsic pathway of coagulation promotes thrombus formation may support the rationale for the development of selective, safe and effective antithrombotic strategies targeting FXI.

    Owen McCarty, a native of Rochester, received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo, and a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, where his research focused on the identification and characterization of tumor cell receptors for blood platelets and leukocytes. He performed his postdoctoral research on platelet cell biology in the Pharmacology Department at the University of Oxford and University of Birmingham, UK in the group of Dr. Steve Watson. Dr. McCarty joined Oregon Health & Science University in 2005, where he holds an appointment as a Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology and the Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology in the OHSU School of Medicine. Dr. McCarty serves as the Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department and a fellow of the American Heart Association.

    Wednesday, April 10, 2019
    3:30 PM
    Seaver Science Library, Room 150 (SSL 150)
    Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm.

    Host: AME Department

    Location: Seaver Science Library (SSL) - 150

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • CAIS Seminar: Dan Berry (University of Minnesota) - It's Complex: Embracing Dynamic Complexity in Children's Self-Regulation Development

    Wed, Apr 10, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Dan Berry, University of Minnesota

    Talk Title: It's Complex: Embracing Dynamic Complexity in Children's Self-Regulation Development

    Series: USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS) Seminar Series

    Abstract: Developmental psychologists often invoke the idea that human development reflects "dynamic systems"-”complex, non-linear processes (e.g., physiological, neural, psychological, behavioral) that organize the way we adapt to changing contextual demands. In practice, however, these complexities often serve more as theoretical touchstones than purposeful targets of investigation. In this presentation, Dr. Berry introduces some of the ways that we've begun to leverage the time-series dynamics of visual gaze, behavior, and autonomic physiology as a means of better understanding these complexities in children's self-regulation development.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Daniel Berry is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. His research concerns the "real-time" and long-term role of context in children's self-regulation development.


    Host: Milind Tambe

    Location: James H. Zumberge Hall Of Science (ZHS) - 252

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • CS Colloquium: Tyler Sorensen (Princeton University) - Reasoning About Heterogenous Computing

    Thu, Apr 11, 2019 @ 09:30 AM - 10:30 AM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Tyler Sorensen, Princeton University

    Talk Title: Reasoning About Heterogenous Computing

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Heterogeneous system designs have allowed computing efficiency to scale past fundamental constraints of transistors. Such systems are now the computation workhorses behind everyday technology, from speech recognition trained on clusters of GPUs, to efficient SoC designs in mobile phones. However, programming for these systems presents many challenges, specifically in orchestrating synchronization. Examining general purpose GPU (GPGPU) programming is a pragmatic start towards general heterogeneous reasoning, as GPGPU programming models expose hardware specialization and heterogeneous-aware constructs. In this talk, I discuss my work in this area, which has identified important areas of under-specification in GPGPU programming and laid the foundations for specification repairs.

    First, I will present work on testing memory consistency models, i.e. the rules governing fine-grained communication, for GPGPUs. This work exposed wide-spread confusion in the GPGPU community, including identifying programming errors in two Nvidia-endorsed textbooks. Second, I will present work on GPGPU forward progress models, which defines a progress abstraction that allows cross-vendor GPGPU global barrier synchronization. This can then be used in an optimization for GPGPU graph traversal applications, achieving over a 10x speedup on Intel and AMD GPUs. The talk concludes by showing that GPGPU reasoning is a natural foundation for future work targeting general heterogeneous programming.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium


    Biography: Tyler Sorensen is a PostDoc at Princeton University in Professor Margaret Martonosi's architecture group working on designing new heterogeneous systems. He received his PhD from Imperial College London under the supervision of Dr. Alastair Donaldson. His thesis work involved rigorous reasoning about GPGPU programming, with an emphasis on fine-grained synchronization idioms. This work has been published widely (including two distinguished paper awards at PLDI'18 and
    FSE'17) and presented to major GPU vendors, including Nvidia, AMD and ARM. Tyler received his MS/BS from University of Utah, where he received the 2014 Outstanding Senior Award. He has done internships at both Microsoft Research and Nvidia.


