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Events for December 02, 2016

  • Annual Preview Day for Prospective Graduate Students

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission, Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Workshops & Infosessions

    Preview Day is the Viterbi School's annual visitation day for students interested in pursuing an advanced degree at one of the top-ranked graduate engineering institutions in the nation.

    For registration and more info: gapp.usc.edu/mspreview2

    Location: Ronald Tutor Campus Center (TCC) - 352

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

    Contact: Mary Kae/Graduate and Professional Programs

  • MHI/EE-Electrophysics Seminar

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: David Allstot, University of California at Berkeley

    Talk Title: Switched-Capacitor Circuits: From Maxwell to the Internet of Things

    Abstract: Maxwell introduced the concept of the equivalent switched-capacitor resistance in Vol. 2 of his Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism in 1873. The concept laid dormant for almost a century until it became commercially viable by exploiting the switches, native capacitors, and operational amplifiers of MOS IC technology. CMOS switched-capacitor circuits have been used in high-volume data converters and signal processing ICs for nearly four decades, and are ubiquitous in modern RF transceiver circuits and emerging as a dominant design approach in CMOS bio-medical and internet-of things circuits and systems, etc.
    This talk will begin with a brief history of SC circuits as applied to data converters, precision high-order filters, operational amplifiers, etc.
    Next, SC circuits are described for body-area-networks (BAN) that integrate multiple sensor nodes in the portable and wearable bio-medical systems that are revolutionizing healthcare. A typical BAN comprises several bio-signal and motion sensors and uses ultra-low-power short-haul radios in conjunction with nearby smart-phones or handheld devices (with GPS capabilities) to communicate via the internet with a doctor or other healthcare professional. Higher energy efficiency is critical to the development of feature-rich, wearable and reliable personal health monitoring systems.
    The amount of data transmitted to the smart-phone increases as more sensors are added to the BAN. Because the energy consumed for RF transmission is proportional to the data rate, it is advantageous to compress the bio-signal at the sensor prior to digitization and transmission. This energy-efficient paradigm is possible using compressed sensing-”a sampling theory wherein a compressible signal can be acquired using only a few incoherent measurements. For ECG signals, for example, large compression factors are achievable which means similar reductions in energy consumption.
    SC circuits are having a huge impact on wireless communications. A major challenge is the RF power amplifier dissipates a large fraction of the total power of a transceiver because of its low efficiency. Despite more than two decades of extensive research, the challenge of on-chip RF Pas with high efficiency in digital-friendly CMOS technologies has not been met. Switching PA topologies with relatively high efficiency have gained momentum, and relatively high output power is being delivered using power combining techniques. Supply regulation techniques have enabled higher efficiency when amplifying non-constant envelope modulated signals. The switched-capacitor RF power amplifier technique which meets many of the remaining challenges is described and some future directions are presented.

    Biography: David J. Allstot received the B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the Univ. of Portland, Oregon State Univ., and the Univ. of California, Berkeley.
    He has held several industrial and academic positions. He was the Boeing-Egtvedt Chair Professor of Engineering at the Univ. of Washington from 1999 to 2012 and Chair of the Dept. of Electrical Engineering from 2004 to 2007. In 2012 he was a Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and from 2013 to 2016, he held a three-year appointment as the MacKay Professor in Residence in the EECS Dept. at UC Berkeley.
    Dr. Allstot has advised about 65 M.S. and 40 Ph.D. graduates, published more than 300 papers, and received several awards for outstanding teaching and research including the 1980 IEEE W.R.G. Baker Award, 1995 and 2010 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) Darlington Award, 1998 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) Beatrice Winner Award, 2004 IEEE CASS Charles A. Desoer Technical Achievement Award, 2005 Semiconductor Research Corp. Aristotle Award, 2008 Semiconductor Industries Assoc. University Research Award, 2011 IEEE CASS Mac Van Valkenburg Award, and 2015 IEEE Trans. on Biomedical Circuits and Systems Best Paper Award. He has been very active in service to the IEEE Circuits and Systems and Solid-State Circuits Societies throughout his career.

    Host: MHI/EE-Electrophysics

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Marilyn Poplawski

  • CS Colloquium and CAIS Seminar: Andy Plumptre - How much to protect and where? Conservation planning in Africa's biodiversity hotspot

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Andy Plumptre, Tropical Conservation Scientist

    Talk Title: How much to protect and where? Conservation planning in Africa's biodiversity hotspot

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

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

    The Albertine Rift is the richest region for vertebrate conservation in Africa. Protected areas have been established here in the past but mainly for large mammal species. This presentation will look at where needs to be conserved in the region to maximize the conservation impacts in terms of species protected whilst at the same time avoiding future mining developments in the region and the impacts of future climate change. Using conservation planning science to demonstrate the uniqueness of sites then led to the creation of new protected areas.

