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Events for May

  • Phd Defense - Bowen Zhang

    Mon, May 02, 2022 @ 09:00 AM - 10:30 AM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PhD Candidate: Bowen Zhang

    Committee chair: Prof. Leana Golubchik (CS dept.), Prof. Fei Sha,
    Committee members: Prof. Laurent Itti (CS dept.), Prof. Shri Narayanan (EE dept.)

    May. 2 Monday 9:00am-10:30am

    Title: Visual Representation Learning with Structural Prior

    Abstract: Visual representation learning is crucial for building a robust and effective visual understanding system. The goal is to build general-purpose representations to benefit multiple downstream tasks (\ie image/video classification, segmentation, retrieval, etc.) With the accessibility to large-scale datasets and the advance in complex learning methods, sophisticated neural architectures and novel training approaches have been proposed to improve visual representation. However, obtaining a versatile representation is still yet an open question. This thesis aims to leverage the visual structure to obtain more general visual representations. The key observation is that the visual components (\ie images and videos) contain structure. It can be decomposed into atomic components such as objects, attributes, clips, etc. For example, images can be decomposed into objects and can be further described by attributes. Similarly, videos can describe complex scenes composed of multiple clips or shots, where each depicts a semantically coherent event or action. As atomic components are shareable across modalities and tasks, we hope the hierarchical visual representation that is compiled from the atomic representation could achieve better generalization ability. In this thesis, we studied two scenarios to obtain the visual structures: the structure from parallel visual and text data and the pure visual domain. We achieved state-of-the-art performance on video and text retrieval, moment localization in a video corpus, image and text retrieval, action recognition, and visual storytelling with the proposed hierarchically visual representation.

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/92058237989

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • PhD Thesis Proposal - Jason Gregory

    Mon, May 02, 2022 @ 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PhD Thesis Proposal - Jason Gregory

    Title: Decision Support Systems for Adaptive Experimental Design in Field Robotics

    Abstract:
    Field robots - agents that operate in complex, natural settings - have the potential for making major, tangible impact to human-robot teaming, but also face the toughest of challenges because the physical world is an unforgiving place. Experimentation plays an integral role in the research and development of fieldable systems and this must be performed in representative conditions that leverage human supervision to effectively understand capabilities of the system, assess individual components and their interactions, manage risk, and interpret results. Adaptive decision making led by a human is required for the construction of experiments, referred to as experimental design, to use insights gained from previous experiments and overcome the inherent complexity of autonomous field robotic systems and operational environments. Human experimenters, however, inherently have several shortcomings, including an inability to reason over large-scale data, sub-optimal uncertainty estimation, and biased decision making. These shortcomings can produce disastrous outcomes, including the selection of low-value experiments that introduce unnecessary delays in building system understanding as well as the selection of risky experiments that can result in major equipment damage or physical injury. To mitigate the human's drawbacks while boosting their indispensable skill sets, we seek to develop decision support systems (DSS) that can assist an experimenter during the decision making process of experiment design and reduce experimental costs by constructing more informative experiments. In this talk, I will present recent efforts in human-in-the-loop decision making for adaptive experimental design, specifically in the context of field robotics, through the development of applicable DSSs.

    Committee:
    Satyandra K. Gupta (advisor, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science)
    Gaurav Sukhatme (Computer Science)
    Heather Culbertson (Computer Science)
    Stefanos Nikolaidis (Computer Science)
    Quan Nguyen (Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science)

    Location: https://usc.zoom.us/j/2562545595?pwd=RnJUdWNTaStveEdQSUFiSjhkL2o5Zz09

    Date: Monday, May 2, 2022 at 1-3PM.

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/2562545595?pwd=RnJUdWNTaStveEdQSUFiSjhkL2o5Zz09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • BCG Office Hours

    Tue, May 03, 2022 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Our purpose is to provide a variety of opportunities for students to have their questions answered, learn more about BCG and our recruiting process.

    These sessions are led by recruiters and intended to provide support for students as they navigate the Associate summer internship and full-time application process.