    Host: Jyotirmoy Deshmukh

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • CS Colloquium: Motahhare Eslami (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) - Participating and Designing around Algorithmic Sociotechnical Systems

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

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Motahhare Eslami, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Talk Title: Participating and Designing around Algorithmic Sociotechnical Systems

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Algorithms play a vital role in curating online information in socio-technical systems, however, they are usually housed in black-boxes that limit users' understanding of how an algorithmic decision is made. While this opacity partly stems from protecting intellectual property and preventing malicious users from gaming the system, it is also designed to provide users with seamless, effortless system interactions. However, this opacity can result in misinformed behavior among users, particularly when there is no clear feedback mechanism for users to understand the effects of their own actions on an algorithmic system. The increasing prevalence and power of these opaque algorithms coupled with their sometimes biased and discriminatory decisions raise questions about how knowledgeable users are and should be about the existence, operation and possible impacts of these algorithms. In this talk, I will address these questions by exploring ways to investigate users' behavior around opaque algorithmic systems. I will then present new design techniques that communicate opaque algorithmic processes to users and provide them with a more informed, satisfying, and engaging interaction. In doing so, I will add new angles to the old idea of understanding the interaction between users and automation by designing around algorithm sensemaking and transparency.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium


    Biography: Motahhare Eslami is a Ph.D. Candidate in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is advised by Karrie Karahalios. Motahhare's research develops new communication techniques between users and opaque algorithmic socio-technical systems to provide users a more informed, satisfying, and engaging interaction. Her work has been recognized with a Google PhD Fellowship, Best Paper Award at ACM CHI, and has been covered in mainstream media such as Time, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, the BBC, Fortune, and Quartz. Motahhare is also a Facebook and Adobe PhD fellowship finalist, and a recipient of C.W. Gear Outstanding Graduate Student Award, Saburo Muroga Endowed Fellowship, Feng Chen Memorial Award, Young Researcher in Heidelberg Laureate Forum and Rising Stars in EECS.


    Host: Heather Culbertson

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • ECE Seminar: Verification and Synthesis Algorithms for Safe Autonomy

    Fri, Apr 12, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Chuchu Fan, PhD Candidate, UIUC

    Talk Title: Verification and Synthesis Algorithms for Safe Autonomy

    Abstract: A single design defect can wreak havoc across thousands of deployed instances of autonomous systems or cyber-physical systems (CPS) such as self-driving cars, drones, and medical devices. Can rigorous approaches based on formal methods and control theory improve safety in autonomous systems by transforming the conventional trial-and-error paradigm? Verification and synthesis for typical models of real-world autonomous systems and CPS are well-known to be hard due to their high dimensionality, nonlinearities, and their nondeterministic and hybrid nature. In this talk, I will present new verification and synthesis algorithms which suggest that these challenges can be overcome and that rigorous approaches are indeed promising. The common ingredient underlying my algorithms is automated sensitivity analysis, which leads to semi-decision procedures for verification and synthesis, with soundness, completeness, and optimality guarantees. I will introduce the first bounded safety verification algorithm for nonlinear hybrid systems. This data-driven algorithm, which is the basis for the C2E2 tool, can also be used for compositional verification of networked and distributed autonomous systems. Then I will present my work on the DryVR framework, which is the first approach that can verify real-world CPS with incomplete or imprecise mathematical models. The final part of my talk will rely on symbolic sensitivity analysis with applications in control synthesis for large linear systems with disturbances. I will discuss successful applications in autonomous driving scenarios, powertrain control, circuits, and medical devices as examples to show the power of these tools for solving challenging problems in a wide range of engineering domains.

    Biography: Chuchu Fan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her Bachelor's degree from Tsinghua University, Department of Automation in 2013. Her research interests are in the areas of formal methods and control for safe autonomy. She is a recipient of multiple prestigious awards including Mavis Future Faculty Fellowship (2018), Young Researcher for Heidelberg Laureate Forum (2017), Rising Stars in EECS (2016), EMSOFT'16 Best Paper finalist, and Robert Bosch Best Verification Award in CPSWeek'15. Her research achievements are also recognized with a Mac Van Valkenburg Research Award (2018), a Yi-Min Wang and Pi-Yu Chung Endowed Research Award (2017), and a Rambus Fellowship (2016).

    Host: Professor Paul Bogdan, pbogdan@usc.edu

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 248

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • W.V.T. RUSCH ENGINEERING HONORS COLLOQUIUM

    Fri, Apr 12, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Mr. Bradley Turner, Vice President and General Manager, Datatronics Romoland Inc.

    Talk Title: Beneficial Confusion and Curiosity

    Host: EHP and Dr. Prata

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Research and Technology Series

    Mon, Apr 15, 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Mary Czerwinski, Principal Researcher and Research Manager of the Visualization andInteraction (VIBE) Research Group at Microsoft

    Talk Title: Using Technology for Health and Wellbeing

    Series: MHI Research & Technology Seminar

    Abstract: How can we create technologies to help us reflect on and change our behavior, improve our health and overall wellbeing both at work and at home? In this talk, I will briefly describe the last several years of work our research team has been doing in this area. We have developed wearable technology to help families manage tense situations with their children, mobile phone-based applications for handling stress and depression, as well as logging tools that can help you stay focused or recommend good times to take a break at work. The overarching goal in all of this research is to develop tools that adapt to the user so that they can maximize their productivity and improve their health and happiness.

