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Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars
Events for October

  • ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar

    Tue, Oct 01, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Lei Zuo, Professor and Director, Virginia Tech

    Talk Title: Energy Harvesting: From Self-Powered Sensing and Control to Blue Energy and Advanced Manufacturing

    Host: Prof. Yong Chen

    More Information: October 1, 2019.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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

    Wed, Oct 02, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Sanjay Shakkottai, The University of Texas at Austin

    Talk Title: Hyper-parameter Tuning for ML Models: A Monte-Carlo Tree Search (MCTS) Approach

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

    Abstract: We study the application of online learning techniques in the context of hyper-parameter tuning, which is of growing importance in general machine learning. Modern neural networks have several tunable parameters, where training for even one such parameter configuration can take several hours to days. We first cast hyper-parameter tuning as optimizing a multi-fidelity black-box function (which is noise-less) and propose a multi-fidelity tree search algorithm for the same. We then present extensions of our model and algorithm, so that they can function even in the presence of noise. We show that our tree-search based algorithms can outperform state of the art hyper-parameter tuning algorithms on several benchmark data-sets.

    Biography: Sanjay Shakkottai received his Ph.D. from the ECE Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. He is with The University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently the Temple Foundation Endowed Professor No. 3, and a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2004, and was elected as an IEEE Fellow in 2014. His research interests lie at the intersection of algorithms for resource allocation, statistical learning and networks, with applications to wireless communication networks and online platforms.

    Host: Paul Bogdan

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Oct 02, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Mimi Koehl, University of California, Berkeley

    Talk Title: Navigating in a Turbulent Environment

    Abstract: When organisms locomote and interact in nature, they must navigate through complex habitats that vary on many spatial scales, and they are buffeted by turbulent wind or water currents and waves that also vary on a range of spatial and temporal scales. We have been using the microscopic larvae of bottom dwelling marine animals to study how the interaction between the swimming or crawling by an organism and the turbulent water flow around them determines how they move through the environment. Many bottom dwelling marine animals produce microscopic larvae that are dispersed to new sites by ambient water currents, and then must land and stay put on surfaces in suitable habitats. Field and laboratory measurements enabled us to quantify the fine scale, rapidly changing patterns of water velocity vectors and of chemical cue concentrations near coral reefs and along fouling communities (organisms growing on docks and ships). We also measured the swimming behavior of larvae of reef dwelling and fouling community animals, and their responses to chemical and mechanical cues. We used these data to design agent based models of larval behavior. By putting model larvae into our real world flow and chemical data, which varied on spatial and temporal scales experienced by microscopic larvae, we could explore how different responses by larvae affected their transport and their recruitment into reefs or fouling communities. The most effective strategy for recruitment depends on habitat.

    Biography: Mimi Koehl, a Professor of the Graduate School in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley, earned her Ph.D. in Zoology at Duke University. She studies the physics of how organisms interact with their environments, focusing on how microscopic creatures swim and capture food in turbulent water flow, how organisms glide in turbulent wind, how wave battered marine organisms avoid being washed away, and how olfactory antennae catch odors from water or air moving around them.

    Professor Koehl is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Her awards include a MacArthur genius grant, a Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Martin Award (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, for research that created a paradigm shift in an area of aquatic sciences), the Borelli Award (American Society of Biomechanics, for outstanding career accomplishment), the Rachel Carson Award (American Geophysical Union, for cutting-edge ocean science), and the Muybridge Award (International Society of Biomechanics highest honor).



    Host: AME Department

    More Info: https://ame.usc.edu/seminars/

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Wed, Oct 02, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Kostas Papakonstantinou, Penn State University

    Talk Title: Computational decision-making under uncertainty in engineering systems: Linking UQ to the action space

    Abstract: At the core of every engineering problem lies a decision-making quest, either directly or indirectly. Sophisticated UQ methods are essentially providing decision support through efficient quantification of selected metrics and quantities of interest, and sensitivity analysis. Nonetheless, despite significant progress in UQ methods and techniques, the actual decision-making process is still largely dependent on the static and rather limited traditional cost-benefit analysis framework, and dedicated rigorous computational methodologies for engineering decisions under uncertainty are practically elusive. In this talk, an approach for a seamless integration of stochastic models and data with computational decision-making, able to directly and autonomously offer optimal actions to decision-makers/agents is analyzed. As shown, challenging sequential decision-making problems in nonstationary dynamic environments can be efficiently formulated along the premises of optimal stochastic control, through Markov Decision Processes (MDPs), Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes (POMDPs), and mixed approaches thereof. In systems with relatively low dimensional state and action spaces, MDPs and POMDPs can be satisfactorily solved to global optimality through appropriate dynamic programming algorithms. However, optimal planning for large systems with multiple components is computationally hard and severely suffers from the curse of dimensionality. New developments on Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) methods and their capacity of addressing this problem are discussed, with emphasis on our developed DRL formulations and novel algorithmic schemes, specifically tailored to the needs of large engineering systems, able to solve otherwise intractable problems with immense state and action spaces. DRL relations to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are also explained and techniques are demystified down to their fundamental mathematical attributes, underlying computational aspects and connections to engineering. The talk concludes with numerous ongoing efforts along these lines, from centralized/decentralized infrastructure management, to emergency response of cooperating agents, to autonomous robotic navigation and wildfire prevention.



    Biography: Dr. Kostas Papakonstantinou is an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at Penn State. He obtained a five year Diploma in Civil Engineering and a M.S. in Structural Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining Penn State, he was an Associate Research Scientist at Columbia University. Dr. Papakonstantinou work focuses on probabilistic analysis and stochastic mechanics, decision-making under uncertainty, machine learning, optimization-inverse methods, and their integration with computational structural mechanics and engineering applications. His research has been funded by various programs and his work has received several awards, including the National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2018.

    Host: Dr. Roger Ghanem

    More Information: Abstract-Bio-K. Papakonstantinou.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Evangeline Reyes

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  • NL Seminar-NLP in Computational Journalism: notes from the field at the New York Times

    Thu, Oct 03, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Alex Spangher, USC/ISI

    Talk Title: NLP in Computational Journalism: notes from the field at the New York Times

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: Computational journalism is an emerging field seeking to enhance traditional journalistic processes -- story finding, production, distribution, funding, evaluation and security using computational techniques. Such advances comes at a critical time: journalists' ability to play a watchdog role in society is severely endangered by industry contraction and budget shortfalls.

    Many exciting developments in computational journalism require research in NLP. In this talk, I'll discuss some prior work at the New York Times, including generative localized news articles, human-in-the-loop chat-bots, personalization, and coverage-pattern modeling. I'll also discuss long-term challenges we identified in a broad survey article done at Stanford University this summer, as well as my current research directions here at USC.



    Biography: Alex Spangher was a data scientist at the New York Times, where he worked with journalists and newsroom stakeholders on data science to improve journalism coverage and revenue. He interned at Microsoft Research and spent a year as a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University before transferring to the University of Southern California to work with Emilio Ferrara and Nanyun Peng. He has an M.S. in Journalism and an M.S. in Data Science from Columbia University, and received his B.S. from Columbia as well, in neuroscience and computer science. He enjoys playing classical piano and double bass.

    Host: Emily Sheng

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

    Webcast: https://bluejeans.com/684525530

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

    WebCast Link: https://bluejeans.com/684525530

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Peter Zamar

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Oct 04, 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Gabriele Manganaro, Director of Technology at Analog Devices

    Talk Title: Mixed-Signal Technologies for Ultra-Wide Band Signal Processing Systems

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

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Gabriele Manganaro.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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  • W.V.T. RUSCH ENGINEERING HONORS COLLOQUIUM

    Fri, Oct 04, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ash Morgan, Principal Group Engineering Manager at Microsoft

    Talk Title: Profession and Careers: Plunge Straight into Life

    Host: EHP

    Audiences: By Invite Only

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • Franco Nori - Munushian Seminar Series, Friday, October 4th at 2pm in EEB 132

    Fri, Oct 04, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Franco Nori, Riken, Saitama, Japan, University of Michigan

    Talk Title: Parity-Time-symmetric optics, extraordinary momentum and spin in evanescent waves, optical analog of topological insulators, and the quantum spin Hall effect of light

    Abstract: This talk provides a brief overview to some aspects of parity-time-symmetric optics, extraordinary momentum and spin in evanescent waves, optical analog of topological insulators, and the quantum spin Hall effect of light.
    1. Parity-Time-Symmetric Optics
    Optical systems combining balanced loss and gain provide a unique platform to implement classical analogues of quantum systems described by non-Hermitian parity-time (PT)-symmetric Hamiltonians. Such systems can be used to create synthetic materials with properties that cannot be attained in materials having only loss or only gain. We report PT-symmetry breaking in coupled optical resonators. We observed non-reciprocity in the PT-symmetry-breaking phase due to strong field localization, which significantly enhances nonlinearity. In the linear regime, light transmission is reciprocal regardless of whether the symmetry is broken or unbroken. We show that in one direction there is a complete absence of resonance peaks whereas in the other direction the transmission is resonantly enhanced, which is associated with the use of resonant structures. Our results could lead to a new generation of synthetic optical systems enabling onchip manipulation and control of light propagation.
    2. The quantum spin Hall effect of light: photonic analog of 3D topological insulators Maxwell's equations, formulated 150 years ago, ultimately describe properties of light, from classical electromagnetism to quantum and relativistic aspects. The latter ones result in remarkable geometric and topological phenomena related to the spin-1 massless nature of photons. By analyzing fundamental spin properties of Maxwell waves, we show that freespace light exhibits an intrinsic quantum spin Hall effect -”surface modes with strong spin-momentum locking. These modes are evanescent waves that form, for example, surface plasmon-polaritons at vacuum-metal interfaces. Our findings illuminate the unusual transverse spin in evanescent waves and explain recent experiments that have demonstrated the transverse spin-direction locking in the excitation of surface optical modes. This deepens our understanding of Maxwell's theory, reveals analogies with topological insulators for electrons, and offers applications for robust spin-directional optical interfaces.

