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Events for the 5th week of February

  • CS Colloquium: Hengshuang Zhao (University of Oxford) - Advancing Visual Intelligence via Neural System Design

    Mon, Mar 01, 2021 @ 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Hengshuang Zhao, University of Oxford

    Talk Title: Advancing Visual Intelligence via Neural System Design

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Building intelligent visual systems is essential for the next generation of artificial intelligence systems. It is a fundamental tool for many disciplines and beneficial to various potential applications such as autonomous driving, robotics, surveillance, augmented reality, to name a few. An accurate and efficient intelligent visual system has a deep understanding of the scene, objects, and humans. It can automatically understand the surrounding scenes. In general, 2D images and 3D point clouds are the two most common data representations in our daily life. Designing powerful image understanding and point cloud processing systems are two pillars of visual intelligence, enabling the artificial intelligence systems to understand and interact with the current status of the environment automatically. In this talk, I will first present our efforts in designing modern neural systems for 2D image understanding, including high-accuracy and high-efficiency semantic parsing structures, and unified panoptic parsing architecture. Then, we go one step further to design neural systems for processing complex 3D scenes, including semantic-level and instance-level understanding. Further, we show our latest works for unified 2D-3D reasoning frameworks, which are fully based on self-attention mechanisms. In the end, the challenges, up-to-date progress, and promising future directions for building advanced intelligent visual systems will be discussed.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Dr. Hengshuang Zhao is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. Before that, he obtained his Ph.D. degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His general research interests cover the broad area of computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence, with special emphasis on building intelligent visual systems. He and his team won several champions in competitive international challenges like ImageNet Scene Parsing Challenge. He is recognized as outstanding/top reviewers in ICCV'19 and NeurIPS'19. He receives the rising star award at the world artificial intelligence conference 2020. Some of his research projects are supported by Microsoft, Adobe, Uber, Intel, and Apple. His works have been cited for about 5,000+ times, with 5,000+ GitHub credits and 80,000+ YouTube views.

    Host: Ramakant Nevatia

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Central Intelligence Agency Career Opportunities Info Session

    Mon, Mar 01, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    University Calendar


    Log in and learn about career opportunities at the Central Intelligence Agency!

    All degree levels and Viterbi majors welcome.

    Hear about different career paths, and get the chance to ask a Central Intelligence Agency recruiter about what it is like to work there, the hiring process, what opportunities they have, and more.

    You will also be able to sign up for one-on-one office hour phone calls with Central Intelligence Agency recruiters taking place next week, March 8th.

    Registration: Link Coming soon!

    NOTE: The Central Intelligence Agency cannot sponsor international candidates.

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • PhD Defense - Kan Qi

    Mon, Mar 01, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    PhD Candidate: Kan Qi

    Committee:
    Prof. Barry Boehm (chair)
    Prof. Paul Adler (outside)
    Prof. Chao Wang

    Title: Incremental Effort Estimation via Transaction Analysis

    Accurate software cost and effort estimation is particularly important for many classes of software projects. Examples are projects with fixed budget, competitive bidding on prospective projects, or prioritization of candidate projects. Many organizations primarily rely on commercial or open-source cost estimation models, which have been calibrated on the actual sizes and costs of previous projects. Their key size parameter is generally the number of lines of code in the projects. This can be accurately determined via a code-count system on the previous projects, but there is no counterpart for estimating the lines of code in the system to be developed. One can try to break the system into pieces and estimate the lines of code in each piece but doing this accurately will generally require additional time and effort to design the system. Alternative early effort estimation methods such as story points, use case points, and function points involve determining the system's numbers and complexities of user stories, use cases, inputs, outputs, queries, and logical files, which again typically require additional time and effort to analyze the functionality and architecture. In summary, there are two limitations that prevent the existing effort estimation methods from being effectively used for early effort estimation. First, the existing methods require extensive manual analysis effort to acquire system information as their input. This makes it costly to apply the existing methods at the early stage of a software project. Secondly, the system information that the existing methods rely on as the input can usually only be retrieved from certain types of system specifications. This makes the existing methods only applicable at the development phases where the required types of system specifications are produced.