    Biography: Dr. Mary Czerwinski is a Principal Researcher andResearch Manager of the Visualization and Interaction(VIBE) Research Group. Mary's latest research focuses primarily on emotion tracking and intervention design and delivery, information worker task management and health and wellness for individuals and groups. Her research background is in visual attention and multitasking. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Indiana University in Bloomington. Mary was awarded the ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Service Award, was inducted into the CHI Academy, and became an ACM Distinguished Scientist in 2010. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University's Brain and Psychological Sciences department in 2014. Mary became a Fellow of the ACM in 2016. More information about Dr. Czerwinskican be found at her website:https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/people/marycz/

    Host: Ming Hsieh Institute

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Benjamin Paul

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  • CS Colloquium: Jeff Clune (University of Wyoming) - Understanding and Improving Deep Neural Networks

    Mon, Apr 15, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jeff Clune, University of Wyoming

    Talk Title: Understanding and Improving Deep Neural Networks

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Through deep learning, deep neural networks have produced state-of-the-art results in a number of different areas of machine learning, including computer vision, natural language processing, robotics and reinforcement learning. I will summarize three projects on better understanding deep neural networks and improving their performance. First I will describe our sustained effort to study how much deep neural networks know about the images they classify. Our team initially showed that deep neural networks are "easily fooled," meaning they will declare with near certainty that completely unrecognizable images are everyday objects. These results suggested that deep neural networks do not truly understand the objects they classify. However, our subsequent results reveal that, when augmented with powerful priors, deep neural networks actually have a surprisingly deep understanding of objects, which also enables them to be incredibly effective generative models that can produce a wide diversity of photo-realistic images. Second, I will summarize our Nature paper on learning algorithms that enable robots, after being damaged, to adapt in 1-2 minutes in order to continue performing their mission. This work combines a novel stochastic optimization algorithm with Bayesian optimization to produce state-of-the-art robot damage recovery. Third, I will describe our recent Go-Explore algorithm, which dramatically improves the ability of deep reinforcement learning algorithms to solve previously unsolvable problems wherein reward signals are sparse, meaning that intelligent exploration is required. Go-Explore solves Montezuma's Revenge, considered by many to be a grand challenge of AI research. I will also very briefly summarize a few other machine learning projects from my career, including our PNAS paper on automatically identifying, counting, and describing wild animals in images taken remotely by motion-sensor cameras.

    Biography: Jeff Clune is the Loy and Edith Harris Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Wyoming and a Senior Research Manager and founding member of Uber AI Labs, which was formed after Uber acquired a startup he helped lead. Jeff focuses on robotics and training deep neural networks via deep learning, including deep reinforcement learning. Since 2015, a robotics paper he co-authored was on the cover of Nature, a deep learning paper from his lab was on the cover of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he won an NSF CAREER award, his deep learning papers were awarded honors (best paper awards and/or oral presentations) at the top machine learning conferences (NeurIPS, CVPR, ICLR, and ICML), he was an invited speaker at five ICML and two NeurIPS workshops (including the NeurIPS Deep Reinforcement Learning Workshop), and he was invited to give a forthcoming ICML tutorial. His research is regularly covered in the press, including the New York Times, NPR, NBC, Wired, the BBC, the Economist, Science, Nature, National Geographic, the Atlantic, and the New Scientist. Prior to becoming a professor, he was a Research Scientist at Cornell University and received degrees from Michigan State University (PhD, master's) and the University of Michigan (bachelor's).

    Host: Yan Liu

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 115

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • CS Colloquium: Owolabi Legunsen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) - Evolution-Aware Runtime Verification

    Tue, Apr 16, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Owolabi Legunses, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Talk Title: Evolution-Aware Runtime Verification

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: The risk posed by software bugs has increased significantly as software is now essential to many areas of our daily lives. Runtime verification can help find bugs by monitoring program executions against formally specified properties. Over the last two decades, tremendous research progress has improved the performance of runtime verification. However, there has been very little focus on the benefits and challenges of using runtime verification during software testing. Yet, testing generates many executions on which properties can be monitored.

