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Events for April 25, 2023

  • PhD Thesis Defense - Yannan Li

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PhD Thesis Defense - Yannan Li

    Title: Formal Analysis of the Data Poisoning Robustness of K-Nearest Neighbors

    Committee members(Lexicographic order): Pierluigi Nuzzo, Mukund Raghothaman, Chao Wang (chair)

    Abstract: Data poisoning, which aims to corrupt a machine learning model and change its inference results by changing data elements in its training set, poses a significant threat to machine learning based software systems. However, formally certifying data poisoning robustness is a challenging task. I designed and implemented a set of formal methods for deciding, both efficiently and accurately, the data-poisoning robustness of the k-nearest neighbors (KNN) algorithm, which is a widely-used supervised machine learning technique. First, I developed a method for certifying the data-poisoning robustness of KNN by soundly overapproximating both the learning and inference phases of the KNN algorithm. Second, I developed a method for falsifying data-poisoning robustness, by quickly detecting the truly-non-robust cases using search space pruning and sampling. Finally, I extended these methods to other attack models and fairness certification, thus allowing for a more comprehensive analysis of the robustness of KNN.

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Melissa Ochoa

    Event Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/94891715635?pwd=SFI5VFBtMndhN3BORk5GSjRyS2IzQT09

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  • PhD Thesis Proposal - Shihan Lu

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Title: Analysis, Synthesis, and Perception of Multimodal Feedback for Humans and Robots

    Committee: Heather Culbertson (Chair), Stefanos Nikolaidis, Gaurav Sukhatme, Jernej Barbic, Shrikanth Narayanan

    Date: Tuesday, April 25, 11 am - 1 pm PST

    Abstract: Multimodal feedback, including haptic and auditory feedback, is often overlooked in interactive and contact-rich scenarios in the studies with both humans and robots, such as writing on the back of an envelope with a pen or grasping a block in a Jenga game. In this work, I focus on three perspectives related to the multimodal feedback in interactions: (1) Analysis â“ how to extract useful and interpretable features from multimodal feedback; (2) Synthesis â“ how to simulate realistic virtual feedback; and (3) Perception â“ how humans and robots respond to the feedback. I explore these perspectives through tasks of sound modeling, haptic texture design, large-scale texture classification, and state-aware robot manipulation. With these tasks, the objective is to enhance the interactive experience in virtual reality, improve the understanding of crossmodal relationships, and complement visual and tactile sensing in challenging robot manipulation tasks.

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 306

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Melissa Ochoa

    Event Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/93301568398?pwd=RjYxRTRSU1hrbktzN0wweWZxT0JDQT09 ; Meeting ID: 933 0156 8398 ; Passcode: 311777

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  • CS Colloquium: Wanrong Zhang (Harvard) - Enabling Interactivity to Move Differential Privacy Closer to Practice

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Wanrong Zhang, Harvard University

    Talk Title: Enabling Interactivity to Move Differential Privacy Closer to Practice

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: With growing concerns about large-scale data collection and surveillance, the development of privacy-preserving tools can help alleviate public fears about the misuse of personal data. The field of differential privacy (DP) offers powerful data analysis tools that provide worst-case privacy guarantees. However, most of the existing tools in the differential privacy literature only apply to static databases with non-interactive analysis, which release query answers in a single shot. In practice, data analysts often need to perform a sequence of adaptive analyses on data arriving online, which raises the need for interactive data analysis. This development poses two major questions: 1. How can we design interactive mechanisms that strike a better trade-off between privacy and accuracy? 2. Can we combine multiple interactive mechanisms as building blocks to create a more complex DP algorithm?

    In this talk, I will discuss some of my work that answers these questions. To answer the first question, I have created a wide set of tools for private online decision-making problems. I will present one example problem for handling online databases---differentially private change-point detection. Second, I will show the optimal composition theorems for composing multiple interactive mechanisms. My work is among the first to address this long-standing gap in the understanding of composition for differential privacy. I will conclude the talk with my future directions.


    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Wanrong Zhang is an NSF Computing Innovation Fellow in the Theory of Computing group at Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. She is also a member of the Harvard Privacy Tools/OpenDP project. Her primary focus is to address new challenges introduced by real-world deployments of differential privacy. Before joining Harvard, she received her Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology. She was selected as a rising star in EECS in 2022 and a rising star in Data Science in 2021. She is a recipient of the Computing Innovation Fellowship from CCC/CRA/NSF.

    Host: Jiapeng Zhang

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 132

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • DEN@Viterbi: How to Apply Virtual Info Session

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    DEN@Viterbi, Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Join USC Viterbi representatives for a step-by-step guide and tips for how to apply for formal admission into a Master\'s degree or Graduate Certificate program. The session is intended for individuals who wish to pursue a graduate degree program completely online via USC Viterbi\'s flexible online DEN@Viterbi delivery method.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with USC Viterbi representatives and ask questions about the admission process throughout the session.

    Register Now!

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/weblink/register/r8f26794575597c288a2f21a96e8cfc5c

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • PHD Thesis Proposal - Woojeong Jin

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    University Calendar



    PHD Thesis Proposal - Woojeong Jin

    Title: Towards a Better Reasoner on Visual Information

    Humans acquire knowledge by processing visual information through observation and imagination, which expands our reasoning capability about the physical world we encounter every day. Despite significant progress in solving AI problems, current state-of-the-art models in natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision (CV) have limitations in terms of reasoning and generalization, particularly with complex reasoning on visual information and generalizing to unseen vision-language tasks. This thesis proposal aims to address these shortcomings by presenting a series of works that enable smaller vision-language (VL) models to generalize to new tasks, improve language models by incorporating visual information, and evaluate language models by assessing their ability to reason about the physical world through text.

    https://usc.zoom.us/j/98941948220

    12 pm on 4/25

    Committee Members: Xiang Ren, Ram Nevatia, Jesse Thomason, Robin Jia, Emilio Ferrara.

