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Events for May

  • A Trojan Webinar

    Fri, May 01, 2020 @ 02:30 AM - 03:30 AM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Alumni

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Gautam Trivdes, Priyanka Mittal, and Sandeep Tandon, Guest Speakers

    Talk Title: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Covid World

    Abstract: For more information on this webinar, please email USCIndia@usc.edu.

    Host: USC Viterbi India and USC Alumni Club of Delhi | North India

    More Information: Trojan Webinar.jpg

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Kristy Ly

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  • WEBINAR SERIES: Digital Technologies for COVID-19

    Fri, May 01, 2020 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    University Calendar


    Our third webinar will feature a double-header of talks by researchers from USC Viterbi's Information Sciences Institute. The first talk will cover work by Pedro Szekely on a knowledge graph for COVID-19 papers, and the second talk will cover work by Jay Pujara on rapidly responding to COVID-19 using knowledge graphs.

    Please find abstracts for these talks as well as the speaker bios below:


    Talk 1: A Knowledge Graph Integrating Annotations On 44,000 COVID-19 Scientific Articles


    Pedro Szekely

    Abstract: The COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), compiled by the Allen Institute for AI is a free resource of over 44,000 scholarly articles, including over 29,000 with full text, about COVID-19 and the coronavirus family of viruses. At the ISI Center On Knowledge Graphs we are working to enrich this corpus with annotations obtained using multiple state of the art information extraction tools, bioinformatics databases, and multiple graph and network analytics. These tools are difficult to run and produce outputs in different formats, making it difficult for COVID-19 researchers to use them. We are building a knowledge graph that integrates the outputs of these tools and databases in a simple data model that we provide in multiple formats (TAB-separated, RDF/SPARQL and Neo4J) to facilitate use of the corpus annotations. Our current release enriches the CORD-19 corpus with gene, chemical, disease and taxonomic information from Wikidata and CTD databases, as well as entity extractions from Professor's Heng Ji BLENDER lab at UIUC. In the next releases we will also integrate extractions from the Reach project at University of Arizona and others.


    Bio: Dr. Pedro Szekely (Ph.D. Carnegie Mellon 1987) is a Principal Scientist and Research Director of the Center on Knowledge Graphs at the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI), and a Research Associate Professor at the USC Computer Science Department. Dr. Szekely's research focuses on algorithms and tools for rapid construction of domain-specific knowledge graphs. The tools developed in his group have been used in several DARPA and IARPA projects to construct knowledge graphs in cyber security, causal exploration, hypothesis generation and forecasting of geo-political events, and has been used by law enforcement agencies to identify victims of human trafficking and to build legal cases against the traffickers. Dr. Szekely teaches a graduate course at USC on Building Knowledge Graphs, and has given tutorials on knowledge graph construction at KDD, ISWC, AAAI and WWW.


    Talk 2: Rapidly Responding to COVID-19 Using Knowledge Graphs

    Jay Pujara

    Abstract: Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has created a need to navigate vast amounts of information and quickly make decisions. I will describe how knowledge graphs, structured repositories capturing interconnected information, can help quickly adapt to new circumstances. To illustrate the value of these techniques, I will describe two active projects in our research group. The first allows experts to sift through thousands of research papers and identify scientific results that are likely to be reproducible. The second helps manufacturers adapt their supply chains to develop health and safety projects. Both projects are the result of analyzing terabytes of data and developing a succinct representation that can help answer questions with rich information.

    Bio: Jay Pujara is a research assistant professor of Computer Science at the University of Southern California and a research lead at the Information Sciences Institute whose principal areas of research are machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science. He completed a postdoc at UC Santa Cruz, earned his PhD at the University of Maryland, College Park and received his MS and BS at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to his PhD, Jay spent six years at Yahoo! working on mail spam detection and user trust, and he has also worked at Google, LinkedIn and Oracle. Jay is the author of over thirty peer-reviewed publications and has received four best paper awards for his work. He is a recognized authority on knowledge graphs, and has organized the Automatic Knowledge Base Construction (AKBC) and Statistical Relational AI (StaRAI) workshops, presented tutorials on knowledge graph construction at AAAI and WSDM, and had his work featured in AI Magazine. For more information, visit https://www.jaypujara.org