    In this talk, I will describe my work on studying and improving runtime verification during testing. My large-scale study was the first to show that runtime verification during testing is beneficial for finding many important bugs from tests that developers already have. However, my study also showed that runtime verification still incurs high overhead, both in machine time to monitor properties and in developer time to inspect violations of the properties. Moreover, all prior runtime verification techniques consider only one program version and would wastefully re-monitor unaffected properties and code as software evolves. To reduce the overhead across multiple program versions, I proposed the first evolution-aware runtime verification techniques. My techniques exploit the key insight that software evolves in small increments and reduce the accumulated runtime verification overhead by up to 10x, without missing new violations.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Owolabi Legunsen is a PhD candidate in Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he works with Darko Marinov and Grigore Rosu. Owolabi's interests are in Software Engineering and Applied Formal Methods, with a focus on Software Testing and Runtime Verification. His research goal is to improve software reliability by helping developers find more bugs, find bugs faster, and find bugs more reliably. So far, his techniques and tools helped find more than 450 bugs in over 90 open-source projects. His research on runtime verification during software testing received an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award at ASE 2016. More information is available on his web page: http://mir.cs.illinois.edu/legunsen


    Host: Nenad Medvidovic

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Epstein Institute Seminar - ISE 651

    Tue, Apr 16, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Ebru K. Bish, Associate Professor, Virginia Tech

    Talk Title: Public Health Screening: Models, Algorithms, and Policies

    Host: Dr. Sze-chuan Suen

    More Information: April 16, 2019.pdf

    Location: Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) - 206

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Seminar - Distinguished Lecture Series

    Tue, Apr 16, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 12:21 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Ruth Schwaiger, KIT

    Talk Title: 3D Nano-Architected Metamaterials

    Host: Dr. Andrea Hodge

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 200

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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  • MASCLE Machine Learning Seminar: Peter L. Bartlett (University of California, Berkeley) – Optimizing Probability Distributions for Learning: Sampling Meets Optimization

    Tue, Apr 16, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Peter L. Bartlett, University of California, Berkeley

    Talk Title: Optimizing Probability Distributions for Learning: Sampling Meets Optimization

    Series: Machine Learning Seminar Series

    Abstract: Optimization and sampling are both of central importance in large-scale machine learning problems, but they are typically viewed as very different problems. This talk presents recent results that exploit the interplay between them. Viewing Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling algorithms as performing an optimization over the space of probability distributions, we demonstrate analogs of Nesterov's acceleration approach in the sampling domain, in the form of a discretization of an underdamped Langevin diffusion. In the other direction, we view stochastic gradient optimization methods, such as those that are common in deep learning, as sampling algorithms, and study the finite-time convergence of their iterates to an invariant distribution.

    Joint work with Xiang Cheng, Niladri S. Chatterji, and Michael Jordan.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.



    Biography: Peter Bartlett is a professor in the Computer Science Division and Department of Statistics and Associate Director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at the University of California at Berkeley. His research interests include machine learning and statistical learning theory. He is the co-author, with Martin Anthony, of the book Neural Network Learning: Theoretical Foundations. He has served as an associate editor of the journals Bernoulli, Mathematics of Operations Research, the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, the Journal of Machine Learning Research, and the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and as program committee co-chair for COLT and NIPS. He was awarded the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year in Australia in 2001, and was chosen as an Institute of Mathematical Statistics Medallion Lecturer in 2008, an IMS Fellow and Australian Laureate Fellow in 2011, and a Fellow of the ACM in 2018. He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2015.


    Host: Yan Liu, USC Machine Learning Center

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things and Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series

    Wed, Apr 17, 2019 @ 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Chi Wang, Founder and CEO of TerraQuanta

    Talk Title: Algorithm Development on Planetary Scale Dataset

    Series: Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things

    Abstract: Developing algorithms on satellite data and extracting information useful for industrial applications sounds straightforward, but when the dataset becomes multiple petabytes, life becomes hard in every aspect. In this talk, we will share our experiences in 1) How we deal with large remote sensing datasets with limited infrastructure, 2) How machine learning approach combines with HPC helps with algorithm development, 3) Our application cases, e.g. predicting total planted areas of soybeans to predict soybean futures price. The talk will be tailored for general audience with engineering backgrounds, and will not go deep into technical/mathematical details.

    Biography: Chi Wang obtained his B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2011, and later obtained his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from University of Southern California in 2016. After graduation, he founded TerraQuanta in China, a startup company developing AI platform to analyze multi-PB remote sensing data. TerraQuanta provides data engine of our physical earth with a particular focus on global agriculture. Dr. Wang has successfully raised several million USD from prestigious investors in China, also he is listed "30 under "30 by Forbes China and "30 under "30 by Hurun Report.