    Location: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98941948220

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Asiroh Cham

    Event Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98941948220

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  • PHD Thesis Proposal - Peifeng Wang

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PHD Thesis Proposal - Peifeng Wang

    Title: Building Small-Scale but Advanced Language Reasoners

    Abstract:
    The entanglement of multiple language capabilities within large language models requires expensive scaling to work effectively. I argue that a disassociation of these capabilities from core language skills can enable the creation of smaller, more accessible language models. Additionally, this disassociation will facilitate the development of language models with enhanced reasoning abilities.

    This thesis proposal presents three techniques to build small language models with advanced reasoning capabilities. First, I introduce an Imagine&Verbalize framework for generative commonsense reasoning, which decomposes a complex generation task into easier sub-tasks and learns from a diverse set of indirect supervision from multiple domains. Second, I present a knowledge-transferring pipeline which prompts large language models to rationalize for an open-domain question and then trains small language models to answer consistently. Third, I discuss augmenting small LMs with a working memory for coherent language reasoning by tracking the states of the described world.



    Venue: zoom at https://usc.zoom.us/j/97850702935?pwd=ekJ0K1RMM045Tk1EQUV1OUEvOE5iQT09

    Date and time: 3:00pm-4:30pm on April 25th

    Committee Members: Xiang Ren (chair), Filip Ilievski, Swabha Swayamdipta, Ram Nevatia, Emilio Ferrara

    Location: https://usc.zoom.us/j/97850702935?pwd=ekJ0K1RMM045Tk1EQUV1OUEvOE5iQT09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Asiroh Cham

    Event Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/97850702935?pwd=ekJ0K1RMM045Tk1EQUV1OUEvOE5iQT09

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  • Epstein Institute - ISE 651 Seminar

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Dinakar Gade, Product Manager, Xpress Optimization

    Talk Title: Recent Trends and Evolution in Optimization Solvers

    Host: Prof. Suvrajeet Sen

    More Information: April 25, 2023.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Grace Owh

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  • CS Colloquium: Silvia Sellan (University of Toronto) - "Geometry +": A Tour of Geometry Processing Research

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Silvia Sellan, University of Toronto

    Talk Title: \"Geometry +\": A Tour of Geometry Processing Research

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: From virtual reality to 3D printing, all the way through self-driving cars and the metaverse, today\'s technological advances rely more and more on capturing, creating and processing three-dimensional geometry. In this talk, we will show how geometry processing can empower other areas of Computer Science to find new research questions and solutions. Specifically, we will focus on our latest progress on realtime fracture simulation for video games, an algorithmic fairness analysis of gender in the Computer Graphics literature and a quantification of the uncertainty associated with several steps of the Geometry Processing pipeline


    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Silvia is a fourth year Computer Science PhD student at the University of Toronto. She is advised by Alec Jacobson and working in Computer Graphics and Geometry Processing. She is a Vanier Doctoral Scholar, an Adobe Research Fellow and the winner of the 2021 University of Toronto Arts & Science Dean\'s Doctoral Excellence Scholarship. She has interned twice at Adobe Research and twice at the Fields Institute of Mathematics. She is also a founder and organizer of the Toronto Geometry Colloquium and a member of WiGRAPH. She is currently looking to survey potential future postdoc and faculty positions, starting Fall 2024

    Host: Oded Stein

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Melissa Ochoa

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  • Partners in Materials Research Seminar Series - DR. LOUIS PEREZ of Apeel Sciences

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Louis Perez, Apeel Sciences

    Talk Title: From Idea to Product: Leveraging Chemistry and Materials to Reduce Food Waste

    Host: Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and The USC Materials Consortium

    More Information: Confirmed Flyer. Louis Perez.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Monique Garcia

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  • Abbott Coffee Chat

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Coffee Chat with Abbott!

    Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2023
    Time: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall (RTH) 211

    Please join the Abbott Cardiovascular Team for a Coffee Chat. Feel free to bring your questions about Abbott, resumes, interviewing, business and engineering, and more!

    Event overview, who will be speaking, details and what your opportunities are, and any other pertinent information. Nicole Hill, Tyler Smith, and Dean Khan will be speaking about their personal journeys and about Abbott Cardiovascular.
    What majors and class levels are you interested in connecting with? Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Systems, Computer Engineering, Supply Chain, Electrical Engineering
    Are you recruiting for internships, full time, or both? Networking session, and 2024 intern recruiting.
    Can you offer Visa sponsorship? Are you able to hire a student on CPT or OPT? We require unrestricted work eligibility for hiring students.

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • WIE Senior Send Off

    Tue, Apr 25, 2023 @ 06:10 PM - 08:10 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Student Activity


    Come celebrate our seniors with WIE; whether you are supporting your senior friends, graduating, or just coming for some fun, join us for dinner and DIY fun! Bring your friends for a final celebration before the end of this semester! *senior standing status must be verified for senior gifts

    Location: Sign into EngageSC to View Location

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Maia Calderon-Ramos

    Event Link: https://engage.usc.edu/WIE/rsvp?id=389333

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