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Events for November 18, 2016

  • 7th Annual Electrical Engineering Research Festival

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Receptions & Special Events

    The research festival is a day-long event that showcases EE Ph.D. research through posters, demos and oral presentations. Open to the entire Viterbi community, alumni, and industry professionals, attendees will have the opportunity to see outstanding research and network with peers.

    More Information: 7RF Save the Date.pdf

    Location: Stever Courtyard

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Benjamin Paul


    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Pablo Barberá, School of International Relations at USC

    Talk Title: Less is more? How demographic sample weights can improve public opinion estimates based on Twitter data

    Abstract: Twitter data is widely acknowledged to hold great promise for the study of political behavior and public opinion. However, a key limitation in previous studies is the lack of information about the sociodemographic characteristics of individual users, which raises concerns about the validity of inferences based on this source of data. This paper addresses this challenge by employing supervised machine learning methods to estimate the age, gender, race, party affiliation, propensity to vote, and income of any Twitter user in the U.S. The training dataset for these classifiers was obtained by matching a large dataset of 1 billion geolocated Twitter messages with voting registration records and estimates of home values across 15 different states, resulting in a sample of nearly 250,000 Twitter users whose sociodemographic traits are known. To illustrate the value of this approach, I offer three applications that use information about the predicted demographic composition of a random sample of 500,000 U.S. Twitter users. First, I explore how attention to politics varies across demographics groups. Then, I apply multilevel regression and postratification methods to recover valid estimate of presidential and candidate approval that can serve as early indicators of public opinion changes and thus complement traditional surveys. Finally, I demonstrate the value of Twitter data to study questions that may suffer from social desirability bias.

    Biography: Pablo Barberá joined the School of International Relations at USC as an Assistant Professor in 2016, after receiving his PhD in political science from New York University and spending a year as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Data Science in New York University. His research interests include computational methods in the social sciences, automated text analysis, and social network analysis. He applies these methods to the study of social media and politics, comparative electoral behavior and collective action, and political representation. His work has been published in Political Analysis, PLOS ONE, Psychological Science, the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, Social Media + Society, and Social Science Computer Review. His current research agenda focuses on the role of social media platforms in the growth of social protests, the measurement of public opinion and political behavior using digital trace data, and how exposure to political violence and governments' counter-messages on social media affects ideological extremism and support for terrorist groups.

    Host: Emilio Ferrara

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - 11th floor large conference room

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Kary LAU

  • CS Colloquium and CAIS Seminar: Nicole Immorlica (Microsoft Research) - Maximizing the Social Good: Markets without Money

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Nicole Immorlica, Microsoft Research

    Talk Title: Maximizing the Social Good: Markets without Money

    Series: Center for AI in Society (CAIS) Seminar Series

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

    To create a truly sustainable world, we need to both generate ample amounts of resources and allocate them appropriately to those that value them highly. In traditional economics, these goals are achieved using money. People are paid to produce valuable resources. Resources are sold at an appropriately high price, guaranteeing that the buyers had high value for them. However, in many settings of particular social significance, monetary transactions are infeasible. Sometimes this is because society has deemed it immoral to sell certain things, like seats at public schools or organs for transplantation. Other times it is because of technological constraints, like when the environment is electronic and there are no banks linked to user accounts.

    In this talk, we will discuss two alternatives to money -- risk and social status -- and apply them to school choice and user-generated content websites. Risk is useful to help determine a person's value for a resource: the more someone is willing to risk for something, the more they value it. Using this insight, we propose an algorithm to allocate seats at public schools to students who value them the most. Social status is useful to motivate people to contribute to a public project. Using this insight, we design badges and leaderboards to maximize contributions to user-generated content websites like citizen science projects, question-and-answering sites, or review sites.

    Host: CS Department

    Location: Seeley G. Mudd Building (SGM) - 123

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

  • W.V.T. Rusch Engineering Honors Program Colloquium

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 01:00 PM - 01:50 PM

    USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    University Calendar

    Join us for a presentation by Professor Gregg Hallinan, Professor of Astronomy at Caltech, titled "Extrasolar Space Weather."

