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Events for the 2nd week of September

  • Fall 2019 Joint CSC@USC/CommNetS-MHI Seminar Series

    Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Kimon Drakopoulos, University of Southern California

    Talk Title: Misinformation in platforms: Persuasion and inundation

    Abstract: In the first part of the talk, we study information design in social networks. We consider a setting, where agents actions exhibit positive local network externalities. There is uncertainty about the underlying state of the world, which impacts agents payoffs. The platform can choose a signaling mechanism that sends informative signals to agents upon realization of this uncertainty, thereby influencing their actions. We investigate how the platform should design its signaling mechanism to achieve a desired outcome.. We find that in the case where the platform seeks only to minimize misinformation (regardless of the induced engagement), common threshold mechanisms with identical thresholds across agents are optimal. This is in contrast to the engagement maximization setting, where when agents are heterogeneous in terms of their network positions, common threshold mechanisms induce substantially lower engagement than the optimal mechanisms. We also study the frontier of the engagement/misinformation levels that can be achieved via different mechanisms and characterize when common threshold mechanisms achieve optimal tradeoffs.

    In the second part of the talk, we study a model of information consumption where consumers sequentially interact with a platform that offers a menu of signals (posts) about an underlying state of the world (fact). At each time, incapable of consuming all posts, consumers screen the posts and only select (and consume) one from the offered menu. We show that in the presence of uncertainty about the accuracy of these posts, and as the number of posts increases, adverse effects such as slow learning and polarization arise. Specifically, we establish that, in this setting, bias emerges as a consequence of the consumer screening process. Namely, consumers, in their quest to choose the post that reduces their uncertainty about the state of the world, choose to consume the post that is closest to their own beliefs. We study the evolution of beliefs and we show that such a screening bias slows down the learning process, and the speed of learning decreases with the menu size. Further, we show that the society becomes polarized during the prolonged learning process even in situations where the society belief distribution was not a priori polarized.

    Biography: Kimon Drakopoulos is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management at the Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California. His research focuses on the operations of complex networked systems, social networks, stochastic modeling, game theory and information economics. Kimon, prior to joining USC, completed his PhD at the Laboratory for Information and Decision systems at MIT focusing on the analysis and control of contagion processes on networks.

    Host: Ketan Savla, ksavla@usc.edu

    More Info: http://csc.usc.edu/seminars/2019Fall/drakopoulos.html

    More Information: 190905 Kimon Drakopoulos CSCUSC Seminar.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • Viterbi Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) Info Session

    Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 05:30 PM - 06:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Workshops & Infosessions


    USC Viterbi School of Engineering students have the unique opportunity to compete in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP). Grand Challenge Scholars drive their educational experiences towards discovering, exploring, and potentially solving one of the NAE Grand Challenges and earn recognition at graduation from USC and the National Academy of Engineering. Learn about the Grand Challenges Program at USC and how to apply at our upcoming info session.

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 211

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Myra Fernandez

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  • Integrating Blockchain & Big Data

    Mon, Sep 09, 2019 @ 07:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Wyatt Meldman-Floch, Constellation Labs

    Talk Title: Integrating Blockchain & Big Data

    Abstract: The main limitation to traditional linear blockchain technology is scalability. Most approaches to scalability improvements utilize L2 solutions such as sharding or partitioning. However, a limitation of these L2 approaches is a lack of resilience to node failures due to the stateful nature of blockchain protocols. Backend systems that can dynamically adapt to changes in throughput or outright resource failure are know as elastic infrastructure, which are a core feature of most tools for large scale data processing. In order to achieve native integration with traditional backend systems, stateful P2P networks need elastic infrastructure. MEME, an online machine learning model created at Constellation Labs was created to address elasticity in stateful peer to peer networks such as blockchain protocols and cryptocurrencies associated to them. MEME is an ensamble model comprised of three known approaches to quantify performance and influence of a participant in P2P networks that can be incorporated with any proof model such as proof of work (PoW), proof of stake (PoS) or proof of reputable observation (PRO). The focus of this presentation is on elastic infrastructure and MEME, an approach for maintaining elasticity in blockchain/DAG clusters created and used by Constellation Labs.


    Biography: Wyatt is the CTO and cofounder of Constellation Labs, where he developed an asynchronous DAG protocol to powering a decentralized data marketplace. He is a software engineer based in San Francisco with over six years of professional experience specializing in distributed systems and machine learning. Wyatt's career began at NASAs SETI Institute where he contributed to the Kepler project and implemented an entropy-based algorithm to detect intelligent (alien) communication. Prior to cofounding Constellation Labs, he served as a software engineer for Rally Health, Radius Intelligence and Zignal Labs, where he built scalable data processing pipelines for data mining, distributed graph based NLP models, and stream processing platforms for data enrichment at the Twitter firehose at scale.