    Host: Edmond A Jonckheere

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - RTH 109

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things and Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series

    Wed, Apr 17, 2019 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Suman Chakravorty , Aerospace Engineering, Texas A&M University

    Talk Title: A Decoupling Principle in Stochastic Optimal Control and Its Implications

    Series: Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things

    Abstract: The problem of Stochastic Optimal Control is ubiquitous in Robotics and Control since it is the fundamental formulation for decision-making under uncertainty. The answer to the problem can be computed by solving an associated Dynamic Programming (DP) problem. Unfortunately, the DP paradigm is also synonymous with the infamous "Curse of Dimensionality (COD)", a phrase coined by the discoverer of the Dynamic Programming paradigm, Richard Bellman, nearly 60 years ago, to capture the fact that the computational complexity of solving a DP problem grows exponentially in the dimension of the state space of the problem.

    In this talk, we will introduce a newly discovered paradigm in stochastic optimal control, called Decoupling, that allows us to separate the design of the open and closed loops of a stochastic optimal control problem with continuous control space. This "Decoupled" solution allows us to break the COD inherent in DP problems, while remaining near-optimal, to third order, to the true stochastic control. The implications of the Decoupled design are examined in the context of Model Predictive Control (MPC) and Reinforcement Learning (RL). We shall introduce two algorithms, called the Trajectory Optimized Perturbation Feedback Control (T-PFC), and the Decoupled Data based Control(D2C), for the MPC and RL problems respectively. We shall also examine the consequences of the decoupling principle in partially observed/ belief space planning problems and present the Trajectory optimized Linear Quadratic Gaussian (T-LQG) algorithm.

    Biography: Suman Chakravorty obtained his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering in 1997 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2004. From August 2004- August 2010, he was an Assistant Professor with the Aerospace Engineering Department at Texas A&M University, College Station and since August 2010, he has been an Associate Professor in the department. Dr. Chakravorty's broad research interests lie in the estimation and control of stochastic dynamical systems with application to autonomous, distributed robotic mapping and planning, and situational awareness problems. He is a member of AIAA, ASME and IEEE. He is an Associate Editor for the ASME Journal on Dynamical Systems, Measurement and Control and the IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters.

    Host: Mihailo Jovanovic

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • NL-Seminar-Learning Neural Network Hyperparameters for Machine Translation

    Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Kenton Murray, Notre Dame Univ.

    Talk Title: Learning Neural Network Hyperparameters for Machine Translation

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: In recent years, Neural Networks have reached state-of-the-art performance in a variety of NLP tasks, including Machine Translation. However, these methods are very sensitive to selecting optimal hyperparameters. Frequently this is done by large scale experimentation often through grid or random searches. However, this is computationally expensive and time consuming. In this talk, I will present a few methods for learning hyperparameters during the training process. Thus, instead of training multiple networks with different hyperparameters, we only need to train one network without large grid search experiments. Our methods yield comparable, and often better, results, but at a faster experimentation rate.


    Biography: Kenton Murray is a 5th year PhD Candidate at the University of Notre Dame working with David Chiang on methods for improving Neural Machine Translation for Low Resource and Morphologically Rich Language Pairs. Prior to ND, he was a Research Associate at the Qatar Computing Research Institute focusing on Arabic Machine Translation. He holds a Master's in Language Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor's in Computer Science from Princeton University.

    Host: Xusen Yin

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

    Webcast: https://bluejeans.com/s/6_8UO

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - CR #689

    WebCast Link: https://bluejeans.com/s/6_8UO

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Peter Zamar

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  • Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things and Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series

    Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Prof. Marco Pavone, Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University

    Talk Title: Autonomous Mobility-on-Demand Systems for Future Urban Mobility

    Series: Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things

    Abstract: In this talk I will discuss the operational and societal aspects of autonomous mobility-on-demand (AMoD) systems, a rapidly developing mode of transportation wherein mobility is provided on demand by robotic, self-driving vehicles. Specifically, I will discuss AMoD systems along three dimensions: (1) modeling, namely mathematical frameworks capable of capturing the salient dynamic and stochastic features of customer demand, (2) control, that is coordination algorithms for the vehicles aimed at throughput maximization, and (3) societal, entailing system-level studies characterizing the interaction between AMoD and other infrastructures, such as the electric power and public transit networks. I will conclude the talk by presenting a number of directions for future research.

    Biography: Dr. Marco Pavone is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he is the Director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Co-Director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford. Before joining Stanford, he was a Research Technologist within the Robotics Section at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. His main research interests are in the development of methodologies for the analysis, design, and control of autonomous systems, with an emphasis on self-driving cars, autonomous aerospace vehicles, and future mobility systems. He is a recipient of a number of awards, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama, an ONR YIP Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and a NASA Early Career Faculty Award. He was identified by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as one of America's 20 most highly promising investigators under the age of 40. His work has been recognized with best paper nominations or awards at the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, at the Field and Service Robotics Conference, at the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, at the ROBOCOMM Conference, and at NASA symposia. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Control Systems Magazine.