    Biography: Andy Plumptre, PhD is a tropical conservation scientist who has been working for the past 25 years in the Albertine Rift Region of Africa, one of the most biodiverse parts of the continent. His work has focused on many different issues related to the conservation of this region including developing new methods for surveying primates in forests, improving ranger patrolling in protected areas, conservation planning for the Albertine Rift, building national capacity to undertake monitoring and research, supporting transboundary conservation, and establishing new protected areas.

    Host: Center for AI in Society, USC

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

  • AI Seminar

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Thomas Lemberger, EMBO, Heidelberg, Germany

    Talk Title: SourceData: a semantic platform to make published data and figures discoverable

    Abstract: In scientific publications, data are visually depicted in figures or tables. The original data behind the figures the source data however are almost never available in a structured format that would make them findable and reusable. To address this issue, SourceData (http://sourcedata.embo.org) has built a suite of tools to capture the structure of published research data and to make published research papers discoverable based solely on their data content. SourceData converts the narrative descriptions provided in figure legends into standardized, machine readable metadata. Each biological component in a figure is consistently identified via links to established public databases of biological terms. The experimental design is furthermore captured in a structured format by classifying the role of each component. Computer assisted manual identification and classification of biological entities is performed with a web-based curation tool. A separate interface allows authors to verify the accuracy of curated information. In a pilot project, the SourceData team has processed over 15,000 experiments from papers across 23 journals. The resulting web of connected data can be browsed through the SmartFigure application (http://smartfigures.net), which displays data in the context of related figures published in other papers and enables users to easily navigate between them. Users can also use the SourceData search engine to directly retrieve data based on the design of an experiment. SourceData searches the structure of the data rather than relying on keyword indexing, thus avoiding potentially subjective interpretation of results provided in the text.

    Biography: Thomas Lemberger is Deputy Head of Scientific Publications at EMBO (embo.org) in Heidelberg, Germany, Chief Editor of the open access journal Molecular Systems Biology (msb.embopress.org) and Project Leader of the SourceData project (sourcedata.embo.org). Trained as a molecular biologist, Thomas earned his PhD at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he studied hormonal regulation of gene expression by nuclear receptors. For his postdoctoral research, he moved to Heidelberg, Germany, where his research focused on the regulation of transcription in the brain. He joined EMBO as scientific editor in 2005 and assumed the editorial oversight of Molecular Systems Biology since launch of the journal. He has recently initiated the SourceData project to build an open platform that makes scientific publications discoverable based on their data content.

    Host: Gully Burns

    Location: 11th floor large conference room

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Kary LAU

  • CS Colloquium: Ariel Felner (Ben-Gurion University) - Search for Optimal Solutions: the Heart of Heuristic Search is Still Beating

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Ariel Felner, Ben-Gurion University

    Talk Title: Search for Optimal Solutions: the Heart of Heuristic Search is Still Beating

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: The field of heuristic search has spawned large number of subfields such as finding good heuristics, abstracting state-spaces, finding solutions of different qualities or that meet different requirements or constraints. However, a major research direction within the field of heuristic search is that of finding optimal solutions.

    While the A* algorithm was proved to be optimally effective there exists a large number of algorithms and research directions that enhance the A* family of algorithms and improve their performance. In this talk I'll cover a number of such recent algorithms. These algorithms assume a fixed heuristic function but exploit various algorithmic directions to improve upon A* in many ways along the following lines: better memory usage, improved generations of nodes, interleaving depth-first searches into A*, enhanced calculations of the heuristic and recent developments of optimal bidirectional search.

    Biography: Ariel Felner received his Ph.D in 2002 from Bar-Ilan University, Israel, and is now an associate professor at Ben-Gurion University, Israel. He is the chair of the Israeli Association for Artificial intelligence (IAAI) and a council member of SoCS. He is interested in all aspects of heuristic search and has performed research in various areas within the field of heuristic search. He pays specific attention to pedagogical and historical aspects of teaching concepts in this field.

    Host: Sven Koenig

    Location: Hedco Neurosciences Building (HNB) - 15

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

  • 2, 3, 4D Radiology Imaging Research: Can we find more with what we already have?

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Alfred E. Mann Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Darryl Hwang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research Radiology

    Talk Title: TBA

    Series: Seminars in BME (Lab Rotations)

    Abstract: The 4D Quantitative Imaging Lab is devoted to medical image post-processing research in multiple dimensions. Our radiomics work looks at applying image processing algorithms to extract quantifiable measures from our 2D and 3D grayscale medical images looking at shape, texture, and enhancement. We create 3D models for quantification and visualization. How these volumes change with time is the fourth D. An overview of the software used (Synapse 3D, Matlab, Blender) and various imaging processing algorithms will be covered. In addition, we examine how to streamline the workflow and explore how to integrate our research into the clinical world.