    Host: Bhaskar Krishnamachari, CCI

    More Info: https://www.meetup.com/Hyperledger-Los-Angeles/events/264393286/

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • Repeating EventSix Sigma Green Belt for Process Improvement

    Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Executive Education

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Abstract: Learn how to integrate principles of business, statistics, and engineering to achieve tangible results. Master the use of Six Sigma to quantify the critical quality issues in your company. Once the issues have been quantified, statistics can be applied to provide probabilities of success and failure. Six Sigma methods increase productivity and enhance quality.

    More Info: https://viterbiexeced.usc.edu/engineering-program-areas/six-sigma-lean-certification/six-sigma-green-belt-process-improvement/

    Audiences: Registered Attendees

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    Posted By: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • Networking Open Forum

    Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 02:00 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.

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

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 211

    Audiences: All Viterbi Students

    Posted By: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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  • CS Colloquium: Guy Hoffman (Cornell University) - Designing Robots for Collaboration and Companionship

    Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 01:30 PM - 03:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Guy Hoffman, Cornell University

    Talk Title: Designing Robots for Collaboration and Companionship

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: Designing robots for human interaction is a multifaceted challenge involving the robot's intelligent behavior, physical form, mechanical structure, and interaction schema. The Cornell Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship (HRC^2) lab develops and studies human-centered robots, combining methods from AI, Mechanical Design, and Human-Computer Interaction. This talk focuses on four recent projects from our lab: A collaborative wearable robotic "third arm", a robot that helps human designers make better decisions, an emotive robotic skin that can produce goosebumps and spikes, and an open-source social robotics construction kit that is based on craft materials.

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: Guy Hoffman is an Assistant Professor and the Mills Family Faculty Fellow in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University. Prior to that he was Assistant Professor at IDC Herzliya and co-director of the IDC Media Innovation Lab. Hoffman holds a Ph.D from the MIT Media Lab. He heads the Human-Robot Collaboration and Companionship (HRC^2) group, studying the algorithms, interaction schema, and designs enabling close interactions between people and personal robots in the workplace and at home. Among others, Hoffman developed the world's first human-robot joint theater performance, and the first real-time improvising human-robot Jazz duet. His research papers won several top academic awards, including Best Paper awards at HRI and robotics conferences in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2018, and 2019. His TEDx talk is one of the most viewed online talks on robotics, watched more than 3 million times.


    Host: Computer Science Department

    Location: Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience (MCB) - 101

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar

    Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Alaa Elwany, Assistant Professor, Texas A&M University

    Talk Title: 4.5D Printing: The Science of Producing Parts with Location-Specific Properties

    Host: Dr. Qiang Huang

    More Information: September 10, 2019.pdf

    Location: Ethel Percy Andrus Gerontology Center (GER) - 206

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • External Fellowship Information Session

    Tue, Sep 10, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 05:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Doctoral Programs

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Viterbi PhD students, MS students, undergraduate juniors and seniors are invited to attend an information session on Tuesday, September 10th at 3:30pm in RTH-526 to learn more about applying for external fellowships. Students will have the opportunity to hear from current external fellows, as well as from Professor of Computer Science and Vice Dean for Research, Maja Mataric, and Associate Professor of Technical Communication Practice and Engineering Writing Program Director, Steve Bucher.

    RSVP requested via https://viterbigrad.usc.edu/external-fellowship-information-session/

    Questions may be directed to Jennifer Gerson, Director, Doctoral Programs, at jgerson@usc.edu.

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 526

    Audiences: PhD, MS, Undergraduate Juniors and Seniors (U.S. citizens/permanent residents only)

    Posted By: Jennifer Gerson

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  • Repeating EventSix Sigma Green Belt for Process Improvement

    Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Executive Education

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Abstract: Learn how to integrate principles of business, statistics, and engineering to achieve tangible results. Master the use of Six Sigma to quantify the critical quality issues in your company. Once the issues have been quantified, statistics can be applied to provide probabilities of success and failure. Six Sigma methods increase productivity and enhance quality.

    More Info: https://viterbiexeced.usc.edu/engineering-program-areas/six-sigma-lean-certification/six-sigma-green-belt-process-improvement/

    Audiences: Registered Attendees

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    Posted By: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • Networking Open Forum

    Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 02:00 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.