    To address the first limitation, an automated transaction analysis method is proposed, which can be used to automatically retrieve transactional information from the typical early-phase artifacts produced in a software project; To address the second limitation, three phase-based effort estimation models are proposed, which utilize the retrieved transactional information to provide effort estimates at all the typical early phases of a software project. The evaluation results have shown that the automated transaction analysis method can be an effective replacement of manual transaction analysis with high transaction identification accuracy, and the phase-based effort estimation models can provide considerable estimation accuracy improvements over the existing effort estimation models and the later-phase effort estimation models can provide significant accuracy improvements over the earlier-phase effort estimation models.






    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98532742081?pwd=a2VLK1NEQUNKK3BWOWdLN01ZUUNrZz09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Lizsl De Leon

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  • Tour de L.A. Viterbi Wellness Challenge

    Mon, Mar 01, 2021 @ 03:00 PM - 04:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Student Activity


    Tour de L.A. is a Viterbi Wellness Challenge promoting health of the mind, body, and soul in a safe, virtual, but still engaging, environment. This month-long adventure is designed after the Tour de France, and highlights attractions in Los Angeles. Starting on March 1, 2021 and continuing the whole month of March, participants can walk, run, or bike from wherever they are to progress through the challenge. Although these activities are often solitary and people are scattered all over the world, there are plenty of communal and social opportunities to come together virtually. The Tour de L.A. is open to the entire Viterbi community, in an effort to promote health and well-being. Let's do this together! #WellnessOn

    https://viterbigrad.usc.edu/tour-de-l-a-viterbi-wellness-challenge/

    Location: Online - Zoom

    WebCast Link: https://viterbigrad.usc.edu/tour-de-l-a-viterbi-wellness-challenge/

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Viterbi Graduate Student Association (VGSA)

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  • Virtual Networking 101

    Mon, Mar 01, 2021 @ 04:00 PM - 04:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Increase your career and internship knowledge on networking by attending this professional development Q&A moderated by Viterbi Career Connections staff or Viterbi employer partners.

    To access this workshop:
    Log into Viterbi Career Gateway>> Events>>Workshops: https://shibboleth-viterbi-usc-csm.symplicity.com/sso/

    For more information about Labs & Open Forums, please visit viterbicareers.usc.edu/workshops.

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • ACM Debugging Competition

    Mon, Mar 01, 2021 @ 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Student Activity


    Debugging Competition - Monday, March 1st at 7pm - Do you enjoy programming? Want to practice your debugging skills and compete for prizes? Join ACM on Monday, March 1, 2021, from 7-8 PM for some friendly competition, as you put to test your debugging skills and make new friends. The competition is open to people of all levels! There will also be exciting prizes.
    We hope to see you there!
    RSVP Link: https://forms.gle/tnhGPTJ4WY2WUJTZ9
    Zoom Link - https://usc.zoom.us/j/97205032289

    To hear about more of ACM's events, sign up for our newsletter here: https://uscacm.typeform.com/to/D5igbqTP

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Undergraduate and Graduate Students

    Contact: Caitlin Swanson

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  • Virtual Networking 101

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 08:00 AM - 08:30 AM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Increase your career and internship knowledge on networking by attending this professional development Q&A moderated by Viterbi Career Connections staff or Viterbi employer partners.

    To access this workshop:
    Log into Viterbi Career Gateway>> Events>>Workshops: https://shibboleth-viterbi-usc-csm.symplicity.com/sso/

    For more information about Labs & Open Forums, please visit viterbicareers.usc.edu/workshops.

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • CS Colloquium: Leilani Gilpin (MIT CSAIL) - Anomaly Detection Through Explanations

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Leilani Gilpin, MIT CSAIL

    Talk Title: Anomaly Detection Through Explanations

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Under most conditions, complex systems are imperfect. When errors occur, as they inevitably will, systems need to be able to (1) localize the error and (2) take appropriate action to mitigate the repercussions of that error. In this talk, I present new methodologies for detecting and explaining errors in complex systems.
    My novel contribution is a system-wide monitoring architecture, which is composed of introspective, overlapping committees of subsystems.
    Each subsystem is encapsulated in a "reasonableness" monitor, an adaptable framework that supplements local decisions with commonsense data and reasonableness rules. This framework is dynamic and introspective: it allows each subsystem to defend its decisions in different contexts: to the committees it participates in and to itself. For reconciling system-wide errors, I developed a comprehensive architecture: "Anomaly Detection through Explanations (ADE)." The ADE architecture contributes an explanation synthesizer that produces an argument tree, which in turn can be traced and queried to determine the support of a decision, and to construct counterfactual explanations. I have applied this methodology to detect incorrect labels in semi-autonomous vehicle data, and to reconcile inconsistencies in simulated, anomalous driving scenarios.