    Tuesday, May 3rd 12pm-1pm: Resumes & Cover Letters- Click Here to Register: https://talent.bcg.com/Events?folderId=10047254&source=Event

    External employer-hosted events and activities are not affiliated with the USC Viterbi Career Connections Office. They are posted on Viterbi Career Connections because they may be of interest to members of the Viterbi community. Inclusion of any activity does not indicate USC sponsorship or endorsement of that activity or event. It is the participant's responsibility to apply due diligence, exercise caution when participating, and report concerns to vcareers@usc.edu

    Location: Virtual

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • PhD Thesis Proposal - Dimitrios Stripelis

    Tue, May 03, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Title

    Heterogeneous Federated Learning

    Abstract
    Federated Learning has emerged as a standard computational paradigm for distributed training of deep learning models across data silos. The participating silos may have heterogeneous system capabilities and data specifications. In this thesis proposal, we classify these heterogeneities into computational and semantic. We present federated training policies that accelerate the convergence of the federated model by reducing the communication and processing cost required during training. We show the efficacy of these policies across a range of challenging federated environments with highly diverse data distributions. Finally, we introduce for the first time the federated data harmonization problem and present a comprehensive architecture that addresses both data harmonization, including schema mapping, data normalization, and data imputation, as well as federated learning.


    Committee
    José Luis Ambite (advisor, CS)
    Cyrus Shahabi (co-advisor, CS)
    Greg Ver Steeg (CS)

    Meisam Razaviyayn (CS)
    Paul Thompson (Keck)

    Location

    https://usc.zoom.us/j/91349269696?pwd=QzlYMFMraVc4RGpKNWxXQnhONlJpdz09

    Date

    Tuesday, May 3, 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT.

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/91349269696?pwd=QzlYMFMraVc4RGpKNWxXQnhONlJpdz09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • DEN@Viterbi - 'Limited Status: How to Get Started' Virtual Info Session

    Tue, May 03, 2022 @ 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

    Distance Education Network, Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Join USC Viterbi for our upcoming Limited Status: How to Get Started Virtual Information Session via WebEx to learn about the Limited Status enrollment option. The Limited Status enrollment option allows individuals with an undergraduate degree in engineering or related field, with a 3.0 GPA or above to take courses before applying for formal admission into a Viterbi graduate degree program.

    USC Viterbi representatives will provide a step-by-step guide for how to get started as a Limited Status student and enroll in courses online via DEN@Viterbi as early as the Spring 2023 semester.

    Register Now!

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e71754a5ae292005b12d73694b9d519b5

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • PhD Defense - Sarah Cooney

    Wed, May 04, 2022 @ 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PhD Candidate: Sarah Cooney

    Title: Toward Sustainable and Resilient Communities with HCI: Physical Structures and Socio-Cultural Factors

    Committee:

    Barath Raghavan (Chair), Ramesh Govindan, Bistra Dilkina, Heather Culbertson, Hajar Yazdiha (Outside Member, Sociology)


    Abstract: Today more than ever we are faced with urgent, global-scale sustainability challenges. Scientists are urging everyone to contribute, and this includes the computing community. The Sustainable Human-Computer Interaction (SHCI) community has been working on these kinds of sustainability problems for almost two decades now. My research builds on the work of this community, in particular the use of Practice Theory to examine the external structures that act on individuals, often hampering their ability to make sustainable decisions. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods from human-computer interaction, my research aim is to find local solutions to global sustainability challenges while increasing community resilience and individual well-being.

    First, I look at physical infrastructure through the lens of ``social infrastructure''. I build a prototype software, PatternPainter, to enable ordinary individuals to create 3D visualizations for designs of new social spaces on abandoned land in their communities. Evaluation shows this prototype allows individuals without design training to successfully create designs in 3D. I then turn to qualitative methods from HCI, specifically photo elicitation and surveys, to add context by examining how trained designers and untrained citizens view their physical environments differently in the CommYOUnity Data Study. The observations from this study can be used to inform building future technologies in the social infrastructure space. Finally, I turn to automation. I create a pipeline using the Pix2Pix style transfer algorithm and semantic segmentation to automate the process of revitalizing city streets for pedestrian use.

    In parallel, I also examine religion as a socio-cultural factor impacting sustainable decision making. This builds on previous work in SHCI, which suggests that it is important to understand the social, cultural, and psychological motivations behind sustainable decision making, so that more effective technological solutions to facilitate these decisions can be built. To that end, I conducted an interview study with 14 individuals from Catholic organizations who are involved in sustainability work from a faith-based lens. I show how the insights from this study might be used to build future technology in this space.