    Series co-hosted by:
    Craig Knoblock, Executive Director, USC Information Sciences Institute
    Bhaskar Krishnamachari, Director, USC Viterbi Center for CPS and IoT

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SnVYd9ONQgyYeLWiI8qtMA

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Bhaskar Krishnamachari

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  • Repeating EventECE PhD Zoom Party

    Fri, May 01, 2020 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Student Activity


    Tune in EVERY FRIDAY AT 3:30pm to meet and catch up with fellow PhDs for different games every week with prizes! All students receive login instructions in a separate email.

    Audiences: All ECE PhD Students

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    Posted By: Cathy Huang

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  • Open Alpha Game Premiere

    Sat, May 02, 2020 @ 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Student Activity


    Open Alpha: a cycle of testing a game in an early stage, wherein the test group is much larger than that of closed testing and typically open to anyone who is interested.

    Wanna know what we've been up to all semester? Come join us for our final release premiere to take a sneak peak at our FIRST EVER GAME about... window washing?!?! Get an in-depth look at the game's trailer, demo, and a Q&A with our project leads about the game development process and how our first semester went as a club (especially after going all virtual)! If you're interested in getting involved with Open Alpha, this is a great way to see just what kind cool stuff you get to do!

    Catch the premiere at bit.ly/openalpha on May 2nd, 6PM PST!

    Thank you!
    The Open Alpha Team

    Location: Online

    WebCast Link: bit.ly/openalpha

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Ryan Rozan

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  • Machine Learning to Track Epidemic Spread Featuring Viktor Prasanna

    Tue, May 05, 2020 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Alumni

    University Calendar


    What technologies have evolved from a machine learning context that will help us in this unprecedented time? Join us for a live 60-minute webinar as Dr. Viktor Prasanna guides us through his development for a tool that will predict the global spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. He will share, for the first time, results from ReCOVER, his latest data model for accurate predictions and resource allocation for COVID-19 and other epidemics response. This webinar will feature a live Q&A session.

    Dr. Prasanna holds the Charles Lee Powell Chair in Engineering and is a professor of electrical engineering and a professor of computer science. His research interests include high performance computing, parallel and distributed systems, reconfigurable computing, cloud computing and smart energy systems. He received his bachelor's degree in electronics engineering from the Bangalore University, master's degree from the School of Automation, Indian Institute of Science and Ph.D. in computer science from the Pennsylvania State University. Prasanna received the W. Wallace McDowell Award from the IEEE Computer Society in 2015 for his contributions to reconfigurable computing. He received an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University in 2009. He received a 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). He is a Fellow of the IEEE, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS).

    Please use this link to sign up: https://viterbi-live-prasanna.eventbrite.com

    This session will be hosted on Zoom. Links and passwords will be sent to all registered participants the morning of May 5th.

    For any questions, please email us at engalums@usc.edu.

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Kristy Ly

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  • Undergraduate Admission Virtual Information Session

    Tue, May 05, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for prospective first-year students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience.Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • CANCELED - Computer Science General Faculty Meeting

    Wed, May 06, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Receptions & Special Events


    Bi-Weekly regular faculty meeting for invited full-time Computer Science faculty only. Event details emailed directly to attendees.

    Location: 101

    Audiences: Invited Faculty Only

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Prospective Students: Chat with a USC Rep

    Thu, May 07, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    University Calendar


    Attendee Webex registration link:
    https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e668d14a184ebcfda37c850b83222237e

    Interested in Master's or PhD programs in engineering or computer science?

    Meet representatives from the Viterbi School of Engineering on an online webinar!

    Students who have earned or are in the process of earning a Bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, mathematics, or a hard science (such as physics, biology, or chemistry) are welcome to attend to learn more about applying to our graduate programs.

    The session will include information on the following topics:

    - Master's & PhD 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.

    We look forward to seeing you there.