    Biography: Dr. Nori received a PhD in Physics from the University of Illinois, and then did postdoctoral research work at the Institute for Theoretical Physics, now KITP, at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Afterwards, he became Assistant, Associate, full Professor and Research Scientist at the Physics Department of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
    He is a RIKEN Chief Scientist, leading the "Theoretical Quantum Physics Laboratory" at RIKEN (the Japanese National Laboratory).
    His research group has done pioneering interdisciplinary studies at the interface between nanoscience, quantum
    information, superconducting quantum circuitry for quantum computing, photonics, quantum optics, atomic physics, nano-mechanics, mesoscopics, computational physics, and condensed matter physics.
    During the past decade, his research group has produced 40 highly-cited papers (i.e., top 1% most cited publications
    among all papers in all areas of Physics) according to the Web of Science. He has more than 100 publications in Physical Review Letters, over 50 in Science and Nature journals, and also numerous in other top journals. According to the Web of Science: > 34K citations and h-index 89 (Google Scholar: > 48K citations and h-index 102).

    Host: ECE-Electrophysics

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

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Marilyn Poplawski

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  • Fall 2019 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Oct 07, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jin Wang, Auburn University

    Talk Title: Process Monitoring for Smart Manufacturing: Challenges and Opportunities

    Abstract: Process monitoring is an important component in the long-term reliable operation of any system or process and its importance can only become greater in the era of smart manufacturing. Currently, driving by market demand and global competition, process operations in manufacturing are being pushed closer to the process limits; at the same time, with recent advances in sensor technology (such as Internet-of-Things devices), data storage and computing power, there are more data than ever before being collected and stored. These on-going changes in manufacturing industries present a broad spectrum of challenges and opportunities to process monitoring. In this talk, we present a roadmap that summarizes the development of process monitoring over the last century, with the focus on how process monitoring has been evolving in response to various challenges presented by manufacturing industries. Specifically, we believe feature space monitoring (FSM) is emerging as the next generation process monitoring tool, and is poised to provide general solutions that could address many unsolved long-standing challenges (such as process nonlinearity) and emerging challenges (such as 4V challenges associated with IoT generated big data). Finally, we introduce Statistics Pattern Analysis (SPA) as a specific example of FSM, with several case studies (including an IoT-enabled testbed) to demonstrate its performance in addressing various challenges exhibited in smart manufacturing

    Biography: Dr. Jin Wang is Walt and Virginia Woltosz Endowed Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Auburn University. She obtained her BS and PhD degrees in chemical engineering (specialized in biochemical engineering) from Tsinghua University in 1994, and 1999 respectively. She then obtained a PhD degree (specialized in control engineering) from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. While pursuing her second PhD, she joined AMD in 2002 as a senior development engineer. In 2006, Dr. Wang joined Auburn University as B. Redd Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011, then full professor in 2016. The central theme of her research is to apply systems engineering principles and techniques to understand, predict and control complex dynamic systems, including both engineered systems and microbial organisms. Her current research interest includes genome-scale metabolic network modeling and analysis with experimental validations, and big data analytics for smart manicuring. Her research is funded by various US federal and state funding agencies including DOE, NSF, USDA, DOEd and DOT, as well as private foundations.

    Host: Joe Qin, sqin@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Fall/wang.html

    More Information: 191006_Jin Wang.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • CILQ Faculty Seminar

    Mon, Oct 07, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Andreas Molisch, Professor/USC

    Talk Title: MM-wave propagation channels and their impact on 5G system design

    Abstract: Communication in the mm-wave band is an essential part of 5G, allowing us to reach the ambitious data rate and throughput goals of IMT-2020. In order to design systems that will work in practice, a thorough understanding of mm-wave propagation channels is required. This must be based on measurements in real-world channels. This talk provides an overview of such research. After a brief introduction of suitable channel sounders, the talk will concentrate on (i) requirements for street-by-street pathloss models, (ii) dynamics of angular statistics, (iii) outdoor-to-indoor propagation in mm-wave bands, and (iv) spatial consistency and the change of second-order channel statistics. The impact of these channel effects on system design and deployment planning will be elaborated.

    Host: CSI

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Corine Wong

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  • ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar

    Tue, Oct 08, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Dmitrii Ostrovskii, Postdoctoral Scholar

    Talk Title: On Fast Rates In Empirical Risk Minimization Beyond Least-Squares

    Host: Dr. Meisam Razaviyayn

    More Information: October 8, 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, Oct 08, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Yvonne Chen, University of California, Los Angeles

    Talk Title: Engineering Next-Generation T Cells for Cancer Immunotherapy

    Abstract: The adoptive transfer of T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in the treatment of advanced cancers, with anti-CD19 CAR-T cells achieving up to 90% complete remission among patients with relapsed B-cell malignancies. However, challenges such as antigen escape and immunosuppression limit the long-term efficacy of adoptive T-cell therapy. Here, I will discuss the development of next-generation T cells that can target multiple cancer antigens and resist immunosuppression, thereby increasing the robustness of therapeutic T cells against tumor defense mechanisms. Specifically, I will discuss the development of multi-input receptors and T cells that can interrogate intracellular antigens. I will also discuss the engineering of T cells that can effectively convert TGF-beta from a potent immunosuppressive cytokine into a T-cell stimulant. This presentation will highlight the potential of synthetic biology in generating novel mammalian cell systems with multifunctional outputs for therapeutic applications.

    Host: WIChE

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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

    Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Calin Belta , Department of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University

    Talk Title: Optimization-based Formal Synthesis

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

    Abstract: In control theory, complicated dynamics such as systems of (nonlinear) differential equations are mostly controlled to achieve stability. This fundamental property is often linked with optimality, which requires minimization of a certain cost along the trajectories of a stable system. In formal synthesis, simple systems such as finite state transition graphs modeling computer programs or digital circuits are controlled from specifications such as safety, liveness, or richer requirements expressed as formulas of temporal logics. With the development and integration of cyber physical and safety critical systems, there is an increasing need for computational tools for controlling complex systems from rich, temporal logic specifications. In this talk, I will introduce some recents results on the connection between optimal control and formal synthesis. Specifically, I will focus on the following problem: given a cost and a correctness temporal logic specification for a dynamical system, generate an optimal control strategy that satisfies the specification. I will first briefly review automata-based methods, in which the dynamics of the system are mapped to a finite abstraction that is then controlled using an automaton corresponding to the specification. I will then focus on optimization-based methods, which rely on mapping the specification and the dynamics to constraints of an optimization problem. I will illustrate the usefulness of these approaches with examples from robotics and traffic control.

    Biography: Calin Belta is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University, where he holds the Tegan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship. He is the Director of the BU Robotics Lab and of the Center for Autonomous and Robotic Systems (CARS), and is also affiliated with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Division of Systems Engineering at Boston University. His research focuses on dynamics and control theory, with particular emphasis on hybrid and cyber-physical systems, formal synthesis and verification, and robotics. He received the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He is a distinguished lecturer of the IEEE Control System Society and an IEEE Fellow.

    Host: Jyotirmoy Vinay Deshmukh

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Oct 09, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Gwynn Elfring, University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC

    Talk Title: Active Particles in Complex Fluids

    Abstract: Active particles are self driven objects, biological or otherwise, which convert stored or ambient energy into systematic motion. The motion of small active particles in Newtonian fluids has received considerable attention, with interest ranging from phoretic propulsion to biological locomotion, whereas studies on active bodies immersed in complex fluids are comparatively scarce. In this talk I will discuss a theoretical formalism for understanding the motion of active particles in complex fluids and then discuss the effects of viscosity gradients, viscoelasticity and shear thinning rheology in the context of biological locomotion and the propulsion of colloidal Janus particles.

    Biography: Gwynn Elfring is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Institute of Applied Mathematics at the University of British Columbia, and currently a Visiting Associate in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. His group at UBC conducts research on biological locomotion and fluid body interactions in complex fluids and interfaces. Previously, he completed a Ph.D. at the University of California San Diego under the supervision of Eric Lauga and a postdoctoral fellowship with L. Gary Leal and Todd M. Squires at the University of California Santa Barbara.