    Biography: http://keck.usc.edu/faculty/darryl-hwa-hwang/

    Host: Brent Liu, PhD

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - DRB 146

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Mischalgrace Diasanta

  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Dr. Walid Ali-Ahmad, VP Technology, Qualcomm Inc.

    Talk Title: RF Front-Ends and Transceiver Systems Issues for Carrier Aggregation based 4G User Equipment

    Host: Prof. Hossein Hashemi, Prof. Mike Chen, and Prof. Mahta Moghaddam

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Walid_Ali-Ahmad.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Jenny Lin

  • Astani Civil and Environmental Engineering Ph.D. Seminar

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Vassilios Skanavis and Siming Chen, Astani CEE Graduate Students

    Talk Title: Tsunami Generated by Landslide on October 17th 2015 and Mitigation of Fugitive Methane Emissions from Anaerobic Treatment Processes

    Abstract: See attached

    More Information: Tsunami Generated by Landslide on October 17th 2015.docx

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Evangeline Reyes


    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Yejin Choi, University of Washington


    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: Various types of how to knowledge are encoded in natural language instructions: from setting up a tent, to preparing a dish for dinner, and to executing biology lab experiments. These types of instructions are based on procedural language, which poses unique challenges. For example, verbal arguments are commonly elided when they can be inferred from context, e.g.,bake for 30 minutes, not specifying bake what and where. Entities frequently merge and split, e.g.,vinegar and oil merging into dressing, creating challenges to reference resolution. And disambiguation often requires world knowledge, e.g., the implicit location argument of stir frying is on stove. In this talk, I will present our recent approaches to interpreting and composing cooking recipes that aim to address these challenges. In the first part of the talk, I will present an unsupervised approach to interpreting recipes as action graphs, which define what actions should be performed on which objects and in what order. Our work demonstrates that it is possible to recover action graphs without having access to gold labels, virtual environments or simulations. The key insight is to rely on the redundancy across different variations of similar instructions that provides the learning bias to infer various types of background knowledge, such as the typical sequence of actions applied to an ingredient, or how a combination of ingredients e.g., flour, milk, eggs becomes a new entity e.g, wet mixture . In the second part of the talk, I will present an approach to composing new recipes given a target dish name and a set of ingredients. The key challenge is to maintain global coherence while generating a goal-oriented text. We propose a Neural Checklist Model that attains global coherence by storing and updating a checklist of the agenda e.g., an ingredient list with paired attention mechanisms for tracking what has been already mentioned and what needs to be yet introduced. This model also achieves strong performance on dialogue system response generation. I will conclude the talk by discussing the challenges in modeling procedural language and acquiring the necessary background knowledge, pointing to avenues for future research.

    Biography: Yejin Choi is an assistant professor at the Computer Science & Engineering Department of University of Washington. Her recent research focuses on language grounding, integrating language and vision, and modeling nonliteral meaning in text. She was among the IEEEs AI Top 10 to Watch in 2015 and a co-recipient of the Marr Prize at ICCV 2013. Her work on detecting deceptive reviews, predicting the literary success, and learning to interpret connotation has been featured by numerous media outlets including NBC News for New York, NPR Radio, New York Times, and Bloomberg Business Week. She received her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Cornell University.

    Host: Xing Shi and Kevin Knight

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

    Location: 11th Flr Conf Rm # 1135, Marina Del Rey

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Peter Zamar

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

  • EE 598 Computer Engineering Seminar

    Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars

    Speaker: Lorenzo Alvisi , Professor, Cornell University/University of Texas, Austin

    Talk Title: The Pit and the Pendulum

    Abstract: Since the elegant foundations of transaction processing were established in the mid 70's with the notion of serializability and the codification of the ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability) paradigm, performance has not been considered one of ACID's strong suits, especially for distributed data stores. Indeed, the NoSQL/BASE movement of the last decade was born out of frustration with the limited scalability of traditional ACID solutions, only to become itself a source of frustration once the challenges of programming applications in this new paradigm began to sink in. But how fundamental is this dichotomy between performance and ease of programming? In this talk, I will share what my students and I have recently learned while trying to overcome the traditional terms of this classic tradeoff.

    Biography: Lorenzo Alvisi is a University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds an Endowed Professorship in Computer Science. He is spending 2016-17 as a visiting scholar in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University, where he received his Ph.D. after earning a Laurea degree Summa cum Laude in Physics from the University of Bologna, Italy. His research interests are in the theory and practice of distributed computing, with a particular focus on dependability. He is a Fellow of the ACM and IEEE, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow, and the recipient of a Humboldt Research Award, an NSF Career Award, and several teaching awards. He serves on the editorial boards of ACM TOCS and Springer's Distributed Computing and is a council member of the CRA's Computing Community Consortium. In addition to distributed computing, he is passionate about western classical music and red Italian motorcycles

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Estela Lopez