    Location: Webex

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e668d14a184ebcfda37c850b83222237e

    Audiences: Prospective Graduate Students

    Posted By: camila tabar

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  • The Mathematics of Epidemics: A Century-Long Saga

    Thu, May 07, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Alumni

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Andrew Viterbi, Alumnus and Namesake of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    Talk Title: The Mathematics of Epidemics: A Century-Long Saga

    Biography: Dr. Andrew Viterbi earned one of the first doctorates in electrical engineering ever granted at USC. The "Viterbi Algorithm", a mathematical formula to eliminate signal interference, paved the way for the widespread use of cellular technology, and catapulted Viterbi into the limelight of wireless communications worldwide. Today, the Viterbi Algorithm is used in all four international standards for digital cellular telephones, as well as in data terminals, digital satellite broadcast receivers and deep space telemetry. Viterbi is also the co-developer of CDMA -- Code Division Multiple Access -- the most widely used cell phone technology in the U.S.

    Host: Dean Yannis Yortsos

    More Info: https://tinyurl.com/viterbiwebinar

    More Information: Viterbi Webinar.jpg

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Kristy Ly

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  • Undergraduate Admission Virtual Information Session

    Thu, May 07, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for prospective first-year students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience.Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • ECE Masters Students Weekly Zoom Chat

    Thu, May 07, 2020 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Student Activity


    Join the Weekly Zoom Chat.

    If you have specific questions, pre-submit your questions by commenting on piazza so we can prepare answers for you.

    We are hoping to invite an alumnus or someone from the OIS office in the coming weeks. Tune in!

    We welcome any topic or ideas suggestions.

    Details for the invite have been sent to ECE students on Piazza and through email.

    Audiences: ECE Masters Students

    Posted By: Cathy Huang

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  • AI for COVID-19 in LA (Virtual Symposium)

    Fri, May 08, 2020 @ 10:00 AM - 04:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    University Calendar


    Machine Learning Center (MaSCle) and Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS) proudly present: AI for COVID-19 in LA, a virtual symposium highlighting the role of data science and artificial intelligence in the evolving pandemic.

    COVID-19 is fundamentally changing societies, businesses, and governments around the world. With lock downs and other restrictions in place, and daily lives becoming virtual, the evolving situation has underscored the role of data science to analyze and develop insights into how resources and information are shaping our well-being.

    Join us as we bring together experts and leaders from the field of data science and artificial intelligence to seed research directions, reveal insights, and help communities across the world.

    This is a free virtual event, but registration is required.
    For further inquiries contact us at AI4COVID@gmail.com

    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ai-for-covid-19-in-la-virtual-symposium-tickets-103861213686

    WebCast Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ai-for-covid-19-in-la-virtual-symposium-tickets-103861213686

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Christina Loredo

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  • Virtual Transfer Information Session

    Fri, May 08, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for prospective transfer students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience. Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life. Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Register Here

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • Repeating EventECE PhD Zoom Party

    Fri, May 08, 2020 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Student Activity


    Tune in EVERY FRIDAY AT 3:30pm to meet and catch up with fellow PhDs for different games every week with prizes! All students receive login instructions in a separate email.

    Audiences: All ECE PhD Students

    View All Dates

    Posted By: Cathy Huang

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  • PhD Defense - Artem Molchanov

    Mon, May 11, 2020 @ 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Ph.D. Defense - Artem Molchanov 5/11 1:30 pm "Data Scarcity in Robotics: Leveraging Structural Priors and Representation Learning"

    Ph.D. Candidate: Artem Molchanov
    Date: Monday, May 11, 2020
    Time: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
    Committee: Gaurav S. Sukhatme (Chair), Nora Ayanian, Heather Culbertson, Satyandra K. Gupta
    Title: Data Scarcity in Robotics: Leveraging Structural Priors and Representation Learning

    Abstract:
    Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence have benefited significantly from access to large pools of data accompanied in many cases by labels, ground truth values, or perfect demonstrations. In robotics, however, such data are scarce or absent completely. Overcoming this issue is a major barrier to move robots from structured laboratory settings to the unstructured real world. In this thesis, by leveraging structural priors and representation learning, we provide several solutions when data required to operate robotics systems is scarce or absent.