    Host: Kanso

    Location: SLH 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • Theory Lunch

    Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 12:15 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Grigory Yaroslavtsev, Assistant Professor of Statistics at Indiana University

    Talk Title: Advances in Hierarchical Clustering of Vector Data

    Abstract: Compared to the highly successful flat clustering (e.g. k-means), despite its important role and applications in data analysis, hierarchical clustering has been lacking in rigorous algorithmic studies until late due to absence of rigorous objectives. Since 2016, a sequence of works has emerged and gave novel algorithms for this problem in the general metric setting. This was enabled by a breakthrough by Dasgupta, who introduced a formal objective into the study of hierarchical clustering.

    In this talk I will give an overview of our recent progress on models and scalable algorithms for hierarchical clustering applicable specifically to high-dimensional vector data, including embedding vectors arising from deep learning. I will first discuss various linkage-based algorithms (single-linkage, average-linkage) and their formal properties with respect to various objectives. I will then introduce a new projection-based approximation algorithm for vector data. The talk will be self-contained and does not assume prior knowledge of clustering methods.

    Host: Shaddin Dughmi

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 213

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Cherie Carter

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  • Sonny Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dennis Lettenmaier, Ph.D., Department of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles

    Talk Title: If extreme precipitation is increasing, why are not floods?

    Abstract: Despite evidence of increasing precipitation extremes, corresponding evidence for increases in flooding remains elusive. If anything, flood magnitudes are decreasing despite widespread claims by the climate community that if precipitation extremes increase, floods must also. Based on a recent 2018 WRR paper Sharma, Wasko, and Lettenmaier I suggest reasons why increases in extreme rainfall are not resulting in corresponding increases in flooding. Among them are decreases in antecedent soil moisture, decreasing storm extent, and decreases in snowmelt. I further discuss a recent analysis that investigates linkages between antecedent soil moisture and flooding along the U.S. west coast both historically 1950-present and projected into the future using downscaled global climate model output. Our analysis shows some evidence of mitigation of extreme floods in a warmer climate due to changes in antecedent soil moisture and shifts in the seasonal timing of extreme precipitation. I also discuss an ongoing analysis of flood records from 110 stream gauges for unregulated streams across the western U.S. for the period 1950-2015, where each event was classified into one of six flood-generating mechanisms. This analysis shows few trends in the mix of flood generating mechanisms over the last 50 years, of flood magnitudes, or of the seasonal timing of floods. I argue that understanding the link between changes in precipitation and changes in flooding past and future is a grand challenge for the hydrologic community and is deserving of increased attention.

    Host: Dr. George Ban-Weiss

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Evangeline Reyes

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  • W.V.T. RUSCH ENGINEERING HONORS COLLOQUIUM

    Fri, Oct 11, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Robert M. Keller, Department of Computer Science, Harvey Mudd College

    Talk Title: University Research and Industry Innovation: Music and Artificial Intelligence

    Host: EHP

    Audiences: By Invite Only

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Oct 11, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Dennis Sylvester, Professor, University of Michigan

    Talk Title: Ultra-low Power Microsystems

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

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Dennis Sylvester.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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  • Engineering Nano-electronics for Enabling Ubiquitous Intelligence

    Mon, Oct 14, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Akhilesh Jaiswal, Senior Research Engineer, GLOBALFOUNDRIES Worldwide Research Division

    Talk Title: Engineering Nano-electronics for Enabling Ubiquitous Intelligence

    Abstract: The science of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is built upon multi-disciplinary areas of research such as Nano-, Bio-electronics, and computational engineering. Despite its meticulous design, the underlying hardware fabrics fueling AI systems are based on decades-old computing principles using Boolean transistor switches. Although transistors have scaled from planar to 3D, the basic synchronous digital computing paradigm based on von-Neumann architecture has remained unaltered. Moreover, transistor scaling, which has been the driving force behind the ever-improving performance of traditional digital systems is approaching its imminent demise. These factors have led to multiple bottlenecks in terms of memory-wall, energy-efficiency, throughput, and security concerns. As such, the vision of enabling 'Ubiquitous Intelligence' cannot be achieved without mitigating the challenges mentioned above and embedding intelligent computations across high-end servers down to resource-constrained edge devices. In this talk, I will present two solutions to mitigate energy- and throughput- bottleneck based on emerging non-volatile technologies and also CMOS SRAM. In particular, I will discuss 1) voltage-controlled spin dynamics to achieve massively parallel in-memory Boolean computing, 3) embedding three terminal spin Hall device into standard SRAM cell to enable in-situ checkpointing and restore operations for intermittently powered devices 3) digital 8 transistor-SRAM bit-cells as multi-bit-analog dot product engine for AI acceleration. I will conclude the talk by presenting future research directions for beyond Moore-era AI computing.

    Biography: Akhilesh Jaiswal is currently a Senior Research Engineer for GLOBALFOUNDRIES Worldwide Research Division. As a Senior Engineer he is responsible for 1) developing compact device model for MRAM based AI in-memory circuits 2) enabling AI acceleration through hybrid photonic-electronic neuro-mimetic devices.

    Akhilesh received his Ph.D. degree in Nano-electronics from Purdue University in May 2019 under supervision of Prof. Kaushik Roy and Master's degree from University of Minnesota in May 2014. As a part of doctoral program his research focused on 1) Exploration of bio-mimetic devices and circuits using emerging non-volatile technologies for Neuromorphic computing. 2) CMOS based analog and digital in-memory and near-memory computing using standard memory bit-cells for beyond von-Neumann AI/ML acceleration. Akhilesh was an intern with GF Differentiating Technology Lab, Malta, in summer of 2017 and with ARM Devices-Circuits-System Research Group, Austin, in summer 2018. He has authored over 25+ articles in journals and conferences and has 2 issued patents and 13 pending patents under USPTO.

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

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • Fall 2019 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Oct 14, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Vasileios Christopoulos, University of California, Riverside

    Talk Title: The acting and adapting brain: Making decisions and learning to adapt in a dynamic world

    Abstract: The ability to select between competing options while acting, and learning to adapt to new situations, underlies our impressive capabilities of playing soccer, flying aircrafts and skiing on the Olympics. Although significant progress has been made on understanding the mechanisms underpinning decision-making and learning, there is no strong consensus on how the brain chooses between actions and adapts to new environmental conditions. I will discuss recent findings from our lab providing evidence that decision-making is not a centralized cognitive process that resides solely within the frontal lobe. Instead, it also includes brain areas that have been traditionally associated with planning and generating actions. By modeling the decision-making process within a neurodynamical framework, I will present an alternative hypothesis according to which decisions emerge via a continuous competition between multiple potential actions. To select between actions, the brain needs an accurate representation of the state of the body and the environment it is in. Despite the sophistication of our sensory system, it is unlikely to extract a complete and accurate representation of the state due to noise and long sensory delays. To avoid instabilities due to these factors, previous work has suggested that the brain builds internal models that predict sensory outcome of motor actions. These predictions are integrated with the incoming sensory feedback to update the estimate of the current state. By recording neural activity from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in both humans and non-human primates, I will show that PPC contains an adaptive internal forward model that learns to compensate for delayed visual feedback. I will also discuss clinical brain-machine interface (BMI) studies in human with tetraplegia that have taken steps to elucidate the mechanisms behind the acquisition of new skills and why learning new skills is easier when they are related to already learned abilities. By training a participant to control a computer cursor by modulating the neural activity of PPC neurons, we found that some patterns of activity were generated more easily than others. The easier-to-learn patterns of activity were combinations of pre-existing neuronal patterns, whereas the difficult-to-learn activity patterns were different from the neuronal patterns that the participant had experienced in the past. Importantly, there were neuronal patterns that PPC could not generate indicating that neuroplasticity in learning is constrained by the pre-existing structure of the brain. This fundamental constraint may explain why learning novel tasks can be challenging.

    Biography: Dr. Christopoulos is an Assistant Professor at the Bioengineering Department at the University of California Riverside. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering (with minor in Cognitive Sciences) from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 2010. He then moved to California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to work as a post-doctoral fellow at the Andersens lab. In 2017, he was appointed as Research Faculty at the Division of Biology and Biological Engineering at Caltech and Director of Neurotechnology at the T&C Chen Brain-Machine Interface Center. Dr. Christopoulos research group uses neurophysiological, functional brain-imaging and computational methods to elucidate the mechanisms underlying decision-making, motor learning and spatial awareness, and explore circuit dysfunctions in neurological and psychiatric disorders. In recent years, Dr. Christopoulos extended his research to clinical trials including neural prosthetic applications in individuals with tetraplegia (intracortical Brain-Machine Interface), and deep brain stimulation (DBS) in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients.

    Host: Mihailo Jovanovic, mihailo@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Fall/christopoulos.html

    More Information: 191014_Vasileios Christopoulos_CSC.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • CILQ Faculty Seminar

    Mon, Oct 14, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Salman Avestimehr, Professor/USC

    Talk Title: Coded Computing: A Transformative Framework for Resilient, Secure, and Private Distributed Learning

    Abstract: This talk introduces Coded Computing, a new framework that brings concepts and tools from information theory and coding into distributed computing to mitigate several performance bottlenecks that arise in large-scale distributed computing and machine learning, such as resiliency to stragglers and bandwidth bottleneck. Furthermore, coded computing can enable (information-theoretically) secure and private learning over untrusted workers that is gaining increasing importance in various application domains. In particular, we present CodedPrivateML for distributed learning, which keeps both the data and the model private while allowing efficient parallelization of training across untrusted distributed workers. We demonstrate that CodedPrivateML can provide an order of magnitude speedup (up to ~30x) over the cryptographic approaches that rely on secure multiparty computing.