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/97131163793?pwd=MXZ0NUNyd1BWK2F4U0lmUWJtNEVLdz09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • PhD Defense - Victor Ardulov

    Wed, May 04, 2022 @ 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Title: Modeling and Regulating Human Interaction with Control Affine Dynamical Systems

    Author: Victor Ardulov

    Committee Members: Shrikanth Narayanan (chair), Maja Matarić, Thomas D Lyon

    Date: May 5, 2022 3pm Pacific

    Location (in-person): Ronald Tutor Hall 320

    Virtual Link:
    usc.zoom.us/j/98133481247?pwd=d2VqbmNhYWljcnp4d25PVEJvd3U5Zz09
    Meeting ID: 981 3348 1247
    Passcode: 882255

    Abstract:
    Human interaction is a vital component to a persons' development and well-being. These interactions enable us to over come obstacles and find resolutions that an individual might not be able to. This subject is particularly well studied in the domains of human psychology, where human behavior is diagnostically categorized and the interaction can be utilized in order to improve somebody's health.

    Prior work has explored the use of computational models of human behavior to aide in the diagnostic assessment of behavioral patterns. Most recently, novel machine learning
    methods and access data has invited the to study the dynamics of human interaction on a more granular time-resolution. These dynamics have been used to identify specific moments during interactions that are relevant to the over all assessment of a individuals behavior with respect to their interlocutor. By reformulating this system from the perspective of an operator that can be controlled, it invites the possibility to predict how an individual would react to a specific input from their partner, which itself lends the opportunity to plan out interventions and probes more effectively.

    This dissertation presents a formulation of human interaction through a systems theoretic paradigm with a control affine element and demonstrates how these frameworks can be utilized to gain insight into improving desired outcomes and approaches towards optimizing interaction strategies. In support of the thesis, we will present the application of these techniques to the domains of forensic interviewing, psychotherapy, and neurodevelopmental diagnostics.

    Bio:

    Victor is a 5th year Computer Science PhD Candidate with SAIL at the University of Southern California, where his primary research is conducted in the space of modeling and guiding behavioral interactions between people. His work includes analyzing child speaking patterns to determine the truthfulness of their statements during high-stakes interviews, improving screening tools for diagnosing neuro-developmental disorders (e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder), and building models to improve psychologists-client outcomes during therapy. Besides his work at USC, Victor has experience as a scientific advisor at Calypso AI distilling research to build AI testing software, a research engineer at Hughes Research, working on Human-AI collaborative teams, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, working on VR tools for science and planning, and received his Bachelor's in Computer/Robotics Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, where he designed and developed assistive exoskeleton to help stroke patients.

    Location: 320

    WebCast Link: usc.zoom.us/j/98133481247?pwd=d2VqbmNhYWljcnp4d25PVEJvd3U5Zz09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • NL Seminar-Dungeons and Discourse: Using Computational Storytelling to Look at Natural Language Use

    Thu, May 05, 2022 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Lara Martin, University of Pennsylvania

    Talk Title: Dungeons and Discourse: Using Computational Storytelling to Look at Natural Language Use

    Series: NL Seminar

    Abstract: Although we are currently riding a technological wave of personal assistants, many of these agents still struggle to communicate appropriately. In particular, these systems lack coherence, the ability to adapt to novel situations, creativity, emotional understanding, and collaboration. My work focuses on creating open world storytelling systems and developing agents that leverage speech understanding to communicate with humans more effectively. In this talk, I look at how tabletop roleplaying games such as Dungeons and Dragons can be used as motivation for how to improve conversational systems and understand how people communicate.

    Biography: Dr. Lara J. Martin is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania working with Dr. Chris Callison Burch. In 2020, she earned her PhD in Human Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she worked with Dr. Mark Riedl. She also has a Masters of Language Technologies from Carnegie Mellon University and a BS in Computer Science and Linguistics from Rutgers University New Brunswick. Dr. Martins work resides in the field of Human Centered Artificial Intelligence with a focus on natural language applications. They have worked in the areas of automated story generation, speech processing, and affective computing, publishing in top tier conferences such as AAAI and IJCAI. They have also been featured in Wired and BBC Science Focus magazine.

    Host: Jon May and Meryem M'hamdi

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

    Webcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hldKVQj863o

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - Virtual Only

    WebCast Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hldKVQj863o

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Pete Zamar

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  • DEI Committee Meeting

    Thu, May 05, 2022 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Receptions & Special Events


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

    Audiences: Invited Faculty Only

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • PhD Thesis Proposal - Aleksei Petrenko

    Thu, May 05, 2022 @ 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Date: 05/05/22 (Thursday)

    Time: 2pm
    Physical location: RTH 406 conference room

    Zoom URL: https://usc.zoom.us/j/8712894950

    Committee:
    - Gaurav Sukhatme
    - Rahul Jain
    - Jesse Thomason
    - Mike Zyda
    - Stefanos Nikolaidis


    Abstract:
    We propose accelerated methods for deep reinforcement learning that enable state-of-the-art large scale experiments with simulated environments on limited hardware. We break down performance bottlenecks of reinforcement learning and discuss optimization techniques such as asynchronous experience collection for heterogeneous learning systems, large-batch rendering for high throughput simulation, and end-to-end training systems design that leverages fast GPU-based simulators. The proposal includes a case study of multiple reinforcement learning projects which heavily rely on accelerated training: from agents that learn how to execute instructions spoken in natural language to quadrotor drones trained in a simulated environment and deployed in the real world.