    In the first part of this thesis we study sensory feedback scarcity. We show how to use high-dimensional alternative sensory modalities to extract data when primary sensory sources are absent. In a robot grasping setting, we address the problem of contact localization and solve it using multi-modal tactile feedback as the alternative source of information. We leverage multiple tactile modalities provided by piezoresistive and capacitive sensor arrays to structure the problem as spatio-temporal inference. We employ the representational power of neural networks to acquire the complex mapping between tactile sensors and the contact locations. We investigate scarce feedback due to the high cost of measurements. We study this problem in a challenging field robotics setting where multiple severely underactuated aquatic vehicles need to be coordinated. We show how to leverage collaboration among the vehicles and the spatio-temporal smoothness of the ocean currents as a prior to densify feedback about ocean currents to acquire better controllability.

    In the second part of this thesis, we investigate scarcity of the data related to the desired task. We develop a method to efficiently leverage simulated dynamics priors to perform sim-to-real transfer of a control policy when no data about the target system is available. We investigate this problem in the scenario of sim-to-real transfer of low-level stabilizing quadrotor control policies. We demonstrate that we can learn robust policies in simulation and transfer them to the real system while acquiring no samples from the real quadrotor. We consider the general problem of learning a model with a very limited number of samples using meta-learned losses. We show how such losses can encode a prior structure about families of tasks to create well-behaved loss landscapes for efficient model optimization. We demonstrate the efficiency of our approach for learning policies and dynamics models in multiple robotics settings.


    Meeting Links:
    Zoom Meeting:
    https://usc.zoom.us/j/98384775690
    Meeting ID: 983 8477 5690


    Google Meet (ONLY A BACKUP - IF WE EXPERIENCE PROBLEMS WITH ZOOM):
    Meeting ID:
    meet.google.com/unz-zwzs-nxj
    Phone Numbers:
    +1 470-735-5928
    PIN: 476 191 520#

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98384775690

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Lizsl De Leon

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  • Virtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Tue, May 12, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for high school students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience. Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • USC Games Expo 2020

    Tue, May 12, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 09:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Receptions & Special Events


    The USC Games Expo, in Partnership with jam City, will be held on May 12th. The event will be streamed LIVE on multiple platforms - including Twitch - and will be accessible via uscgamesexpo.com

    RSVP now at http://uscgamesexpo2020.eventbrite.com

    Location: Online

    WebCast Link: http://uscgamesexpo.com

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Ryan Rozan

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  • Viterbi Live: The Race for the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Thu, May 14, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Alumni

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Pin Wang, USC Professor

    Talk Title: Viterbi Live: The Race for the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Abstract: As the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus continues, USC Viterbi professor Dr. Pin Wang is leading a team in the development of a new vaccine.

    Their research isolates the human antibodies that can successfully fight the viral infection in order to create treatments that improve recovery times for COVID-19 patients.

    Join us for a live discussion as Dr. Wang presents his findings and challenges ahead. Dr. Stacey Finley, USC Viterbi Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences, will host and moderate the session.

    Please register here: https://viterbi-live-wang-finley.eventbrite.com

    This session will be hosted on Zoom. Links and passwords will be sent to all registered participants the morning of May 14th.

    For any questions, please email us at engalums@usc.edu.

    Biography: Dr. Wang is the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering. His lab specializes in the emerging field of immunobioengineering, which uses engineering tools to better understand the immune system and to develop novel molecular and cellular immunotherapies.

    Dr. Finley is the holder of the Gordon S. Marshall Early Career Chair and the Director of the Center for Computational Modeling of Cancer. She has a joint appointment in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and the Department of Biological Sciences.

    Host: Stacey Finley & Viterbi Advancement

    More Info: https://viterbi-live-wang-finley.eventbrite.com

    More Information: Viterbi Live - Wang & Finley.jpg

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Kristy Ly

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  • Virtual First-year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 14, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for high school students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience. Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • Repeating EventECE PhD Zoom Party

    Fri, May 15, 2020 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Student Activity


    Tune in EVERY FRIDAY AT 3:30pm to meet and catch up with fellow PhDs for different games every week with prizes! All students receive login instructions in a separate email.