    Host: CSI

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Corine Wong

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  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Mon, Oct 14, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Yves Weinand, Director and Head of Laboratory for Timber Construction (IBOIS)

    Talk Title: Advanced Timber Construction Using Digital Fabrication and Robotics Assemblies

    Abstract: Please see Attached.

    Host: Dr. Erik Johnson

    More Information: Y. Weinand Talk_10-14-19.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Evangeline Reyes

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Tue, Oct 15, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Nagendra Krishnapura, Professor, IIT Madras

    Talk Title: Widely Tunable Active True-Time-Delay Line and Millimeter-Wave VCO

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

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Nagendra Krishnapura.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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  • ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar

    Tue, Oct 15, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Golbon Zakeri, Associate Professor

    Talk Title: Pricing Intermittent Renewable Generation Using Stochastic Flexi-Auctions

    Host: Prof. Suvrajeet Sen

    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, Oct 15, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Jeremy Levy, University of Pittsburgh

    Talk Title: Correlated Nanoelectronics

    Host: Professor Vashishta

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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  • Medical Imaging Seminar

    Wed, Oct 16, 2019 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Vanessa Landes, University of Southern California

    Talk Title: Radiofrequency Pulse Performance for Myocardial ASL

    Series: Medical Imaging Seminar Series

    Abstract: Coronary artery disease (CAD) is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States, accounting for approximately one third of all deaths in individuals over the age of 35. Myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is an important tool to diagnose or monitor patients with CAD. Current techniques use ionizing radiation or contrast agents, and are not suitable for routine monitoring or in patients with chronic kidney disease. Myocardial Arterial Spin Labeling is under development as a contrast and radiation free MPI technique. Spatial coverage must be increased and sensitivity to transit delay must be eliminated for clinical adaptation.

    This talk will discuss technical improvements in RF pulse performance for myocardial ASL. First, a hardware-free, efficient RF predistortion technique is developed to improve SMS bSSFP imaging for increased spatial coverage of myocardial ASL. Second, a VS pulse is designed using Fourier Velocity encoding techniques and tailored specifically for labeling of coronary blood at 3T to remove transit delay sensitivities of myocardial ASL. With the proposed methods, the development of myocardial ASL approaches clinical reality.

    Biography: Vanessa Landes is a Ph.D. candidate working under the supervision of Prof. Krishna Nayak at the Magnetic Resonance Engineering Laboratory. Her research focuses on MR pulse sequence development and RF pulse design for cardiac applications at 3T.

    Host: Professor Krishna Nayak

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

    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

    Wed, Oct 16, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Sayan Mitra , University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Talk Title: Optimal Data Rate Estimation and Model Detection for Safe Autonomy

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

    Abstract: Building a safe autonomous system will involve connecting a number of perception, monitoring, and decision components over a bandwidth-constrained network. Secondly, many of these components rely heavily on models. Based on these two observations, we motivate a new line of theoretical investigation on data-rate optimal state estimation and model detection. We introduce the notion of estimation entropy that captures the minimal data rate needed for state estimation of dynamical and switched systems. While there are parallels with the information-theoretic counterparts, this notion of estimation bounds the worst-case errors which is often necessary for reasoning about safety. As we believe that computing the estimation entropy of a system exactly will be difficult, we provide upper bounds. We present an algorithm for state estimation over finite bandwidth channels that matches this upper bound. Building on this estimator, we then present an algorithm that can detect the correct model of a system from a set of candidate models. We will conclude with a discussion of switched systems and connections with formal verification.


    Biography: Sayan Mitra is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an affiliate professor of Computer Science. He is the Associate director of research at the recently formed Center for Autonomy. His research interests lie around formal verification, autonomous systems, safety and privacy in control systems, and distributed computing. He has authored a textbook on verification of cyber-physical systems (to be published by MIT press). His research group has developed several leading tools for verification and synthesis of hybrid systems. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT, MSc from the Indian Institute of Science, and a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering from Jadavpur University. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech (2008), and has held visiting faculty positions at Oxford University, TU Vienna, and Kirtland Air Force Research Laboratory. Sayan received the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, AFOSR Young Investigator Research Program Award, IEEE-HKN C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Teaching Award, a RiSE Fellowship, a Seibel Research Grant, and several best paper awards.

    Host: Jyotirmoy Vinay Deshmukh

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • CAIS Seminar: Kayla de la Haye (University of Southern California) - Promoting Healthy Eating through Local and Global Social Networks

    Wed, Oct 16, 2019 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Kayla de la Haye, University of Southern California

    Talk Title: Promoting Healthy Eating through Local and Global Social Networks

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

    Abstract: Poor diets are a major cause of common 'lifestyle' diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Although eating is often conceptualized as an individual behavior, the evidence shows that it is shaped by social and environmental forces that are insufficiently addressed in many interventions. This talk describes how complex social networks of family, friends, peers, and community stakeholders influence what people eat, and how interventions and policy can target "social architecture" to promote healthy nutrition. I emphasize the important role of innovative network and data science methods, big data, and transdisciplinary team science to advance this work.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium


    Biography: Dr. de la Haye works to promote health and prevent disease by applying social network analysis and systems science. Her research, funded by the NIH, the NSF, and the DoD, targets family and community social networks to promote healthy eating and prevent childhood obesity, and to understand the role of social networks in group problem solving in families, teams, and coalitions. She is Treasurer of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA), and in 2018, she received the INSNA Freeman Award for significant contributions to the study of social structure.

    URL: www.kayladelahaye.com
    Twitter: @kayladelahaye


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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Oct 16, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Kenneth Christensen, Notre Dame

    Talk Title: TBD

    Abstract: TBD

    Biography: TBD

    Host: AME Department

    More Info: https://ame.usc.edu/seminars/

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • NL Seminar-Answering Complex Questions in the Wild

    Thu, Oct 17, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Peng Qi, Stanford University

    Talk Title: Answering Complex Questions in the Wild

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: Open domain question answering (open-domain QA) systems greatly improve our access to the knowledge in large text corpora, but most previous work on this topic lacks the ability to perform multi-hop reasoning, limiting how textual knowledge can actually be used. For instance, to answer What's the Aquaman actor's next movie?", one needs to reason about the entity Jason Momoa instead of just comparing the question to a local context, making the task more challenging.

    In this talk, I will present our recent work on enabling text based multi-hop reasoning in open-domain question answering. First, I will talk about how we collected one of the first datasets on multi-hop QA, making it possible to train and evaluate systems to perform explainable complex reasoning among millions of Wikipedia articles. Then, I will present a QA system we developed on this dataset. Iterating between finding supporting facts and reading the retrieved context, our model outperforms all previously published approaches, many of which based on powerful pretrained neural networks like BERT. As our model generates natural language queries at each step of its retrieval, it is also readily explainable to humans, and allows for intervention when it veers off course. I will conclude by comparing our model to other recent developments on this dataset, and discussing future directions on this problem.


    Biography: Peng Qi is a PhD student in Computer Science at Stanford University. His research interests revolve around building natural language processing systems that better bridge between humans and the large amount of textual information we are engulfed in. Specifically, he is interested in building knowledge representations, open-domain question answering, explainable models, and multi-lingual NLP systems. He is also interested in linguistics, and builds tools for linguistic structure analysis applicable to many languages.

    Host: Emily Sheng

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

    Webcast: https://bluejeans.com/s/BmBxP

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

    WebCast Link: https://bluejeans.com/s/BmBxP

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Peter Zamar

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  • Moon Diaries

    Fri, Oct 18, 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering K-12 STEM Center

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Anastasia Stepanova, Cosmonaut

    Talk Title: What is the lunar orbital home in Moscow like?

    Host: Barboza Space Center and K-12 STEM Center

    More Information: Anastasia Interview Master PDF.pdf

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 105

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Darin Gray/Viterbi K-12 STEM Center

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  • Quantum Physics Seminar

    Mon, Oct 21, 2019 @ 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Alan Kadin, Consultant for various companies (see bio)

    Talk Title: Why We Should be Skeptical about Quantum Computing

    Abstract: It is widely believed that quantum computing is on the threshold of practicality, with performance that will soon surpass that of classical computing. On the contrary, it is argued that both the present and the future of quantum computing may be highly uncertain, for the following reasons:
    • The promised performance depends on entanglement-based scaling to massive parallelism, which has not been verified, and may be tested [1].
    • Even if the theory were correct, exponential sensitivity to noise for highly entangled states could make the technology impractical [2].
    • Evidence for entanglement in superconducting qubits may be explained using the nonlinear properties of classical Josephson junctions [3].
    • Evidence for entanglement in arrays of coupled qubits may be explained using conventional energy-band theory with delocalized states.