    Host: Paul Bogdan

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 109

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Gustavo A. Fimbres Weihs, PhD, CONACYT Research Fellow - ITSON, Dept. of Water & Environmental Sciences, Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora

    Talk Title: Reducing the impacts of biofouling in RO through membrane modifications and hydrodynamics -“ Dealing with water scarcity in Sonora, Mexico

    Abstract: Water scarcity affects many regions of the world that already face issues with water supply. The state of Sonora, Mexico, is constantly afflicted by physical water scarcity, and this has led to social conflict in recent years. This work summarizes recent results of the CONACyT Fellowship Research Project at ITSON, which aims to improve the understanding of reverse osmosis membrane biofouling, specifically for the Pacific coast of Mexico, and develop strategies for reducing its impact on seawater desalination. Both experimental and numerical (CFD) efforts are underway. Through the analysis of the microbiological composition and seasonal variability of water from the Sea of Cortez, native seawater bacterium strain (Bacillus halotolerans MCC1) has been isolated and used for accelerated biofouling experiments. The suitability of iron nanoparticles (FeNPs) and graphene oxide (GO) for reducing biofouling has been tested. CFD simulations have been performed to test forced transient flow techniques for improving mass transfers in membrane modules, and for designing novel spacer geometries through 3D printing techniques. Moreover, the use of solar energy for desalination is being assessed and optimized. By means of this multi-prong approach, the aim is to reduce costs and make RO desalination an accessible technology for dealing with water scarcity in Sonora.

    Biography: Dr. Gustavo Fimbres Weihs received his B.Eng. in Chemical and Systems Engineering in 2002 from Monterrey Tech, Campus Monterrey, and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2008 from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), in Sydney, Australia, at the UNESCO Membrane Science and Technology Center. During his doctoral work he used numerical simulations of fluid dynamics (CFD) to analyze the flows within the membrane modules that are used for water treatment and desalination. He also worked on a desalination linkage project between the University of New South Wales and the European Union, as part of Framework Programme 6. From 2009 to 2014 he worked as a researcher for the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) in Australia, where he led the research into CO2 Transport Networks and co-led the development of a techno-economic model for the analysis of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects. He has collaborated on consultancy and feasibility studies conducted by CO2CRC. He is currently a CONACYT Research Fellow at the Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora (ITSON), where he leads collaborative research projects dealing with RO membrane biofouling (IHE-Delft), membrane modifications, solar energy use for desalination (CSIR-CSMCRI India) and CFD modelling of the hydrodynamics in membrane modules (UMP Malaysia). He is a board member of the Mexican Society of Membrane Science and Technology

    Host: Dr. Amy Childress

    Location: Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (MCB) - 101

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Evangeline Reyes

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  • W.V.T. RUSCH ENGINEERING HONORS COLLOQUIUM

    Fri, Apr 19, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Daniel Cayan, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

    Talk Title: The Future of the California Climate

    Host: EHP and Dr. Prata

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Apr 19, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Emmanouil M Tentzeris, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

    Talk Title: 3D/4D Printed Flexible Autonomous Wireless Modules for IoT and Smart City Applications

    Host: Profs. Hossein Hashemi, Mike Chen, Dina El-Damak, and Mahta Moghaddam

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Emmanouil Tentzeris.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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  • ECE Seminar: Analyzing Learning Algorithms: Perspectives from Information Theory and Optimal Transport

    Mon, Apr 22, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Varun Jog, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Talk Title: Analyzing Learning Algorithms: Perspectives from Information Theory and Optimal Transport

    Abstract: In this talk, we will analyze generalization and robustness properties of learning algorithms using tools derived from information theory and optimal transport. In statistical learning theory, generalization error is used to quantify the degree to which a supervised machine learning algorithm may overfit to training data. Leveraging recent work [Xu and Raginsky (2017)], we derive information-theoretic generalization error bounds for a broad class of iterative algorithms that are characterized by bounded, noisy updates with Markovian structure, such as stochastic gradient Langevin dynamics (SGLD). We describe certain shortcomings of these information-theoretic bounds, and propose alternate strategies that rely on optimal transport theory. We show that results from optimal transport are well-suited to analyze not only generalization properties, but also robustness properties of learning algorithms.

    Biography: Varun Jog received his B.Tech. degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Bombay in 2010, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) from UC Berkeley in 2015. Since 2016, he is an Assistant Professor at the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and a fellow at the Grainger Institute for Engineering at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His research interests include information theory, machine learning, and network science. He is a recipient of the Eli Jury award from the EECS Department at UC Berkeley (2015) and the Jack Keil Wolf student paper award at ISIT 2015.