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

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/8712894950

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

    OutlookiCal
  • Repeating EventVirtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 05, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 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.

    Register Here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    View All Dates

    Contact: Viterbi Admission

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  • Repeating EventVirtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 05, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 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.

    Register Here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    View All Dates

    Contact: Viterbi Admission

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  • Remarkable Trajectory/Pioneer Series Joint Seminar: Dr. John Brooks Slaughter

    Thu, May 05, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. John Brooks Slaughter, University Professor, USC

    Talk Title: From Kansas to USC: A Surprising Adventure

    Series: Electrical Engineering Pioneer Series

    Abstract: Growing up during an era in which opportunities were scarce for African Americans, John Brooks Slaughter had a series of unexpected professional experiences, as well as good fortune, that led him to the directorship of the National Science Foundation, the leadership of two educational institutions and culminated in his position as a professor of education and engineering at USC. In this presentation he will talk about that journey, some of the things he learned and the people who helped him on the way.

    Lecture 4:00pm Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Building (EEB 132)
    Reception 5:00pm Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Building Courtyard


    Host: Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Ming Hsieh Institute

    Webcast: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98612826676?pwd=Wm1tY2FQZUR1MUFVaWxpN3h1M3hQZz09

    More Information: 20220505 Pioneer Slaughter QR Flyer.pdf

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

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98612826676?pwd=Wm1tY2FQZUR1MUFVaWxpN3h1M3hQZz09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Mayumi Thrasher

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  • Webinar for U.S. Active Duty Military & Veteran Prospective Graduate Engineering Students

    Fri, May 06, 2022 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Distance Education Network, Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Join USC Viterbi to learn about the funding and support provided to U.S. active duty military and veterans who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in engineering or computer science. This virtual information session via WebEx will discuss how USC Viterbi's flexible online DEN@Viterbi delivery enables active duty military and veterans to pursue their degree from anywhere in the world.

    The session will discuss military funding and scholarships available, student support, enrollment options, FAQs, and more! Attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with USC Viterbi representatives.

    Register Now!

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e8022c29860358a080cff9ed5886852be

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • PhD Defense - Timothy Greer

    Mon, May 09, 2022 @ 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Title: Creating Cross-Modal, Context-Aware Representations of Music for Downstream Tasks

    PhD Candidate: Timothy Greer

    Defense Committee: Prof. Shrikanth Narayanan (Chair), Prof. David Kempe,
    Prof. Morteza Dehghani (External), Prof. Mohammad Soleymani, Prof. Jonas Kaplan

    Date: Monday, May 9, 2022
    Time: 1:00PM PST
    Location: RTH 320 and Zoom

    Abstract: With the ever-burgeoning market for music, film, television, and other consumable media, it has never been more important to study human music processing and multi-modal experience. Advances in computational approaches offer new ways to understand music content, and how it is experienced---both as a standalone medium and in context with other forms of media---in nuanced ways. This work identifies novel methods for representing music in a context-aware fashion which has applications in multimodal perception, music information retrieval, music emotion recognition, and recommender systems. This work also presents a music-specific transformer model that creates deep representations of audio that are enriched through a multi-task learning paradigm. By creating cross-modal, context-aware representations of music, it is possible to meaningfully capture music and media-related perception, a boon to researchers in affective computing, music information retrieval, and automatic music tagging.


    Bio: Timothy is a Computer Science PhD Candidate with SAIL at the University of Southern California, where his primary research focuses on music processing and the human music listening experience. Before USC, Timothy worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory on problems related to graph processing and natural language. In his free time, Timothy plays saxophone and keyboards in an award-winning indie-pop band called Saticöy.