    My work has opened up the new area of explanatory anomaly detection, towards a vision in which: complex machines will be articulate by design; dynamic, internal explanations will be part of the design criteria, and system-level explanations will be able to be challenged in an adversarial proceeding.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium


    Biography: Leilani H. Gilpin is a research scientist at Sony AI and a collaborating researcher at MIT CSAIL. Her research focuses on enabling opaque autonomous systems to explain themselves for robust decision-making, system debugging, and accountability. Her current work integrates explainability into reinforcement learning for game-playing agents.

    She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT in 2020, and holds an M.S. in Computational and Mathematical Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Mathematics (with honors), B.S. in Computer Science (with highest honors), and a music minor from UC San Diego. Outside of research, Leilani enjoys swimming, cooking, and rowing.


    Host: Yan Liu

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Seminar

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Hadi Meidani, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Talk Title: Scientific Machine Learning for Efficient Computational Design of Engineering Systems

    Abstract:
    The focus of this talk is on using deep neural networks (DNNs) to approximate the response of engineering systems and facilitate their design and control. DNNs can be trained using supervised learning approaches which require large datasets of input-output samples. In engineering applications, these input-output samples are typically obtained from high-fidelity Finite Element or Finite Difference solvers. In applications where these samples are costly to obtain, supervised learning may be prohibitively slow. In this talk, I will present our recent contributions in this domain, which includes (1) using DNNs to accelerate robust topology optimization via a lower-dimensional representation and (2) developing a PDE-based simulation-free deep learning approach that directly exploit the physical laws in an efficient way.




    Biography: Hadi Meidani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 2012. Prior to joining UIUC, he was a postdoctoral research associate at USC in (2012-2013) and in the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute at the University of Utah (2013-2014). He is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award to study fast computational models for infrastructure systems. His research interests are uncertainty quantification, scientific machine learning, and design under uncertainty.

    Host: Dr. Roger Ghanem

    Location: Zoom: https://usc.zoom.us/j/97228056404; Meeting ID: 972 2805 6404: Passcode: 864779

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Evangeline Reyes

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  • Repeating EventUndergraduate Advisement Drop-in Hours

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Do you have a quick question? The CS advisement team will be available for drop-in live chat advisement for declared undergraduate students in our four majors during the spring semester on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:30pm to 2:30pm Pacific Time. Access the live chat on our website at: https://www.cs.usc.edu/chat/

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Undergrad

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    Contact: USC Computer Science

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  • ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Meisam Razaviyayn, Assistant Professor, Epstein Dept. of Industrial & Systems Engineering, USC

    Talk Title: Does Your Training Data Violate My Privacy? A Near-Optimal Model Discrimination Method With Non-Disclosure

    Host: Prof. Jong-Shi Pang

    More Information: March 2, 2021.pdf

    Location: Online/Zoom

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Grace Owh

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  • Mork Family Department Spring Virtual Seminars - Ilya Levental

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 04:00 PM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ilya Levental, University of Virginia

    Talk Title: DESIGN PRINCIPLES OF LIVING MEMBRANES

    Abstract: ZOOM MEETING INFO:
    https://usc.zoom.us/j/98225952695?pwd=d0NMenhCNkliR1ZIR1lBamRpZHh1UT09
    Meeting ID: 982 2595 2695 • Passcode: 322435

    Host: Wade Zeno

    More Info: https://usc.zoom.us/j/98225952695?

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Greta Harrison

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  • Healthcare Tech Industry Discussion - RSVP

    Tue, Mar 02, 2021 @ 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Student Activity


    Healthcare Technology and Analytics at USC, will be hosting a speaker event on March 2nd, 2021 at 5:30 PM PST. Ben Nguyen, MD will be speaking about the healthcare technology industry. Dr. Nguyen graduated from the Keck School of Medicine and now works at a health tech company that uses artificial intelligence to improve patient care. He will be sharing about his experience in the industry as well as his insight on where the field is heading.

    To RSVP for the event, please use the following Google Form:

    https://bit.ly/2NvNECq

    A zoom link will be sent out prior to the event to all who RSVP.