    * Poster presented at APS Meeting, March 2019. Available online at http://vixra.org/abs/1903.0501
    [1] A.M. Kadin and S.B. Kaplan, Proposed experiments to test the foundations of quantum computing, 2016, http://vixra.org/abs/1607.0105.
    [2] G. Kilai, The Quantum Computer Puzzle, 2016, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1605.00992.pdf
    [3] J. Blackburn, et al., Survey of Classical and Quantum Interpretations of experiments on Josephson junctions at very low temperatures, Phys. Rep. 611, 2016. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.05316.pdf



    Biography: Dr. Kadin is a long-time researcher in superconducting devices, and was a faculty member in ECE at the University of Rochester, and then a Senior Scientist at Hypres, Inc. of Elmsford, NY. He wrote the textbook, Introduction to Superconducting Circuits. Recently, he has been a consultant with Hypres and other companies and an adjunct at the College of New Jersey. He has also been an active participant in the IEEE Rebooting Computing Initiative. He received his BS and PhD in physics from Princeton and Harvard, and was also a postdoc at Stony Brook and Minnesota, and a researcher at Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.

    Host: Dr. Jonathan Habif

    Webcast: https://bluejeans.com/356467557

    Location: M

    WebCast Link: https://bluejeans.com/356467557

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Michelle Bonner

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  • Quantum Physics Seminar

    Mon, Oct 21, 2019 @ 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Alan Kadin, Consultant for various companies (see bio)

    Talk Title: Why We Should be Skeptical about Quantum Computing

    Abstract: It is widely believed that quantum computing is on the threshold of practicality, with performance that will soon surpass that of classical computing. On the contrary, it is argued that both the present and the future of quantum computing may be highly uncertain, for the following reasons:
    • The promised performance depends on entanglement-based scaling to massive parallelism, which has not been verified, and may be tested [1].
    • Even if the theory were correct, exponential sensitivity to noise for highly entangled states could make the technology impractical [2].
    • Evidence for entanglement in superconducting qubits may be explained using the nonlinear properties of classical Josephson junctions [3].
    • Evidence for entanglement in arrays of coupled qubits may be explained using conventional energy-band theory with delocalized states.

    * Poster presented at APS Meeting, March 2019. Available online at http://vixra.org/abs/1903.0501
    [1] A.M. Kadin and S.B. Kaplan, Proposed experiments to test the foundations of quantum computing, 2016, http://vixra.org/abs/1607.0105.
    [2] G. Kilai, The Quantum Computer Puzzle, 2016, https://arxiv.org/pdf/1605.00992.pdf
    [3] J. Blackburn, et al., Survey of Classical and Quantum Interpretations of experiments on Josephson junctions at very low temperatures, Phys. Rep. 611, 2016. https://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.05316.pdf



    Biography: Dr. Kadin is a long-time researcher in superconducting devices, and was a faculty member in ECE at the University of Rochester, and then a Senior Scientist at Hypres, Inc. of Elmsford, NY. He wrote the textbook, Introduction to Superconducting Circuits. Recently, he has been a consultant with Hypres and other companies and an adjunct at the College of New Jersey. He has also been an active participant in the IEEE Rebooting Computing Initiative. He received his BS and PhD in physics from Princeton and Harvard, and was also a postdoc at Stony Brook and Minnesota, and a researcher at Energy Conversion Devices, Inc.

    Host: Dr. Jonathan Habif

    Webcast: https://bluejeans.com/356467557

    WebCast Link: https://bluejeans.com/356467557

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Michelle Bonner

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  • Fall 2019 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Oct 21, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Behcet Acikmese, University of Washington

    Talk Title: Real-time optimization based control for agile autonomy

    Abstract: Many future aerospace engineering applications will require dramatic increases in our existing autonomous control capabilities. These include robotic sample return missions to planets, comets, and asteroids, formation flying spacecraft applications, applications utilizing swarms of autonomous agents, unmanned aerial, ground, and underwater vehicles, and autonomous commercial robotic applications. A key control challenge for many autonomous systems is to achieve the performance goals safely with minimal resource use in the presence of mission constraints and uncertainties. In principle these problems can be formulated and solved as optimization problems. The challenge is solving them reliably onboard the autonomous system in real time. Our research has provided new analytical results that enabled the formulation of many autonomous control problems in a convex optimization framework, i.e., convexification of the control problem. The main mathematical theory used in achieving convexification is the duality theory of optimization. Duality theory manifests itself as Pontryagin's Maximum Principle in infinite dimensional optimization problems and as KKT conditions in finite dimensional parameter optimization problems. Both theories were instrumental in our developments. Our analytical framework also allowed the computation of the precise bounds of performance for a control system in term of constrained controllability/reachability sets, which enables rigorous V&V of the resulting control algorithms. This seminar introduces several real-world aerospace applications, where this approach provided dramatic performance improvements over the heritage technologies. An important application is the fuel optimal control for planetary soft landing, whose complete solution has been an open problem since the Apollo Moon landings of 1960s. We developed a novel lossless convexification method, which enables the next generation planetary missions, such as Mars robotic sample return and manned missions. We will also present a method called successive convexification to handle a general class of trajectory planning problems, such as, drone and planetary landing motion rocket planning. Another application is in Markov chain synthesis with safety constraints, which enabled the development of new decentralized coordination and control methods for spacecraft swarms.


    Biography: Behcet Acikmese is a professor in the William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and an adjunct faculty member in Department of Electrical Engineering at University of Washington, Seattle. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Purdue University. He was a senior technologist at JPL and a lecturer at Caltech. At JPL, He developed control algorithms for planetary landing, spacecraft formation flying, and asteroid and comet sample return missions. He developed the flyaway control algorithms in Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, and the RCS algorithms for NASA SMAP mission. Dr. Acikmese invented a novel real-time convex optimization based planetary landing guidance algorithm (G-FOLD) that was ight tested by JPL, which is a first demonstration of a real-time optimization algorithm for rocket guidance. He is a recipient of NSF CAREER Award, several NASA Achievement awards for his contributions to NASA missions and new technology development. He is an Associate Fellow of AIAA, a Senior Member of IEEE, and an associate editor of IEEE Control System Magazine and AIAA JGCD.


    Host: Mihailo Jovanovic, mihailo@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Fall/acikmese.html

    More Information: 191021_Behcet Acikmese_CSC Seminar.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • ***NO ISE 651, Epstein Seminar - Week of INFORMS***

    Tue, Oct 22, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • CS Colloquium: Ahmed Eldawy (University of California, Riverside) - Interactive Data Exploration as a Service

    Tue, Oct 22, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ahmed Eldawy, University of California, Riverside

    Talk Title: Interactive Data Exploration as a Service

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: Recently, there has been a tremendous growth in data collection from various sources such as satellites, IoT sensors, smartphones, autonomous cars, and others. At the same time, there is a move for open data led by governments, non-profit organizations, and industry which makes hundreds of thousands of datasets publicly available. This abundance of publicly available open data led to the new data revolution where everyone is interested in exploring this data to look for interesting patterns and innovative findings. While computer scientists and data scientists know how to process this data, no one is out to help citizen scientists, those with little to no knowledge about programming and data management.

    This talk describes a new approach to provide citizen scientists with interactive data exploration as a service (IDEAS). The goal is to allow anyone to start exploring those publicly available datasets without a costly process of installing and learning data processing tools or even downloading the datasets of interest. This system will act as an ice breaker that will help engaging more citizen scientists into the field of data science. The main challenge is how to provide real-time processing for hundreds of thousands and petabytes of datasets through a simple interface. This talk describes three modules related to this system, synoptic computation, incremental indexing, and interactive visualization. The synoptic computation module scales up the query processing by providing a real-time approximate answer over small-size synopses of the data such as samples and histograms. The incremental indexing module works in the background and incrementally organizes the data over a cluster of machines to speed up the query processing. Finally, the interactive visualization module presents the results in a visual format which allows the users to inspect the query answers. Preliminary results on the proposed system show that it can bridge the gap between the user requirements for interactivity and the increasing volume of big spatial data.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Ahmed Eldawy is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Riverside. His research interests lie in the broad area of databases with a focus on big data management and spatial data processing. Ahmed is the main inventor of SpatialHadoop, the most comprehensive open source system for big spatial data management. Ahmed has many collaborators in industrial research labs including Microsoft Research and IBM Watson. He was awarded the Quality Metrics Fellowship in 2016, Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in 2015, and Best Poster Runner-up award in ICDE 2014. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).


    Host: Shahram Ghandeharizadeh

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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

    Tue, Oct 22, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Chris Leighton, University of Minnesota

    Talk Title: Electrolyte Gating of Complex Oxides

    Host: Professor Ravichandra

    More Information: LLH - Leighton_Abstract.pdf

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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

    Wed, Oct 23, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Mahnoosh Alizadeh, University of California Santa Barbara

    Talk Title: Safety-constrained Learning Algorithms for Demand Management

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

    Abstract: The first part of this talk is motivated by the fact that learning algorithms are growing in popularity for sequential decision making in many cyber-physical systems. However, when dealing with safety-critical systems, it is paramount that the learner's actions do not violate the safety/reliability constraints of the system at any round, in spite of uncertainty about system parameters. An example we will highlight is that of optimal real-time price design for demand management in power distribution systems given unknown customer price response functions. We will showcase the performance of a ``safety-aware" bandit heuristic for designing prices that controls the probability of violation of power grid constraints during the learning process. We then study the effect of such safety constraints on the growth of regret for certain classes of stochastic bandit optimization problems.