    Audiences: All ECE PhD Students

    View All Dates

    Posted By: Cathy Huang

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  • Virtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Tue, May 19, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for high school students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience.Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • PhD Defense - Zhiyun Lu

    Wed, May 20, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Ph.D. Candidate: Zhiyun Lu
    Date: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
    Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Committee: Fei Sha (Chair), Haipeng Luo, C.-C. Jay Kuo

    Title: Leveraging Training Information for Efficient and Robust Deep Learning

    Abstract: Deep neural nets have exhibited great success on a wide range of machine learning problems across various domains, such as speech, image, and text. Despite decent prediction performances, there are rising concerns for the `in-the-lab' machine learning models to be vastly deployed in the wild. In this thesis, we study two of the main challenges in deep learning: efficiency, computational as well as statistical, and robustness. We describe a set of techniques to solve the challenges by utilizing information from the training process intelligently. The solutions go beyond the common recipe of a single point estimate of the optimal model.

    The first part of the thesis studies the efficiency challenge. We propose a budgeted hyper-parameter tuning algorithm to improve the computation efficiency of hyper-parameter tuning in deep learning. It can estimate and utilize the trend of training curves to adaptively allocate resources for tuning, which demonstrates improved efficiency over state-of-the-art tuning algorithms. Then we study the statistical efficiency on tasks with limited labeled data. Specifically we focus on the task of speech sentiment analysis. We apply pre-training using automatic speech recognition data, and solve sentiment analysis as a downstream task, which greatly improves the data efficiency of sentiment labels.



    The second part of the thesis studies the robustness challenge. Motivated by the resampling method in statistics, we study the uncertainty estimate of neural networks by local perturbative approximations. We propose to sample replicas of the model parameters from a Gaussian distribution to form a pseudo-ensemble. The ensemble predictions are used to estimate the uncertainty of the original model, which improves its robustness against invalid inputs.


    Meeting links:


    Zoom: https://usc.zoom.us/j/96089712182 (Meeting ID: 960 8971 2182)


    Google Meet (backup): meet.google.com/nxz-eybf-urw

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/96089712182

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Lizsl De Leon

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  • NL Seminar-Fighting COVID 19 using Linear Time Algorithms from Computational Linguistics

    Thu, May 21, 2020 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Liang Huang, Baidu Oregon State University

    Talk Title: Fighting COVID 19 using Linear Time Algorithms from Computational Linguistics

    Abstract: To defeat the current COVID 19 pandemic, which has already claimed 250,000 deaths as of early May, a messenger RNA mRNA vaccine has emerged as a promising approach thanks to its rapid and scalable production and non infectious and non integrating properties. However, designing an mRNA sequence to achieve high stability and protein yield remains a challenging problem due to the exponentially large search space e.g., there are 10 632 possible mRNA sequence candidates for the spike protein of SARS CoV 2.

    We describe two on going efforts at solving this problem, both using linear time algorithms from my group inspired by my earlier work in parsing. On one hand, the Eterna Open Vaccine project from Stanford Medical School takes a crowd sourcing approach to let game players all over the world design stable sequences. To evaluate sequence stability in terms of free energy, they use Linear Fold from my group 2019 since its the only linear time RNA folding algorithm available which makes it the only one fast enough for COVID scale genomes. On the other hand, we take a computational approach to directly search for the optimal sequence in this exponentially large space via dynamic programming. It turns out this problem can be reduced to a classical problem in formal language theory and computational linguistics intersection between CFG and DFA , which can be solved in O n 3 time, just like lattice parsing for speech. In the end, we can design the optimal mRNA vaccine candidate for SARS CoV 2 spike protein in 1 hour with exact search, or just 11 minutes with a beam of 1000 at the cost of only 0.6 percent loss in energy.