    HCTA at USC is a new organization at USC seeking to bring together students of all disciplines who are interested in the future of healthcare. If you are interested in learning more about our organization, you can visit our website (https://hctausc.weebly.com/) or fill out this short application (https://forms.gle/J1snLavU53YuEQr29)!

    Thank you and we hope to see you all there!

    --
    Healthcare Technology and Analytics at USC
    Visit us at: https://hctausc.weebly.com/

    Location: Online - Zoom

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: HCTA at USC

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  • CS Colloquium: Zhuoran Yang (Princeton University) - Demystifying (Deep) Reinforcement Learning: The Pessimist, The Optimist, and Their Provable Efficiency

    Wed, Mar 03, 2021 @ 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Zhuoran Yang, Princeton University

    Talk Title: Demystifying (Deep) Reinforcement Learning: The Pessimist, The Optimist, and Their Provable Efficiency

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Coupled with powerful function approximators such as deep neural networks, reinforcement learning (RL) achieves tremendous empirical successes. However, its theoretical understandings lag behind. In particular, it remains unclear how to provably attain the optimal policy with a finite regret or sample complexity. In this talk, we will present the two sides of the same coin, which demonstrates an intriguing duality between pessimism and optimism.

    - In the offline setting, we aim to learn the optimal policy based on a dataset collected a priori. Due to a lack of active interactions with the environment, we suffer from the insufficient coverage of the dataset. To maximally exploit the dataset, we propose a pessimistic least-squares value iteration algorithm, which achieves a minimax-optimal sample complexity.

    - In the online setting, we aim to learn the optimal policy by actively interacting with an environment. To strike a balance between exploration and exploitation, we propose an optimistic least-squares value iteration algorithm, which achieves a \sqrt{T} regret in the presence of linear, kernel, and neural function approximators.


    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.

    Biography: Zhuoran Yang is a final-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University, advised by Professor Jianqing Fan and Professor Han Liu. Before attending Princeton, He obtained a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from Tsinghua University. His research interests lie in the interface between machine learning, statistics, and optimization. The primary goal of his research is to design a new generation of machine learning algorithms for large-scale and multi-agent decision-making problems, with both statistical and computational guarantees. Besides, he is also interested in the application of learning-based decision-making algorithms to real-world problems that arise in robotics, personalized medicine, and computational social science.

    Host: Haipeng Luo

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Spring 2021 Viterbi Industry Networking Event

    Wed, Mar 03, 2021 @ 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    University Calendar


    The Virtual Viterbi Industry Networking Events connect students with Viterbi Alumni and industry professionals from across the world in an online networking event.

    The event will have twelve different booths, organized by industry. Move between booths to connect randomly with a Viterbi Alumni or organization rep based on the booth you enter. This approach will help you network with industry professionals and make new connections with people from various backgrounds. There will also be a Viterbi Career Connections booth with advisors to answer your career or event-related questions.

    This event is open to all Viterbi Students including current Bachelors, Masters & Doctoral students.

    Registration coming soon!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • Repeating EventUndergraduate Advisement Drop-in Hours

    Wed, Mar 03, 2021 @ 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Do you have a quick question? The CS advisement team will be available for drop-in live chat advisement for declared undergraduate students in our four majors during the spring semester on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:30pm to 2:30pm Pacific Time. Access the live chat on our website at: https://www.cs.usc.edu/chat/

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Undergrad

    View All Dates

    Contact: USC Computer Science

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

    Wed, Mar 03, 2021 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Gabor Orosz, Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan

    Talk Title: Safety Verification and Conflict Analysis for Connected Automated Vehicles

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

    Abstract: We demonstrate how wireless vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication can be utilized to improve safety and prevent conflicts between road participants in mixed traffic scenarios where connected automated vehicles (CAVs) interact with connected human-driven vehicles (CHVs). The key idea is to find boundaries in state space that allow CAVs to make safe decisions far away from the conflict zone. This way CAVs are able to maintain safety while using mild control actions that benefit both the CAVs as well as the surrounding human-dominated traffic. Requirements for the quality of V2V communications are determined to ensure the performance of the decision making and control algorithms. The results are demonstrated experimentally using real automobiles and class-8 trucks.