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 320

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/92497879619?pwd=UUEyYVZsZ1FPNzFVcC9JZjNGNmZKUT09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • PhD Defense - Libby Boroson

    Tue, May 10, 2022 @ 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Title: Robust Loop Closures for Multi-Robot SLAM in Unstructured Environments

    Date/Time: Tuesday, May 10, 2022, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

    Location: RTH 406 or on Zoom: https://usc.zoom.us/j/94676460358

    Committee: Gaurav Sukhatme (Chair), Nora Ayanian, Stefanos Nikolaidis, Ketan Savla

    Abstract: A key capability for a team of robots operating together in an unknown environment is building and sharing maps. As each robot explores, it must be able to build its own local map and use it for navigation. To take advantage of the benefits of working in a team, the robots should also be able to share and merge those maps. Merging these local maps into a global map requires identification of loop closures, or places where the maps overlap. However, tasks in unstructured environments, such as planetary exploration, are not well-suited to traditional visual loop closure methods like scene or object detection. These tasks may involve robots with unusual sensors, the robots may not observe the same areas, and the environment may not allow for identification of standard visual features, which all make it challenging to identify loop closures. The team may also be heterogeneous, so there may be differences in how and where the robots make their observations.

    This thesis addresses the challenge of identifying robust loop closures in spite of these limitations. It includes several methods that successfully find inter-robot loop closures in challenging unstructured environments, including a method using heterogeneous sensors, a method for robots that view the world from different perspectives, and a method with ranging sensors for scenarios where robots' trajectories do not overlap. It also discusses the Autonomous PUFFER multi-robot SLAM system, a semi-real time system developed for a team of robots operating autonomously in a planetary exploration environment. Finally, it discusses how these techniques provide a framework for future multi-robot mapping in unstructured environments. The maps and systems developed will need to accurately model the environment while also supporting diverse robots and teams.

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 406

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/94676460358

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • PhD Defense - James Preiss

    Tue, May 10, 2022 @ 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PhD Candidate: James Preiss

    Title: Characterizing and Improving Robot Learning: A Control-Theoretic Perspective

    Date/time:
    May 10, 2022, 2:00-4:00pm PDT

    Location:
    In-person: RTH 306
    Zoom: https://usc.zoom.us/j/3224457297

    Committee:
    Gaurav S. Sukhatme (chair)
    Nora Ayanian
    Ashutosh Nayyar
    Stefanos Nikolaidis


    Abstract:

    The interface between machine learning and control has enabled robots to move outside the laboratory into challenging real-world settings. Deep reinforcement learning can scale empirically to very complex systems, but we do not yet understand precisely when and why it succeeds. Control theory focuses on simpler systems, but delivers interpretability, mathematical understanding, and guarantees. We present projects that combine these strengths.

    In empirical work, we propose a framework for tasks with complex dynamics but known reward functions. We restrict the use of learning to the dynamics modeling stage, and act based on this model using traditional state-space control. We apply this framework to robotic manipulation of deformable objects.

    In theoretical work, we deploy the well-understood linear quadratic regulator (LQR) problem as a test case to "look inside" algorithms and problem structure. First, we investigate how reinforcement learning algorithms depend on properties of the dynamical system by bounding the variance of the REINFORCE policy gradient estimator as a function of the LQR system matrices. Second, we introduce the framework of suboptimal covering numbers to quantify how much a good multi-system policy must change with respect to the dynamics parameters, and bound the covering number for a simple class of LQR systems.

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

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/3224457297

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • Repeating EventVirtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Tue, May 10, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 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.

    Register Here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    View All Dates

    Contact: Viterbi Admission

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  • CS Commencement Reception - MS & PhD Graduates

    Fri, May 13, 2022 @ 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Receptions & Special Events


    The USC Computer Science Department Commencement Reception celebrating the Class of 2022

    Friday, May 13, 2022

    Masters and PhD Graduates & their guests are welcome from 10:30 am - 12:30 pm

    SAL Lawn (located between SAL and PHE)

    Invitations have been sent to graduates. Prior registration is required.

    Congratulations Graduates! Fight On!

    Location: SAL Lawn

    Audiences: By Invitation Only

    Contact: Computer Science Department

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  • CS Commencement Reception - UG Graduates

    Fri, May 13, 2022 @ 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Receptions & Special Events


    The USC Computer Science Department Commencement Reception celebrating the Class of 2022

    Friday, May 13, 2022

    Undergraduate Graduates & their guests are welcome from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    SAL Lawn (located between SAL and PHE)

    Invitations have been sent to graduates. Prior registration is required.

    Congratulations Graduates! Fight On!

    Location: SAL Lawn

    Audiences: By Invitation Only

    Contact: Computer Science Department

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  • Repeating EventVirtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Tue, May 17, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 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.