    Biography: Liang Huang is currently an Assistant Professor of EECS at Oregon State University and Distinguished Scientist part time at Baidu Research USA. Before that he was Assistant Professor for three years at the City University of New York CUNY and a part-time Research Scientist with IBM's Watson Group. He graduated in 2008 from Penn and has worked as a Research Scientist at Google and a Research Assistant Professor at USC ISI. Most of his work develops fast algorithms and provable theory to speedup large-scale natural language processing, structured machine learning, and computational structural biology. He has received a Best Paper Award at ACL 2008 sole author, a Best Paper Honorable Mention at EMNLP 2016, several best paper nominations ACL 2007, EMNLP 2008, and ACL 2010, two Google Faculty Research Awards 2010 and 2013, a Yahoo! Faculty Research Award 2015, and a University Teaching Prize at Penn 2005. He was a keynote speaker at ACL 2019. His recent interest is to apply computational linguistics to computational biology, where he works on RNA folding & design using his earlier work on incremental parsing.

    Host: Emily Sheng

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

    Webcast: https://usc.zoom.us/j/94526753732

    Location: Virtual Only

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/94526753732

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Petet Zamar

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  • Prospective Students: Chat with a USC Rep

    Thu, May 21, 2020 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Interested in Master's or PhD programs in engineering or computer science?

    Students who have earned or are in the process of earning a Bachelor's degree in engineering, computer science, mathematics, or a hard science (such as physics, biology, or chemistry) are welcome to attend to learn more about applying to our graduate programs.

    The session will include information on the following topics:

    - Master's & PhD programs in engineering and computer science
    - How to Apply
    - Scholarships and funding
    - Student life at USC and in Los Angeles
    - DEN@Viterbi, our online delivery platform
    - Our newly extended deadline for Fall 2020 applicants!

    There will also be sufficient time for questions.

    We look forward to seeing you there.
    Register here: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e89f435616667127c05cbea819f9bbf74
    Event Password: Fighton1

    Location: Webex

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e89f435616667127c05cbea819f9bbf74

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: camila tabar

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  • Virtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 21, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for high school students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience. Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • The Balance Between Privacy & Keeping Communities Safe

    Thu, May 21, 2020 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Alumni

    Workshops & Infosessions


    As we face the COVID-19 pandemic companies, universities, retail stores and hospitals are facing the need to keep employees and customers safe, while at the same time respect individual privacy. Around the world, a diverse and growing chorus is calling for the use of smartphone proximity technology and computer vision AI to identify infected individuals and prevent them from infecting others. In this webinar we will discuss the different point of views on this topic and challenge each other on achieving a balance between privacy and community health.

    More Information: VIP Bay Area Event.png

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kF0P15h7S1KwzbtThp1q2w

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Kristy Ly

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  • Fighting COVID-19 with APIs and Big Data hosted by Bit Project of UC-Davis (RSVP in Advance)

    Thu, May 21, 2020 @ 06:00 PM - 07:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Fighting COVID-19 with APIs and Big Data hosted by Bit Project of UC-Davis.

    Bit Project would like to invite students from University of Southern California to participate in our webinar about applying the power of APIs and Big Data to combat COVID-19. Utilizing data provided by Johns Hopkins University, we will be guiding students through Postman to exhibit how code can influence issues faced at a global scale. In addition, we have speakers from reputable organizations, such as Microsoft and Postman, that will explain the role of distinct computing features in the age of COVID-19.

    By the end of the webinar, attendees will have experience with:
    1. Finding and accessing public APIs
    2. Importing, cleaning, and processing geospatial data
    3. Using Jupyter Notebook
    4. Using Facebook's Prophet Library to forecast the spread of the disease.

    While this webinar is centered around APIs and Big Data, we will also have speaker(s) from the front-lines of COVID-19 to conceptually understand the potential magnitude technologists may have on this pandemic.

    We will be hosting the webinar on Thursday, May 21st at 6:00 p.m.

    To sign-up for the webinar, please RSVP via the following link:
    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fighting-covid19-with-apis-and-big-data-tickets-104366926286

    Location: Online

    WebCast Link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fighting-covid19-with-apis-and-big-data-tickets-104366926286

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Ryan Rozan

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  • Digital Technologies for COVID-19

    Fri, May 22, 2020 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Alumni

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Digital contact-tracing, along with testing, is pretty much the only solution offered to gradually relax stay-at-home orders, allowing us to get back to work and normal life. A recent effort by Apple and Google to collect co-location data, which would enable large-scale contact-tracing and in real-time using Bluetooth-based proximity detection, is a step at the right direction. However, in order to really stop the pandemic in its tracks, we need a nuanced risk assessment that takes many factors into consideration, including people's mobility patterns.