    Biography: Gabor Orosz received the M.Sc. degree in Engineering Physics from the Budapest University of Technology, Hungary, in 2002 and the Ph.D. degree in Engineering Mathematics from University of Bristol, UK, in 2006. He held postdoctoral positions at the University of Exeter, UK, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2010, he joined the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor where he is currently an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering and in Civil and Environmental Engineering. During 2017-2018 he was a Visiting Professor in Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics and control, time delay systems, and machine learning with applications to connected and automated vehicles, traffic flow, and biological networks. He served as the Program Chair of the 2015 IFAC Workshop on Time Delay Systems and served as the General Chair of the 2019 IAVSD Workshop on Dynamics of Road Vehicles: Connected and Automated Vehicles. Since 2018 he has been serving as an editor for the journal Transportation Research Part C and since 2021 he has been serving as an editor for the IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology.

    Host: Pierluigi Nuzzo, nuzzo@usc.edu

    Webcast: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Qk4-7AthThudso7LXs2OiA

    Location: Online

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Qk4-7AthThudso7LXs2OiA

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Mar 03, 2021 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Samantha Daly, University of California at Santa Barbara

    Talk Title: Machine Learning for High-Throughput Experiment and Analysis of Processing-Property Relationships

    Abstract: Materials have hierarchical and heterogeneous structures that drive their deformation and failure mechanisms. The relationship between structure and behavior -- such as the impact of the microstructure of a polycrystalline metal on twinning, dislocation slip, grain boundary sliding, and multi-crack systems -- includes complex stochastic and deterministic factors whose interactions are under active debate. In this talk, the application of data-driven approaches to microscale displacement data for the high-throughput segmentation, identification, and analysis of twinning in magnesium (a deformation mechanism that is critical to its ductility and forming) will be discussed. This will include an analysis of deformation twinning over thousands of grains per test, including an analysis of the impact of microstructure on the relative activity of specific twin variants (automatically identified from microscale strain fields) and their evolution under load. The newly developed experimental and analytical approaches are length scale independent and material agnostic, and can be modified to identify a range of deformation and failure mechanisms.

    Biography: Samantha (Sam) Daly is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. from Caltech in 2007 and subsequently joined the University of Michigan, where she was on the faculty until 2016 prior to her move to UCSB. The Daly group investigates the mechanics of materials, with a focus on fatigue, fracture, creep, composites, multi-functional materials, and new experimental and data-driven approaches for the characterization of processing -“ structure -“ property relationships. Her recognitions include the Experimental Mechanics Best Paper of the Year Award, IJSS Best Paper of the Year Award, DOE Early Career Award, NSF CAREER Award, AFOSR-YIP Award, ASME Eshelby Mechanics Award, Journal of Strain Analysis Young Investigator Award, ASME Orr Award, and Caddell Award. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the Society of Experimental Mechanics, and as an Associate Editor of the journals Applied Mechanics Reviews, Experimental Mechanics, and Strain.

    Host: AME Department

    More Info: https://usc.zoom.us/j/92448962089

    Webcast: https://usc.zoom.us/j/92448962089

    Location: Online event

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/j/92448962089

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Tessa Yao

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  • NL Seminar-LIGHT: Training agents that can act and speak with other models and humans in a rich text adventure game world

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Jason Weston , Fair/NYU

    Talk Title: LIGHT: Training agents that can act and speak with other models and humans in a rich text adventure game world

    Abstract: LIGHT is a rich fantasy text adventure game environment featuring dialogue and actions between agents in the world, which consist of both models and humans. I will summarize work on building this research platform, including crowdsourcing and machine learning to build the rich world environment, training agents to speak and act within it, and deploying the game for lifelong learning of agents by interacting with humans. See
    LIGHT Learning in Interactive Games with Humans and Text. The LIGHT project is a large scale fantasy text adventure game research platform for training agents that can both talk and act, interacting either with other models or with humans.
    parl. ai and the talk! for more.