    Host: Professor Salman Avestimehr, avestime@usc.edu

    Location: Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center (EEB) - 248

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • Munushian Keynote Lecture - F. Duncan Haldane - Nobel Laureate, Physics 2016, Princeton University

    Mon, Apr 22, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: F. Duncan Haldane, Princeton University

    Talk Title: Topological Quantum Matter, Entanglement, and the Second Quantum Revolution

    Abstract: While the laws of quantum mechanics have remained unchanged and always validated for the last eighty-five years, new discoveries about the exotic states that they allow, entanglement, and ideas from quantum information theory have greatly changed our perspective, so much so that some talk of a "second quantum revolution" that is currently underway. The discovery of unexpected "topological states of matter", and their possible use for "topologically-protected quantum information processing" is one of the important themes of these developments, and will be reviewed. Some of the early work in the 1980's that began to expose topological quantum matter has already earned Nobel Prizes, including the experimental discoveries of von Klitzing (Integer Quantum Hall Effect, Nobel 1985), and Stormer and Tsui (Fractional Quantum Hall Effect, Nobel 1998), the theoretical discovery of its description by Laughlin (co-laureate, 1998), and the work honored by the recent 2016 prize, which also occured in the 1980's. Given the surprising nature of subsequent recent developments, and the excitement they have generated, it seems likely that more will follow, especially if the current attempts to demonstrate "braiding" become successful. It is no exaggeration to say that, at least in Condensed Matter Physics, the concepts and language used to describe quantum states of matter have dramatically changed since about 1980 as a result of all these developments, in which the quantum property of "entanglement" plays a key role.

    Biography: Duncan Haldane, who shared the 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics with David Thouless and Michael Kosterlitz, is the Sherman Fairchild University Professor of Physics at Princeton University, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and a Foreign Associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Physics (UK).
    He was awarded a share of the Nobel Prize for his theoretical work on "topological states of matter", including pioneering
    work on unexpected (and initially controversial) "topological quantum states" of one-dimensional systems of magnetic atoms (for which he had previously received the 1993 Oliver Buckley Prize of the American Physical Society), and on the 1988 theoretical prediction of (ferromagnetic) topological insulators exhibiting the "quantum anomalous Hall effect" (finally observed experimentally many years later in 2013) for which he shared the 2012 Dirac medal of the International
    Center for Theoretical Physics (Trieste) with Charles Kane and Shou-Cheng Zhang. His work helped to open up new directions and ways of thinking about quantum effects in condensed matter, and in recent years, "topological quantum matter" has grown into a very active experimental field which many believe may provide platforms for "quantum computing". He also initiated the field of "topological photonics". He currently works on "quantum geometry" in the "fractional quantum Hall effect".
    Dr. Haldane received his Ph. D. in theoretical condensed matter physics from Cambridge University, under the direction
    and mentorship of Philip W. Anderson (Nobel Laureate in Physics 1977), and, before his appointment at Princeton University, worked at the Institut Laue-Langevin (Grenoble, France), the University of Southern California, Bell Laboratories, and the University of California, San Diego. Haldane was born in London in 1951, of mixed Scottish and Slovenian origins. Despite also having three forenames, he is unrelated to the famous biologist J. B. S. Haldane.

    Host: ECE-Electrophysics

    More Info: https://minghsiehee.usc.edu/about/lectures/munushian/

    Location: Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (MCB) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Marilyn Poplawski

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  • IoT Solutions with Amazon Web Services

    Tue, Apr 23, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Chris Azer, Amazon Web Services

    Talk Title: IoT Solutions with Amazon Web Services

    Abstract: There are billions of devices in homes, factories, oil wells, hospitals, cars, and thousands of other places. With the proliferation of devices, you increasingly need solutions to connect them, and collect, store, and analyze device data. AWS IoT provides broad and deep functionality, spanning the edge to the cloud, so you can build IoT solutions for virtually any use case across a wide range of devices. This session will explore customer use cases and dive deep into some of these core IoT services in the cloud and at the edge.

    Biography: As an IoT Specialist Solutions Architect for AWS Public Sector, Chris Azer is responsible for supporting federal and state government agencies and partners with their IoT initiatives. With over 15 years of experience, it has been his main goal to help customers extract value from connected devices within the public sector community and industrial automation. Today, Chris helps his customers improve quality of life for populations, business operations, quality of care from service providers, environmental sustainability, and host of other use case scenarios.