    Register Here: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_SnVYd9ONQgyYeLWiI8qtMA

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Kristy Ly

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  • Virtual Transfer Information Session

    Fri, May 22, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for prospective transfer students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience. Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life. Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Register Here

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • Virtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Tue, May 26, 2020 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for high school students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience.Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • Virtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 28, 2020 @ 02:00 AM - 03:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Undergraduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our virtual information session is a live presentation from a USC Viterbi admission counselor designed for high school students and their family members to learn more about the USC Viterbi undergraduate experience.Our session will cover an overview of our undergraduate engineering programs, the application process, and more on student life.Guests will be able to ask questions and engage in further discussion toward the end of the session.

    Please register here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Viterbi Admission

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  • WEBINAR SERIES: Digital Technologies for COVID-19

    Fri, May 29, 2020 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

    University Calendar


    Our next webinar in the continuing series will feature a double-header of talks as well. First, Prof. John Heidemann from USC Viterbi's Information Sciences Institute will present his work analyzing Internet traffic during the COVID-19 outbreak. Then, Dr. Animesh Pathak, a Viterbi industry alum who heads R&D and Engineering at myKaarma, will discuss the experiences of an automobile business software company in addressing unique challenges posed by COVID-19.


    Talk 1: A First Look at Measuring the Internet during Novel Coronavirus to Evaluate Quarantine (MINCEQ) -- by John Heidemann

    Abstract: Measuring the Internet during Novel Coronavirus to Evaluate Quarantine (RAPID-MINCEQ) is a project to measure changes in Internet use during the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020.

    Today social distancing and work-from-home/study-from-home are the best tools we have to limit COVID's spread. But implementation of these policies varies in the US and around the global, and we would like to evaluate participation in these policies.

    This project plans to develop two complementary methods of assessing Internet use by measuring address activity and how it changes relative to historical trends. Changes in the Internet can reflect work-from-home behavior. Although we cannot see all IP addresses (many are hidden behind firewalls or home routers), early work shows changes at USC and ISI.

    This project is support by an NSF RAPID grant for COVID-19 and just began in May 2020, so this talk will discuss directions we plan to explore.

    Bio: John Heidemann is a principal scientist at the University of Southern California/Information Sciences Institute (USC/ISI) and a research professor at USC in Computer Science. At ISI he leads the ANT (Analysis of Network Traffic) Lab, studying how to observe and analyze Internet topology and traffic to improve network reliability, security, protocols, and critical services. He is a senior member of ACM and fellow of IEEE.


    Talk 2: Tales from the field: addressing COVID-19 challenges from the perspective of automotive business software -- by Animesh Pathak

    Abstract: COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise, including businesses that have traditionally relied on in-person contact to serve their customers. In the view of changing social norms and new social distancing safety guidelines, many businesses have had to quickly pivot or risk closing down.

    In this talk, I will share observations from the US and Canadian automotive dealership industry's efforts to overcome these new challenges, and the resulting process and software changes that had to be made to enable their vision, including the recent "Mobile Service" initiative by a major luxury automotive brand. I will share a glimpse of the various interesting system-building and computer science problems arising from the new reality that is here to stay, and the resulting opportunities for real-world impact to livelihoods of workers.

    Bio: Dr. Animesh Pathak is the Head of R&D and Head of Engineering at myKaarma, where he is responsible for the overall reliability, scalability, and security of myKaarma products in the areas of unified communication, payments, video inspections, scheduling, and logistics for Automotive OEMs and Dealerships in the US and Canada. myKaarma is headquartered in Long Beach, California, with offices in Canada and India.

    Previously, Dr. Pathak was a Research Scientist at Inria in Paris. He received his Ph.D in Computer Engineering from the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC, and the B.Tech. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IIT BHU), where he was awarded the Institute Gold Medal.

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bS2IGZDMTw2aymiLaBAzIw

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Bhaskar Krishnamachari

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