    Biography: Jason Weston is a research scientist at Facebook, NY and a Visiting Research Professor at NYU. He earned his PhD in machine learning at Royal Holloway, University of London and at AT and T Research in Red Bank, NJ advisors: Alex Gammerman, Volodya Vovk and Vladimir Vapnik in 2000. From 2000 to 2001, he was a researcher at Biowulf technologies. From 2002 to 2003 he was a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tuebingen, Germany. From 2003 to 2009 he was a research staff member at NEC Labs America, Princeton. From 2009 to 2014 he was a research scientist at Google, NY. His interests lie in statistical machine learning, with a focus on reasoning, memory, perception, interaction and communication. Jason has published over 100 papers, including best paper awards at ICML and ECML, and a Test of Time Award for his work, A Unified Architecture for Natural Language Processing: Deep Neural Networks with Multitask Learning, ICML 2008 with Ronan Collobert. He was part of the YouTube team that won a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award for Technology and Engineering for Personalized Recommendation Engines for Video Discovery. He was listed as the 16th most influential machine learning scholar at AMiner and one of the top 50 authors in Computer Science in Science

    Host: Jon May and Mozhdeh Gheini

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

    Webcast: This talk will be live streamed only, it will Not Be recorded.

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - Virtual Only

    WebCast Link: This talk will be live streamed only, it will Not Be recorded.

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Petet Zamar

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  • CS Colloquium: Abhinav Verma (University of Texas - Austin) - Neurosymbolic Reinforcement Learning

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Abhinav Verma, University of Texas - Austin

    Talk Title: Neurosymbolic Reinforcement Learning

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: Recent advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been driven by deep neural networks. However, neural networks have certain well-known flaws: they are difficult to interpret and verify, have high variability, and lack domain awareness. These issues create a deficiency of trust and are hence a significant impediment to the deployment of AI in safety-critical applications. In this talk, I will present work that addresses these drawbacks via neurosymbolic learning in the reinforcement learning paradigm. Neurosymbolic agents combine experience based neural learning with partial symbolic knowledge expressed via programs in a Domain Specific Language (DSL). Using a DSL provides a principled mechanism to leverage high-level abstractionsfor machine learning models, and establishes a synergistic relationship between machine learning and program synthesis.

    To overcome the challenges of policy search in non-differentiable program space we introduce a meta-algorithm that is based on mirror descent, program synthesis, and imitation learning. This approach interleaves the use of synthesized symbolic programs to regularize neural learning with the imitation of gradient-based learning to improve the quality of synthesized programs. This perspective allows us to prove robust expected regret bounds and finite-sample guarantees for this algorithm. The theoretical results guaranteeing more reliable learning are accompanied by promising empirical results on complex tasks such as learning autonomous driving agents and generating interpretable programs for behavior annotation.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Abhinav Verma is a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is advised by Swarat Chaudhuri. His research lies at the intersection of machine learning and formal methods, with a focus on building intelligent systems that are reliable, transparent, and secure. His work builds connections between the symbolic reasoning and inductive learning paradigms of artificial intelligence. He is currently supported by a JP Morgan AI Research PhD Fellowship.

    Host: Mukund Raghothaman / Bistra Dilkina

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Repeating EventUndergraduate Advisement Drop-in Hours

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

    Computer Science

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Do you have a quick question? The CS advisement team will be available for drop-in live chat advisement for declared undergraduate students in our four majors during the spring semester on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 1:30pm to 2:30pm Pacific Time. Access the live chat on our website at: https://www.cs.usc.edu/chat/

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Undergrad

    View All Dates

    Contact: USC Computer Science

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  • Career Conversations: How to Impress Employers

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 04:00 PM - 04:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Will your skill set stand out to employers? Join our 2-part series of Career Conversations to gain an inside look at employer feedback for Viterbi students. During this session, learn practices to develop the key professionalism and communication skills employers want to see more of.

    To access this workshop:

    Log into Viterbi Career Gateway>> Events>>Workshops: https://shibboleth-viterbi-usc-csm.symplicity.com/sso/

    For more information about Labs & Open Forums, please visit viterbicareers.usc.edu/workshops.

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • A Virtual Chat with Professor Zeno from the Mork Family Department

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Masters Programs

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Wade Zeno, Mork Family Professor

    Talk Title: A Virtual Chat with Professor Zeno

    Abstract: Sure, they're distinguished and renowned experts in their fields, but Viterbi faculty were once students too. Learn valuable life lessons as they share their professional and personal stories! Together, VGSA and the VASE office presents the Virtual Chat with a Professor Series! These are meant to be informal conversations that you might have with a professor after class or in the hallways. Each session is open to all Viterbi graduate students. Join in to chat with Prof. Mike Gruntman!