    Host: Bhaskar Krishnamachari, CCI

    More Information: 190423_AWS_Chris Azer Flyer.pdf

    Location: Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (MCB) - 101

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • Epstein Institute Seminar - ISE 651

    Tue, Apr 23, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Chi Zhou, Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo, The State Univ. of NY

    Talk Title: Additive Manufacturing of Multiscale, Multifunctional Structures

    Host: Dr. Yong Chen

    More Information: April 23, 2019.pdf

    Location: Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) - 206

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • CS Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Dan Boneh (Stanford University) – Cryptography for Blockchains

    Tue, Apr 23, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Dan Boneh, Stanford University

    Talk Title: Cryptography for Blockchains

    Series: Computer Science Distinguished Lecture Series

    Abstract: This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Dr. Boneh is a Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University where he heads the applied cryptography group and co-directs the computer security lab. Dr. Boneh's research focuses on applications of cryptography to computer security. His work includes cryptosystems with novel properties, web security, cryptography for blockchains, and cryptanalysis. He is the author of over a 150 publications in the field and is a recipient of the 2014 ACM prize, the 2013 Godel prize, the RSA award in mathematics, and six best paper awards. In 2016 Dr. Boneh was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.


    Host: Computer Science Department

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things and Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series

    Wed, Apr 24, 2019 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Prof. Nalini Venkatasubramanian, Department of Computer Science, University of California Irvine

    Talk Title: Resilient Communities, The Elements - A Middleware Perspective

    Series: Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet of Things

    Abstract: Advances in technology mobile computing, cyberphysical systems, Internet-of-Things, cloud computing and big data technologies are making available new modalities of information and new channels of communication. It has enabled the interconnection of objects and data to provide novel services that are changing the landscape of cities and communities worldwide. The impact of these technologies are being felt when they improve and enrich the basic elements of our daily lives in our homes and workplaces. During large scale disasters and unexpected events such as (fires, floods and earthquakes), these technologies can be morphed to gain improved situational awareness and better decision support for response personnel, agencies and citizens. The ability to ensure resilient operation under small events and large disasters requires intelligent data collection and data exchange from diverse devices and data sources and interpretation of this information for higher level semantic observations. Drawing on our recent efforts in smartspaces, smart firefighting and smartwater infrastructures , I will discuss the role of adaptive middleware and big data technologies to generate situational awareness. The ability to combine novel technologies at multiple layers will open up new possibilities for resilient and scalable communities of the future.

    Biography: Nalini Venkatasubramanian is currently a Professor in the School of Information and Computer Science at the University of California Irvine. She has had significant research and industry experience in the areas of distributed systems, adaptive middleware, pervasive and mobile computing, cyberphysical systems, distributed multimedia and formal methods and has over 250 publications in these areas. As a key member of the Center for Emergency Response Technologies at UC Irvine, Nalini's recent research has focused on enabling resilient and sustainable communities using IoT/CPS technologies. In particular, her research addresses scalable observation and analysis of situational information from multimodal input sources; dynamic adaptation of the underlying systems to enable information flow under massive failures and the dissemination of rich notifications to members of the public at large. She is the recipient of the prestigious NSF Career Award, multiple Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards and best paper awards. Prof. Venkatasubramanian has served in numerous program and organizing committees of conferences on middleware, distributed systems and multimedia and on the editorial boards of journals. She received and M.S and Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. Her research is supported both by government and industrial sources such as NSF, DHS, ONR, DARPA, Novell, Hewlett-Packard and Nokia. Prior to arriving at UC Irvine, Nalini was a Research Staff Member at the Hewlett-Packard Laboratories in Palo Alto, California.

    Host: Paul Bogdan

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Apr 26, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, Associate Professor, UC Berkeley

    Talk Title: Hybrid and Resonant Switched-Capacitor Power Converters -“ Achieving High Power Density in Applications Ranging from Electric Aircrafts to Data Centers

    Host: Profs. Hossein Hashemi, Mike Chen, Dina El-Damak, and Mahta Moghaddam

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Robert Pilawa-Podgurski.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Seminar - Distinguished Lecture Series

    Tue, Apr 30, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Rishi Raj, Materials Science & Engineering Program - University of Colorado Boulder

    Talk Title: The Physics of Flash Sintering and Related Phenomena

    Abstract: Flash sintering, first discovered in 2010, has three features, a non-linear increase in electrical conductivity, electroluminescence and a massive increase in solid state diffusion. More recently the experiments have expanded into new regimes of physics and materials science. For example powders of elemental oxides sinter and transform into single phase ceramics of complex chemistries in a few seconds at furnace temperature well below 1000 C. The simplicity and frugality of the method is striking. Flash is emerging as an enabling technology for the synthesis of compounds, such as solid-state electrolytes for lithium ion batteries, which are difficult to make by conventional methods

    Host: Dr. Branicio

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 200

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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