    In the second part of the talk, we consider the problem of joint routing, battery charging, and pricing problem faced by a profit-maximizing transportation service provider that operates a fleet of autonomous electric vehicles. To accommodate for the time-varying nature of trip demands, renewable energy availability, and electricity prices and to further optimally manage the autonomous fleet, a dynamic pricing and control policy is required. We highlight several such policies, including one trained through deep reinforcement learning to develop a near-optimal control policy. We also determine the optimal static policy to serve as a baseline for comparison with our dynamic policy and for determining the capacity region of the system. While the static policy provides important insights on optimal pricing and fleet management, we show that in a real dynamic setting, it is inefficient to utilize a static policy.

    Biography: Mahnoosh Alizadeh is an assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California Santa Barbara. She received the B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 2009 and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California Davis in 2013 and 2014 respectively, both in Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2014 to 2016, she was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University. Her research is focused on the design of network control and optimization algorithms for societal-scale cyber-physical systems, with a particular focus on renewable energy integration in the power grid and electric transportation systems. She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award.

    Host: Ashutosh Nayyar

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • Medical Imaging Seminar

    Wed, Oct 23, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ahsan Javed, Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Southern California

    Talk Title: Improving the Sensitivity and Spatial Coverage of Arterial Spin Labeled Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Series: Medical Imaging Seminar Series

    Abstract: Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) is the method of choice to address the growing need for a safe and repeatable technique to assess coronary artery disease. Existing techniques are unsuitable for frequent use, as they are either invasive or involve ionizing radiation. Recently, CMR first pass perfusion was used to guide treatment of CAD and was shown to have comparable outcomes to fraction flow reserve, the leading invasive assessment. However, first pass perfusion uses gadolinium based contrast agents which are contraindicated in patients with kidney disease. There are approximately 600 thousand Americans with end-stage renal disease and 26 million with chronic kidney disease. This patient population has over 10 times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease and requires more frequent monitoring. In this population arterial spin labeling cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (ASL-CMR) presents a promising alternative. Currently, clinical use of existing ASL-CMR techniques is limited by poor spatial coverage and sensitivity.

    This talk will introduce developments to improve both spatial coverage and sensitivity of ASL-CMR. We will discuss the development and optimization of saturation steady pulsed arterial spin labeling, a new labeling scheme inspired from a recent work by Capron et al. that improves the sensitivity and signal efficiency of ASL-CMR. I will also present the implementation and validation of reduced FOV sequential multi-slice single shot EPI for ASL-CMR to improve spatial coverage. With these proposed methods we aim to move a few steps closer to making ASL-CMR clinically feasible to enable safe, contrast free assessment of CAD.

    Biography: Ahsan Javed is a PhD student in the Magnetic Resonance Engineering Laboratory at University of Southern California under the supervision of Dr. Krishna Nayak. His research expertise lies in RF pulse design, pulse sequence development, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. His works have focused on development of novel pulse sequences to improve sensitivity and spatial coverage of ASL-CMR and validation of ASL-CMR techniques in large animal models.

    Host: Krishna Nayak

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Oct 23, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Gary F. Mitchell, MD,

    Talk Title: Aortic Stiffness, Pressure and Flow Pulsatility and Cardiovascular Disease

    Abstract: The aorta provides a critical buffer between the heart and peripheral organs. Juxtaposition of the highly compliant aorta with stiff conduit arteries creates impedance mismatch and local wave reflection that limits transmission of potentially harmful pulsatile energy into the fragile microcirculation. Aortic wall stiffness increases progressively throughout the human lifespan. However, from young adulthood through midlife, pressure pulsatility actually falls as a result of aortic remodeling to a larger lumen area, which reduces characteristic impedance of the aorta. From midlife onward, aortic wall stiffening accelerates and characteristic impedance and pressure pulsatility increase markedly and contribute to the epidemic of wide pulse pressure (isolated systolic) hypertension. After this midlife transition, stiffness of the aorta exceeds that of the muscular arteries, leading to impedance matching and diminished wave reflection, which increases transmission of excessive pressure and flow pulsatility into the microcirculation. Excessive pulsatility in the microcirculation, particularly in high flow organs such as the brain and kidneys, causes microvascular damage, remodeling and dysfunction, leading target organ damage. In addition, aortic stiffening adds to load on the heart and may interfere with diastolic function, adding to risk for heart failure in late life. Successful interruption of the unfavorable aortic stiffening cascade likely will require early intervention and lifelong prevention, although attempts to reverse the process have been inadequately examined at present.

    Host: AME Department

    More Info: https://ame.usc.edu/seminars/

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • NL Seminar-Neural Unsupervised Dependency Parsing

    Thu, Oct 24, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Wenjuan Han , ShanghaiTech University/UCLA

    Talk Title: Neural Unsupervised Dependency Parsing

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: Dependency parsing, as an essential task in Natural Language Processing, is a key step in analyzing and understanding texts. Most of the previous work on unsupervised dependency parsing is based on generative models. In order to effectively induce a grammar, various knowledge priors and inductive biases are manually encoded in the learning process. However, these knowledge priors and inductive biases are mostly local features that can only be defined by experts. Another disadvantage of generative models comes from the context freeness, which limits the information available to dependencies in a sentence. We proposed several approaches to unsupervised dependency parsing that automatically capture useful information: correlations between tokens, context information and multilingual similarity.


    Biography: I am now a visiting student in UCLA and expected to graduate in January 2020. I will get the PHD Degree at ShanghaiTech University, where I was advised by Kewei Tu. I did my bachelors at the Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications. My current research focuses on the study of probabilistic neural models and follows two researching paths. 1. grammar based representation, inference, and unsupervised learning; and 2. the application of unsupervised learning approaches with hidden variables in a variety of artificial intelligence areas including grammar induction, POS induction and perceptual grouping.

    Host: Emily Sheng

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

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

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

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Peter Zamar

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  • Theory Lunch

    Thu, Oct 24, 2019 @ 12:15 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Prithviraj Prabhu, Graduate Students at USC

    Talk Title: Google's Recent Attempts in Quantum Supremacy

    Abstract: A talk about Goolge' s recent attempts in quantum supremacy and the controversy surrounding it.


    Host: Shaddin Dughmi

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 213

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Cherie Carter

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  • Epstein Dept. Seminar

    Thu, Oct 24, 2019 @ 02:30 PM - 03:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Ahti Salo, Professor, The Humans of Aalto University

    Talk Title: Decision Programming for Optimizing Multi-Stage Decision Problems Under Uncertainty

    Host: Prof. Ali Abbas

    More Information: October 24, 2019.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Thu, Oct 24, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Mike Chester, Arizona Stare University

    Talk Title: Infrastructure and the Anthropocene

    Abstract: See attached

    Host: Drs. Burcin Becerik and Felipe de Barros

    More Information: Mike Chester_Abstract 10-24-19.pdf

    Location: Kaprielian Hall (KAP) - 209

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Evangeline Reyes

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  • Grand Challenges Lecture Series

    Thu, Oct 24, 2019 @ 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Clifford Neuman, Viterbi School of Engineering

    Talk Title: Privacy, Security, and Policy in the age of the Internet

    Series: Grand Challenges Lecture Series

    Host: Viterbi Admission and Student Engagement

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Myra Fernandez

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  • W.V.T. RUSCH ENGINEERING HONORS COLLOQUIUM

    Fri, Oct 25, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor James Moore, USC Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Price School of Public Policy

    Talk Title: Identifying and quantifying sources of value Metro's 28 by 2028 Plan Using the Olympics as an Excuse to Bankrupt the LA Transit System

    Host: EHP

    Audiences: By Invite Only

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Oct 25, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. David R. Smith, Professor, Duke University

    Talk Title: Engineering Systems with Metamaterials

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

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - David Smith.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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  • Fall 2019 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Oct 28, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: James Rawlings, University of California, Santa Barbara

    Talk Title: Nonlinear Optimization-Based State Estimation: Robustness Analysis by Q Functions

    Abstract: State estimation can be posed as an optimal control/tracking problem. From this perspective, the stability and robustness properties of the estimator should be derivable from the properties of the optimization problem, as is commonly done in the analysis of Model Predictive Control. To achieve this goal in state estimation, we introduce a Lyapunov-like function, termed a Q function, and show that for general nonlinear systems satisfying a nonlinear detectability assumption and a nonlinear, incremental stabilizability assumption, the optimal full information state estimate is robustly asymptotically stable in the presence of bounded process and measurement disturbances. We also show that the state estimate converges to zero for asymptotically convergent disturbances. These general theoretical results are illustrated by application to some numerical examples using the freely available software CasADi/MPCTools for solving the optimal control problems. Implications of these full information results for moving horizon estimation are also discussed.