    Host: VGSA & VASE

    More Info: https://usc.zoom.us/j/92173930953?pwd=K2pBUDZrQWh4NDBqdWxzSUFKT1NDQT09

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Juli Legat

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  • Virtual Chat with Prof. Mike Gruntman from Department of Astronautical Engineering

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 05:00 PM - 06:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Masters Programs

    Student Activity


    Sure, they're distinguished and renowned experts in their fields, but Viterbi faculty were once students too. Learn valuable life lessons as they share their professional and personal stories! Together, VGSA and the VASE office presents the Virtual Chat with a Professor Series! These are meant to be informal conversations that you might have with a professor after class or in the hallways. Each session is open to all Viterbi graduate students. Join in to chat with Prof. Mike Gruntman!

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Juli Legat

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  • Boeing Freshman Design Challenge

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 06:00 PM - 09:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    University Calendar


    Challenge Details: As the world's leading aerospace company, Boeing is the world's largest manufacturer of commercial airplanes and military aircraft. To continue this dominance, Boeing needs the young minds of tomorrow to provide innovative, new perspectives. For this reason, Boeing will be putting on a design challenge for the Freshmen class of USC. In this competition, teams of three or four freshmen will have two hours to work together and design a solution to a typical, real-world engineering problem.

    During this unique, resume-building experience, students will also have the opportunity to network with Boeing engineers and executives, who will be available to act as mentors and judges.

    Despite being virtual, food will be provided in the form of dining gift cards for participants. Prizes are provided to top participants!

    To RSVP log into Viterbi Career Gateway>> Events>> Information Sessions:
    https://shibboleth-viterbi-usc-csm.symplicity.com/sso

    Audiences: All Viterbi Students

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • ACM Facebook Engineers Panel

    Thu, Mar 04, 2021 @ 07:00 PM - 08:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Student Activity


    Facebook Engineers Panel:

    Want to learn about the opportunities Facebook has for you? Join ACM on Thursday, March 4, from 7-8 PM for a tech talk hosted by us and Facebook! Engineers and recruiters will be discussing their projects and experiences working at Facebook.

    Please fill out the RSVP form linked below. We will send the zoom link out to students who RSVP, so if you'd like to attend you must fill it out. Space is limited and will be filled on a first come first serve basis. This event is only open to undergraduate students. We hope to see you there!

    RSVP at https://forms.gle/q9qXY9UPVUv55MYa8

    Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/167553678371060/

    Location: Online - Zoom

    Audiences: Undergrad

    Contact: ACM

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  • CS Colloquim: TBA

    Fri, Mar 05, 2021 @ 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: TBA, TBA

    Talk Title: TBA

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: TBA

    Biography: TBA

    Host: Ramakant Nevatia

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • CSU@USC Day 1

    Fri, Mar 05, 2021 @ 10:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    The University of Southern California-Viterbi School of Engineering is proud to present the first annual CSU at USC virtual workshop series!

    Over the course of two days, this program will take an overall look at the engineering graduate school experience. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with current students, faculty and staff, and will walk away with an understanding of Masters & PhD programs in engineering and computer science. Our goal is to provide the pathways and tools needed for CSU students to pursue advanced studies and their academic careers.

    Eligibility
    *MUST Currently attend a California State University (CSU)*

    We encourage students majoring in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, or physical sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) to join. Students with backgrounds outside of science and engineering are also welcome to join to learn more about our interdisciplinary data science programs.

    More information available here: https://viterbigradadmission.usc.edu/csu-at-usc/

    Register here:
    https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ydygqKKEQbuFBzX4HBpWrA

    More Information: CSU USC 2021 flyer.pdf

    Location: Zoom

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ydygqKKEQbuFBzX4HBpWrA

    Audiences: CSU Undergraduate Students

    Contact: camila tabar

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  • CS Colloquium: Daniel Fried (UC Berkeley) - Learning Grounded Pragmatic Communication

    Fri, Mar 05, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Daniel Fried, UC Berkeley

    Talk Title: Learning Grounded Pragmatic Communication

    Series: CS Colloquium

    Abstract: To generate language, natural language processing systems predict what to say---why not also predict how listeners will respond? We show how language generation and interpretation across varied grounded domains can be improved through pragmatic inference: explicitly reasoning about the actions and intents of the people that the systems interact with. We train neural generation and interpretation models which ground language into a world context, then layer a pragmatic inference procedure on top of these models. This pragmatic procedure predicts how human listeners will interpret text generated by the models, and reasons counterfactually about why human speakers produced the text they did. We find that this approach improves models' success at generating and interpreting instructions in real indoor environments, as well as in a challenging spatial reference dialogue task.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium

    Biography: Daniel Fried is a final-year PhD candidate at UC Berkeley in natural language processing, advised by Dan Klein. His research focuses on language grounding: tying language to world contexts, for tasks like visual- and embodied-instruction following, text generation, and dialogue. Previously, he graduated with an MPhil from the University of Cambridge and a BS from the University of Arizona. His work has been supported by a Google PhD Fellowship, an NDSEG Fellowship, and a Churchill Scholarship.

    Host: Xiang Ren

    Audiences: By invitation only.

    Contact: Assistant to CS chair

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  • Instagram Live Q & A with VCC

    Fri, Mar 05, 2021 @ 12:45 PM - 01:15 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Instagram Live Q & A with Viterbi Career Connections

    Hello fellow Trojans, join Viterbi Career Connections Staff on Friday, March 5th from 12:45-1:15 pm for quick professional tips and career advice via Instagram @viterbicareers.

    Location: Instagram @viterbicareers

    Audiences: All Viterbi Students

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • Deloitte Consulting + Case Workshop

    Fri, Mar 05, 2021 @ 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    ** This is an external event hosted by Deloitte and you must RSVP to receive Zoom Meeting details **

    RSVP to learn valuable insights into the consulting world at our Case Workshop and Networking event!

    This is a great opportunity to learn more about our consulting practice, why we do case interviews, plus how your background and experiences could flourish at Deloitte.

    This event will be broken up into two parts; an interactive case workshop (where practitioners will walk you thru a sample case study in which you will have an opportunity to practice and ask questions) and a networking session with various consultants (to answer any questions you may have about the firm, our culture, recruiting process, and how you could start your career with us!).

    1:00 - 2:15pm PT = Case Workshop
    2:15 - 3:30pm PT = Networking Session

    To RSVP: Viterbi Career Gateway > Events > Information Sessions

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Contact: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • Repeating EventAthenaHacks

    Sat, Mar 06, 2021

    Computer Science

    Student Activity


    Happening for a fifth year, from March 6-7 virtually, AthenaHacks is open to all levels of experience, majors, and backgrounds (undergraduate and graduate students both welcome).

    At AthenaHacks you'll have the opportunity to learn, network, and build through project building, technical and professional workshops, and speaker series.

    Everything is free! Our sponsors at the event will include Microsoft, Zynga, Facebook, Disney, and Bloomberg and we'll have thousands of dollars worth of prizes to compete for!


    Email any questions to AthenaHacks@gmail.com, join the event page: https://tinyurl.com/athenahacks21, and find us on Instagram on @athena_hacks.

    Applications are due Saturday 2/27/21 at 11:59pm PST!
    Apply at http://www.athenahacks.com/.

    Location: Online

    Audiences: Undergraduate and Graduate Students

    View All Dates

    Contact: AthenaHacks

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  • CSU@USC Day 2

    Sat, Mar 06, 2021 @ 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Graduate Admission

    Workshops & Infosessions


    The University of Southern California-Viterbi School of Engineering is proud to present the first annual CSU at USC virtual workshop series!

    Over the course of two days, this program will take an overall look at the engineering graduate school experience. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with current students, faculty and staff, and will walk away with an understanding of Masters & PhD programs in engineering and computer science. Our goal is to provide the pathways and tools needed for CSU students to pursue advanced studies and their academic careers.

    Eligibility
    *MUST Currently attend a California State University (CSU)*

    We encourage students majoring in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, or physical sciences (biology, chemistry, physics) to join. Students with backgrounds outside of science and engineering are also welcome to join to learn more about our interdisciplinary data science programs.

    More information available here: https://viterbigradadmission.usc.edu/csu-at-usc/

    Register here:
    https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TwUSaOPqRvyby2YXVnRN5A

    More Information: CSU USC 2021 flyer.pdf

    Location: Zoom

    WebCast Link: https://usc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TwUSaOPqRvyby2YXVnRN5A

    Audiences: CSU Undergraduate Students

    Contact: camila tabar

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