    Register Here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    View All Dates

    Contact: Viterbi Admission

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  • DEN@Viterbi - Online Graduate Engineering Virtual Information Session

    Tue, May 17, 2022 @ 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

    Distance Education Network, Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Join USC Viterbi School of Engineering for a virtual information session via WebEx, providing an introduction to DEN@Viterbi, our top ranked online delivery system. Discover the 40+ graduate engineering and computer science programs available entirely online.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with USC Viterbi representatives during the session to discuss the admission process, program details and the benefits of online delivery.

    Register Today!

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=e3891c37499aece99886df55b9bc8f716

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • PhD Defense - Rob Brekelmans

    Wed, May 18, 2022 @ 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar



    PhD Candidate: Rob Brekelmans

    Title: Information Geometry of Annealing Paths for Inference and Estimation

    Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 3:00 PM PST

    Location: Seeley G Mudd (SGM) Room 226 or https://usc.zoom.us/j/91562244468

    Committee: Greg Ver Steeg, Aram Galstyan, Aiichiro Nakano, Assad Oberai

    Estimating normalization constants and (log) marginal likelihoods is a fundamental problem in probabilistic machine learning, playing a role in maximum likelihood learning, variational inference, and estimation of information theoretic quantities. Importance sampling, where samples from a tractable proposal distribution are reweighted based on their probability under the target density, is at the heart of many successful solutions including the evidence lower bound (ELBO), importance weighted-autoencoder (IWAE), and annealed importance sampling (AIS).

    In this thesis, we provide unifying perspectives on these methods and propose methodological improvements. We propose a general approach for deriving extended state-space importance sampling bounds, leading to novel AIS and energy-based methods which can accurately estimate large values of mutual information. We consider extended state space bounds in the context of variational inference, and finally propose a new one-parameter family of annealing paths which generalize the ubiquitous geometric averaging path and can improve estimation performance on example tasks.

    Location: Seeley G. Mudd Building (SGM) - 226

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/91562244468

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • Repeating EventVirtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 19, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 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.

    Register Here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

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    Contact: Viterbi Admission

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  • Graduate Engineering & Computer Science Information Session: Berlin, Germany

    Thu, May 19, 2022 @ 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Location:
    Hotel am Steinplatz
    Steinplatz 4, 10623, Berlin

    Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CEST

    Who should attend:
    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.

    Topics covered:
    Master's & PhD Programs in Engineering and Computer Science
    How to Apply
    Scholarships and Funding
    Student Life at USC and in Los Angeles
    Application Tips
    There will also be sufficient time for questions during the information session.

    Registration

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: William Schwerin

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  • Graduate Engineering & Computer Science Information Session: Munich, Germany

    Sun, May 22, 2022 @ 07:00 PM - 08:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Location:
    Eden Hotel Wolff
    Arnulfstraße 4, 80335, Munich

    Time: 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM CEST

    Who should attend:
    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.

    Topics covered:
    Master's & PhD Programs in Engineering and Computer Science
    How to Apply
    Scholarships and Funding
    Student Life at USC and in Los Angeles
    Application Tips
    There will also be sufficient time for questions during the information session.

    Registration

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: William Schwerin

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  • Graduate Engineering & Computer Science Information Session: Aachen, Germany

    Tue, May 24, 2022 @ 05:00 PM - 06:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Location:
    Parkhotel Quellenhof Aachen
    Monheimsalee 52, 52062, Aachen

    Time: 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CEST

    Who should attend:
    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.

    Topics covered:
    Master's & PhD Programs in Engineering and Computer Science
    How to Apply
    Scholarships and Funding
    Student Life at USC and in Los Angeles
    Application Tips
    There will also be sufficient time for questions during the information session.

    Registration

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: William Schwerin

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  • DEN@Viterbi - Online Graduate Engineering Virtual Information Session

    Thu, May 26, 2022 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Distance Education Network, Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Join USC Viterbi School of Engineering for a virtual information session via WebEx, providing an introduction to DEN@Viterbi, our top ranked online delivery system. Discover the 40+ graduate engineering and computer science programs available entirely online.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with USC Viterbi representatives during the session to discuss the admission process, program details and the benefits of online delivery.

    Register Today!

    WebCast Link: https://uscviterbi.webex.com/uscviterbi/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec6a335e1b93f6f17cf612630308fb9db

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • Repeating EventVirtual First-Year Admission Information Session

    Thu, May 26, 2022 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 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.

    Register Here!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    View All Dates

    Contact: Viterbi Admission

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