    Biography: James B. Rawlings received the B.S. from the University of Texas and the Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, both in Chemical Engineering. He spent one year at the University of Stuttgart as a NATO postdoctoral fellow and then joined the faculty at the University of Texas. He moved to the University of Wisconsin in 1995, and then to the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2018, and is currently the Mellichamp Process Control Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and the co-director of the Texas-Wisconsin-California Control Consortium (TWCCC). Professor Rawlings's research interests are in the areas of chemical process modeling, monitoring and control, nonlinear model predictive control, moving horizon state estimation, and molecular-scale chemical reaction engineering. He has written numerous research articles and coauthored three textbooks: Model Predictive Control: Theory Computation, and Design, 2nd ed. (2017), with David Mayne and Moritz Diehl, Modeling and Analysis Principles for Chemical and Biological Engineers (2013), with Mike Graham, and Chemical Reactor Analysis and Design Fundamentals, 2nd ed. (2012), with John Ekerdt. In recognition of his research and teaching, Professor Rawlings has received several awards including: election to the National Academy of Engineering; William H. Walker Award for Excellence in Contributions to Chemical Engineering Literature from the AIChE; Doctor technices honoris causa from the Danish Technical University; The inaugural High Impact Paper Award from the International Federation of Automatic Control; The Ragazzini Education Award from the American Automatic Control Council; and The Computing in Chemical Engineering Award.

    Host: Si-Zhao Qin, sqin@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Fall/rawlings.html

    More Information: 191028_James Rawlings_CSC Seminar.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • CS Colloquium: Aditya Grover (Stanford University) - Mitigating Bias in Generative Modeling

    Tue, Oct 29, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Aditya Grover, Stanford University

    Talk Title: Mitigating Bias in Generative Modeling

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: In the last few years, there has been remarkable progress in deep generative modeling. However, the learned models are noticeably inaccurate w.r.t. to the underlying data distribution, as evident from downstream metrics that compare statistics of interest across the true and generated data samples. This bias in downstream evaluation can be attributed to imperfections in learning ("model bias") or be propagated due to the bias in the training dataset itself ("dataset bias"). In this talk, I will present an importance weighting approach for mitigating both these kinds of biases of generative models. Our approach assumes only 'black-box' sample access to a generative model and is broadly applicable to both likelihood-based and likelihood-free generative models. Empirically, we find that our technique consistently improves standard goodness-of-fit metrics for evaluating the sample quality of state-of-the-art deep generative models, suggesting reduced bias. We demonstrate its utility on representative applications in a) data augmentation and b) model-based policy evaluation using off-policy data. Finally, I will present some recent work extending these ideas to fair data generation in the presence of biased training datasets.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Aditya Grover is a 5th-year Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at Stanford University advised by Stefano Ermon. His research focuses on probabilistic machine learning, including topics in generative modeling, approximate inference, and deep learning as well as applications in sustainability. His research has been cited widely in academia, deployed into production at major technology companies, and recognized with a best paper award (StarAI), a Lieberman Fellowship, a Data Science Institute Scholarship, and a Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship. He is also a Teaching Fellow at Stanford since 2018, where he co-designed and teaches a new class on Deep Generative Models. Previously, Aditya obtained his bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Delhi in 2015, where he received a best undergraduate thesis award.


    Host: If you would like to meet the speaker, please email the host Bistra Dilkina at dilkina@usc.edu

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar

    Tue, Oct 29, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Kristian Martinsen, Professor, Norwegian Univ. of Science & Tech

    Talk Title: Closed Loop Tolerance Engineering Modelling and Maturity Assessment in a Circular Economy Perspective

    Host: Dr. Qiang Huang

    More Information: October 29, 2019.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Mrok Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Distinguished Lecture Series

    Tue, Oct 29, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Mikhail A. Kats , Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Wisconsin -“ Madison

    Talk Title: Thermal-emission engineering: challenges and opportunities

    Abstract: Thermal emission (thermal radiation) is the phenomenon responsible for most of the light in the universe. Though understanding of thermal emission dates back over a century, recent advances have encouraged the re-examination of this phenomenon and its applications. This talk will describe our groups advances and outline future work in the measurement and manipulation of thermal emission. First, I will discuss our efforts to improve thermal-emission metrology, especially for low-temperature thermal emitters, emitters with temperature-dependent emissivity, and emitters out of equilibrium. Then, I will describe our use of phase-transition materials including vanadium dioxide and rare-earth nickelates to demonstrate new phenomena, including negative- and zero-differential thermal emittance, radiative thermal runaway, and thermo-dichroism. I will also discuss our recent demonstration of nanosecond-scale modulation of emissivity and thermal-emission pulses down to picosecond scales. The talk will include discussion of exciting opportunities of thermal-emission engineering for infrared camouflage and thermoregulation.

    Host: Dr. Armani

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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  • CS Tech Talk: WiSE Presents: Walmart Tech Talk with Senior VP of Customer Technology, Fiona Tan

    Tue, Oct 29, 2019 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Fiona Tan, Walmart

    Talk Title: WiSE Presents: Walmart Tech Talk with Senior VP of Customer Technology, Fiona Tan

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: Come hear more about the exciting opportunities available in tech at Walmart.

    Fiona will also talk about her tech journey, as well as why she loves working for Walmart.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Fiona Tan joined Walmart in 2014 and is currently the Senior Vice President of Customer Technology. She is responsible for innovation and engineering execution on all customer-facing technology across Walmart's physical and digital footprint. Her team leverages data and machine learning to drive marketing and advertising campaigns, oversees all personalization capabilities, and delivers the desktop and mobile customer experience for Walmart's eCommerce as well as the technology across point-of-sale systems, pharmacy, specialty departments, and associate productivity apps in Walmart stores. Their goal is to deliver a seamless shopping experience for our customers -“ while empowering our millions of associates with technology.

    Previously, Fiona was Walmart's Vice President of Engineering, responsible for product roadmap and engineering capabilities for Walmart's international eCommerce businesses as well as the Sam's Club business in the U.S. In addition, her team drove technology strategy and operational excellence across Walmart Labs.
    Prior to Walmart, Fiona served in a number of leadership roles at Ariba and TIBCO Software. At Ariba, she led a global engineering organization responsible for the strategy, lifecycle, and delivery of the Ariba Commerce Network. At TIBCO Software, she was responsible for a major product line as well as the management of their offshore development centers.

    Fiona has a master's degree in Computer Science from Stanford and a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


    Host: WiSE

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • Human-Building Integration as a Function of Human Physical Signal

    Wed, Oct 30, 2019 @ 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Joon-Ho Choi, USC School of Architecture

    Talk Title: Human-Building Integration as a Function of Human Physical Signal

    Abstract: The Human-Building Integration develops an integrated human-centered framework for intelligent environmental control in a building. The physiological signals of the occupants, as well as their ambient environmental data, are integrated by using sensing agents (such as wearable as well as remote sensors) and embedded environmental sensors in the building. This enables bio-sensing-driven multi-criteria decisions for determining building thermal and lighting system controls that will potentially lower energy usage awhile improving occupant comfort.

    This human-centered approach provides a framework that will 1) address sensor data processing and analysis challenges that are inherent in large and dynamic datasets generated from sensing agents; 2) develop methods for optimizing decisions and solutions to multiple-criteria problems pertaining to occupants' preferences; and 3) establish a human-centered control approach that is integrated with a conventional control system for building retrofits to enable real-time decision making and system optimization that enhances energy efficient operations and occupants' comfort. Such a three-fold approach can lead to tailored building environmental control systems with the potential for dramatically improving the efficiency of a building's performance, increasing sustainability, and leveraging informatics technology that can improve the occupants' quality of life.

    Biography: Dr. Choi, Joon-Ho is an Associate Professor of Building Science and Associate Dean for Research in the USC Architecture. He is also the Director of Human-Building Integration Research Group. His primary research interests are in the area of human-centered indoor environmental quality control, comprehensive post-occupancy evaluation, and cyber-physical system in a built environment. As an interdisciplinary scholar and principal investigator, he has developed/participated in multiple research projects sponsored by the U.S. federal and research foundation grant programs, as well as industry partners, which include National Science Foundation, Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration (GSA), American Institute of America(AIA), International Institute of Building Enclosure, Buro Happold Engineering, Glumac, and AECOM.

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

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Mayumi Thrasher

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

    Wed, Oct 30, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Janos Sztipanovits, Institute for Software Integrated Systems, Vanderbilt University

    Talk Title: Model- and Component-Based Design of Cyber-Physical Systems

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

    Abstract: Model- and component-based design have yielded dramatic increase in design productivity in several narrowly focused homogeneous domains, such as signal processing, control and aspects of electronic design. However, significant impact on the design and manufacturing of complex cyber-physical systems (CPS) such as vehicles has not yet been achieved. This talk describes challenges of and solution approaches to building a comprehensive design automation tool suite for complex CPS and new directions to extend model- and component-based design flows with a range of data-driven methods recently emerging in AI/ML research. The first part of the talk will discuss the OpenMETA tool suite that was developed for pushing the boundaries of "correct-by-construction" methods to decrease the costly design-build-test-redesign cycles in CPS design flows. The discussion will focus on the impact of heterogeneity in modeling, analyzing and optimizing CPS designs. Based on experience with the development of OpenMETA and with the evaluation of its performance in a complex CPS designs, the talk will argue that the current vertically integrated, discipline-specific tool chains need to be complemented with horizontal integration layers that support model integration, tool integration and design process integration. The second part of the talk will analyze the impact of Learning Enabled Components (LEC) on systems as well as engineering design processes.