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Julie Phaneuf

  • Seminars in Biomedical Engineering

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Elliot Botvinick, PhD, Associate Professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Surgery, Beckman Laser Institute, Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, University of California, Irvine

    Talk Title: Feeling Pericellular Mechanical Heterogeneities

    Series: Distinguished Speaker Series, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering

    Abstract: While there is strong evidence for roles of bulk stromal stiffness in cell regulation, roles for the pericellular mechanical microenvironment are less clear, in large part due to the difficulty of measurement. My group implements automated Active Microrheology (aAMR), an optical tweezers technology, to probe extracellular stiffness and map it in the volume surrounding cells. Our aAMR applies sinusoidal optical forces onto microbeads embedded within natural extracellular matrices (ECMs), including those comprised of fibrin and type 1 collagen. As in the case of passive microrheology, aAMR reports the complex material response function of the ECM just surrounding each microbead. Different from passive methods, aAMR is valid for systems not in thermal equilibrium, as is typical for regions of the ECM near to contractile cells. Our aAMR microscope can probe many beads surrounding each cell to map the mechanical landscape, allowing us to seek correlations between local stiffness distributions and cell properties such as contractility, signaling, and differentiation. I will present specific examples for which the distribution of pericellular stiffness correlates with cell phenotype including MT1-MMP deficient primary mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cell branching morphogenesis. Lastly, I will touch on the implications of the remarkably steep local gradients in stiffness, particularly how it relates to the challenges of testing mechanical hypothesis in 3D hydrogel systems.

    Host: Megan McCain, PhD

    More Information: botvinick_flyer_11_18_2016.pdf

    Location: Corwin D. Denney Research Center (DRB) - 146

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Mischalgrace Diasanta

  • NL Seminar-Incremental spoken dialogue system for reference resolution in images

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Ramesh R Manuvinakurike , USC/ICT

    Talk Title: Incremental spoken dialogue system for reference resolution in images

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: In this talk, I will be speaking about our ongoing effort in the development of Eve, state-of-the-art incremental reference resolution in images based spoken dialogue agent. Incrementality is central to developing a naturally conversing spoken dialogue systems. Incrementality makes the conversations more natural and efficient compared to non-incremental alternatives. The performance of the Eve was found to be comparable to human performance and she conveniently outperforms alternative non-incremental architectures. However, building such a system is not trivial. It needs high-performance architectures and dialogue components (ASR, dialogue policies, language understanding etc.). I will also speak about future plans for enhancing Eve's capability. I also take a slight deviation and explore a different word level natural language understanding model for reference resolution in images in a dialogue setting.

    Biography: Ramesh Manuvinakurike is a Ph.D. student at USC Institute for Creative Technologies working with Prof. David DeVault and Prof. Kallirroi Georgila. He is interested in developing conversational systems and has developed various such systems. His work with his colleagues on agent Eve won 'Best paper' award at Sigdial 2015.

    Host: Xing Shi and Kevin Knight

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

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Peter Zamar

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

  • Information Session in Liverpool, U.K.

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions

    Interested in graduate studies in engineering or computer science?

    Candidates with a strong academic background and a Bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, or physical science (such as physics, biology, or chemistry) are welcome to attend an information session to learn more about applying to graduate engineering programs at the University of Southern California.

    These events will be hosted by Kelly Goulis, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Recruitment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

    The session will include information on the following topics:

    - Master's & Ph.D. programs in engineering and computer science
    - How to Apply
    - Scholarships and funding
    - Student life at USC and in Los Angeles

    There will also be sufficient time for questions.

    Please contact us at viterbi.gradprograms@usc.edu if you have any inquiries about the event.


    Location: Holiday Inn Liverpool City Centre, Liverpool, U.K.

    Audiences: Prospective students with a background in engineering, math or hard science

    Contact: Mary Kae/Graduate and Professional Programs

  • Annual Viterbi Ph.D. Movie Night

    Fri, Nov 18, 2016 @ 06:45 PM - 10:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Doctoral Programs

    Receptions & Special Events

    On Friday, November 18, 2016 we will be holding our Annual Ph.D. Movie Night! This year we will feature the hit movie: The Ph.D. Movie Piled Higher and Deeper. This movie is FREE for currently enrolled Ph.D. students! Join us and your fellow Ph.D. students for a night at the movies! Hosted by the Viterbi Office of Graduate and Professional Programs and The Graduate Students of Biomedical Engineering, this event will include snacks and drinks raffle prizes and of course, The Ph.D. Movie!

    The event will be indoors, but location will depend on audience size. We will announce the location on November 16, 2016. Please check your email for RSVP link

    Ph.D. Movie Night
    The Ph.D. Movie Piled Higher and Deeper
    Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
    Time: 6:45pm-10:00pm
    Location: To Be Announced

    Audiences: Eligible Ph.D. Students

    Contact: Tracy Charles