    Biography: Dr. Janos Sztipanovits is currently the E. Bronson Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering at Vanderbilt University and founding director of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems. Between 1999 and 2002, he worked as program manager and deputy director of DARPA Information Technology Office. He was member of the US Air Force Science Advisory Board between 2006 and 2010. His current research interest includes the foundation and applications of model and component-based design of Cyber Physical Systems, design space exploration and systems-security co-design technology. He leads the CPS Virtual Organization and he is co-chair the CPS Reference Architecture and Definition public working group established by NIST in 2014. In 2014/2015 he was elected to be member of the Steering Committee of the Industrial Internet Consortium. He was founding chair of the ACM Special Interest Group on Embedded Software (SIGBED). Dr. Sztipanovits was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2000 and external member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2010.

    Host: Pierluigi Nuzzo

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Oct 30, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Rajat Mittal, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland

    Talk Title: From Beating Hearts to Buzzing Wings: Flow Physics and Computation at the Intersection of Mechanics and Bioengineering

    Abstract: The unceasing growth in computational power and the development of new software tools and numerical algorithms is opening up exciting areas of research, discovery and translation in mechanics and biomedical engineering. Consider the mammalian heart, which has been sculpted by millions of years of evolution into a flow pump par excellence. During the typical lifetime of a human, the heart will beat over three billion times and pump enough blood to fill over sixty Olympic sized swimming pools. Each of these billions of cardiac cycles is itself a manifestation of a complex and elegant interplay between several distinct physical domains including electrophysiology, muscle mechanics, hemodynamics, flow induced valves dynamics, acoustics, and biochemistry. Computational models provide the ability to explore such multi-physics problems with unprecedented fidelity and precision. In my talk, I will describe several projects that demonstrate the application of powerful computational tools to problems ranging from chemo fluidics of clot formation to fluid structure interaction in prosthetic heart valves. The talk will culminate with a brief discussion on a new project where we are using computational aeroacoustics to analyze wing tone based communication in mosquitoes.

    Host: AME Department

    Location: John Stauffer Science Lecture Hall (SLH) - 102

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • Theory Lunch

    Thu, Oct 31, 2019 @ 12:15 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Federico Echenique, Professor of Economics at CalTech

    Talk Title: The Edgeworth Conjecture with Small Coalitions and Approximate Equilibria in Large Economies

    Abstract: A talk about the paper Federico Echenique worked on with Siddharth Barman entitled "The Edgeworth Conjecture with Small Coalitions and Approximate Equilibria in Large Economies." The paper shows that deciding if an allocation is approximately Walrasian can be done in polynomial time, even if finding the market equilibrium in intractable.
    It will be a fun time, so make sure not to miss out!


    Host: Shaddin Dughmi

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 213

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Cherie Carter

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  • Class to Career: Navigating the Process

    Thu, Oct 31, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Abstract: Learn how USC Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections programs, resources and events help students go from class to career. Whether this is your student's first year or last, professional development is key to career advancement. Discover how to help your student navigate the process.

    Host: USC Viterbi Undergraduate Programs and Women in Engineering

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Amanda McCraven

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  • CS Colloquium: Masahiro Ono (NASA JPL) - Robots in Space: How AI and Machine Learning are Revolutionizing Space Exploration

    Thu, Oct 31, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Masahiro Ono, NASA JPL

    Talk Title: Robots in Space: How AI and Machine Learning are Revolutionizing Space Exploration

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: On the third planet of the Solar System, there is an ongoing revolution caused by a group of technologies collectively called as "AI," including, but not limited to, machine learning, optimal decision making, situation awareness, and autonomous navigation. The same revolution is taking off elsewhere in the Solar System, triggered by an advent of HPSC (high-performance spacecraft computing). This talk introduces ongoing research efforts to adapt and enhance latest AI technologies for future exploration missions to Mars, Europa, and Enceladus, such as resource-aware autonomous rover driving, on-board science interpretation, and autonomous descent into Enceladus's vents, which are believed to be connected to the subsurface ocean that may harbor extraterrestrial life.

    If you would like to take a peek of the talk, take a look at the following YouTube movies:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AYvgTlDKQM&t=5s
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJXQ0-a9IJE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bdS_xpYz7A

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium. *Note: Rescheduled to 10/31/19, 2:00-3:20PM*


    Biography: Dr. Masahiro (Hiro) Ono is a Research Technologist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. His broad interest is centered around the application of robotic autonomy to space exploration, with an emphasis on machine learning applications to perception, data interpretation, and decision making. Before joining JPL in 2013, he was an assistant professor at Keio University in Japan. He graduated from MIT with PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2012. Since 2017 he is the PI of a JPL-funded Strategic Research and Development task on the machine learning-based analytics for automated rover systems (MAARS). From 2015 he has led the development of machine learning- based Martian terrain classifier, which is used by MSL and Mars 2020 Rover missions. He was also the PI of a JPL-Caltech joint project on imitation learning-based planning from 2016 to 2018. He was awarded two NIAC Phase I studies: Comet Hitchhiker (2014) and Journey to the Center of Icy Moon (2016). Since 2019, he has been the Autonomy Lead of the EELS (Exobiology Extant Life Surveyor) project.


    Host: Stefanos Nikolaidis

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Thu, Oct 31, 2019 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Shengqiang Cai, University of California, San Diego

    Talk Title: Soft Materials: from fundamental mechanics to applications

    Abstract: In recent years, soft materials have been extensively explored in a myriad of engineering applications including wearable devices and soft robotics. In the talk, I will discuss some of our recent work on soft materials. The presentation will mainly contain two parts. In the first part, I will talk about recent progress made in our group on a newly emerging polymer: liquid crystal elastomer (LCE). I will show some examples of the applications of liquid crystal elastomer as artificial muscle in the design of soft robots. I will also discuss several very intriguing phenomena associated with the large deformation and soft elasticity of liquid crystal elastomers. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss the challenges of studying the mechanics of soft materials. Electromechanical instabilities of dielectric elastomer balloons and nonlinear instability of an everted tube will serve as two examples.




    Biography: Professor Shengqiang Cai is currently an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering program at the University of California, San Diego. He obtained his Ph.D. degree from Harvard University in 2011. After graduating from Harvard, he spent one year as postdoc at MIT. His research is mainly focused on mechanics of materials, especially soft materials and active materials. He received NSF CAREER award in 2016.


    Host: Dr. Qiming Wang

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Evangeline Reyes

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  • MASCLE Machine Learning Seminar: Joan Bruna (NYU) - On (Provably) Learning with Large Neural Networks

    Thu, Oct 31, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Joan Bruna, New York University

    Talk Title: On (Provably) Learning with Large Neural Networks

    Series: Machine Learning Seminar Series hosted by USC Machine Learning Center

    Abstract: Virtually all modern deep learning systems are trained with some form of local descent algorithm over a high-dimensional parameter space. Despite its apparent simplicity, the mathematical picture of the resulting setup contains several mysteries that combine statistics, approximation theory and optimization, all intertwined in a curse of dimensionality.

    In order to make progress, authors have focused in the so-called 'overparametrised' regime, which studies asymptotic properties of the algorithm as the number of neurons grows. In particular, neural networks with a large number of parameters admit a mean-field description, which has recently served as a theoretical explanation for its favorable training properties. In this regime, gradient descent obeys a deterministic partial differential equation (PDE) that converges to a globally optimal solution for networks with a single hidden layer under appropriate assumptions.

    In this talk, we will review recent progress on this problem, and argue that such framework might provide crucial robustness against the curse of dimensionality. First, we will describe a non-local mass transport dynamics that leads to a modified PDE with the same minimizer, that can be implemented as a stochastic neuronal birth-death process, and such that it provably accelerates the rate of convergence in the mean-field limit. Next, such dynamics fit naturally within the framework of total-variation regularization, which following [Bach'17] have fundamental advantages in the high-dimensional regime. We will discuss a unified framework that controls both optimization, approximation and generalisation errors using large deviation principles, and discuss current open problems in this research direction.

    Joint work with G. Rotskoff (NYU), Z. Chen (NYU), S. Jelassi (NYU) and E. Vanden-Eijnden (NYU).

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Joan Bruna is an Assistant Professor at Courant Institute, New York University (NYU), in the Department of Computer Science, Department of Mathematics (affiliated) and the Center for Data Science, since Fall 2016. He belongs to the CILVR group and to the Math and Data groups. From 2015 to 2016, he was Assistant Professor of Statistics at UC Berkeley and part of BAIR (Berkeley AI Research). Before that, he worked at FAIR (Facebook AI Research) in New York. Prior to that, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Courant Institute, NYU. He completed his PhD in 2013 at Ecole Polytechnique, France. Before his PhD he was a Research Engineer at a semi-conductor company, developing real-time video processing algorithms. Even before that, he did a MsC at Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan in Applied Mathematics (MVA) and a BA and MS at UPC (Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona) in both Mathematics and Telecommunication Engineering. For his research contributions, he has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship (2018), a NSF CAREER Award (2019) and a best paper award at ICMLA (2018).


    Host: Yan Liu

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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