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

    Location: Ronald Tutor Hall of Engineering (RTH) - 211

    Audiences: All Viterbi Students

    Posted By: RTH 218 Viterbi Career Connections

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

    Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Professor Arun Kumar, Department of Computer Science & Engineering & Halicioglu Data Science Institute, University of California, San Diego

    Talk Title: Democratizing Machine Learning-based Data Analytics

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

    Abstract: As machine learning (ML) permeates data-driven applications in enterprise, Web, and scientific domains, data management and systems bottlenecks in ML are proving increasingly critical. The overarching goal of my research is to mitigate such bottlenecks and improve the efficiency of ML systems and productivity of ML users, which in turn can help reduce costs and democratize ML-based analytics. Toward this grand goal, we are building abstractions, algorithms, and systems to improve the processes of sourcing and preparing data for ML, performing iterative ML model selection, and integrating ML models with data-driven applications.

    In this talk, I will give an overview of our recent work on all these fronts, focusing specifically on a new direction that could transform how ML systems are built: multi-query optimization for ML. Drawing on the lessons of decades of work on query optimization in relational systems, I will talk about some of our recent work on connecting linear algebra, learning theory, and optimization theory with scalable system design and implementation to accelerate the model selection process in ML systems. Our approach is a step towards bridging the large gap between current ML system abstractions and the level at which ML users think, has implications for both statistical models and deep learning, and could lay a principled systems foundation for new AutoML frameworks.


    Biography: Arun Kumar is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Halicioglu Data Science Institute at the University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the Database Lab and Center for Networked Systems and an affiliate member of the AI Group. His primary research interests are in data management and systems for machine learning/artificial intelligence-based data analytics. Systems and ideas based on his research have been released as part of the MADlib open-source library, shipped as part of products from EMC, Oracle, Cloudera, and IBM, and used internally by Facebook, LogicBlox, Microsoft, and other companies. He is a recipient of two SIGMOD research paper awards in 2019 and 2014, three distinguished reviewer awards from SIGMOD/VLDB in 2019 and 2017, the 2016 PhD dissertation award from UW-Madison CS, a 2016 Google Faculty Research Award, a 2018 Hellman Fellowship. Research webpage: https://adalabucsd.github.io/

    Host: Paul Bogdan

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Eckart Meiburg, UC Santa Barbara

    Talk Title: Settling of Cohesive Sediment: Particle-resolved Simulations

    Abstract: We develop a physical and computational model for performing fully coupled, grain resolving Direct Numerical Simulations of cohesive sediment, based on the Immersed Boundary Method. The model distributes the cohesive forces over a thin shell surrounding each particle, thereby allowing for the spatial and temporal resolution of the cohesive forces during particle particle interactions.

    We test and validate the cohesive force model for binary particle interactions in the Drafting Kissing Tumbling (DKT) configuration. Cohesive sediment grains can remain attached to each other during the tumbling phase following the initial collision, thereby giving rise to the formation of flocs. The DKT simulations demonstrate that cohesive particle pairs settle in a preferred orientation, with particles of very different sizes preferentially aligning themselves in the vertical direction, so that the smaller particle is drafted in the wake of the larger one. This preferred orientation of cohesive particle pairs is found to remain influential for much larger simulations of 1,261 polydisperse particles released from rest. These simulations reproduce several earlier experimental observations by other authors, such as the accelerated settling of sand and silt particles due to particle bonding, the stratification of cohesive sediment deposits, and the consolidation process of the deposit. This final phase also shows the build-up of cohesive and direct contact intergranular stresses. The simulations demonstrate that cohesive forces accelerate the overall settling process primarily because smaller grains attach to larger ones and settle in their wakes. An investigation of the energy budget shows that the work of the collision forces substantially modifies the relevant energy conversion processes.

    Bio
    Eckart Meiburg received his Ph.D. from the University of Karlsruhe. After a postdoc at Stanford, he became an assistant professor in applied mathematics at Brown. He then moved to USC as associate then full professor. He later moved to UC Santa Barbara.

    His research interests are fluid dynamics and transport phenomena, primarily computational fluid dynamics. He uses highly resolved direct numerical simulations to investigate physical mechanisms governing the spatio temporal evolution of a wide variety of geophysical, porous media, and multiphase flow fields. Some of his current interests are gravity and turbidity currents, Hele Shaw displacements, double diffusive phenomena in particle laden flows, and internal bores.

    Meiburg has received a Presidential Young Investigator Award, a Humboldt Senior Research Award, and a Senior Gledden Fellowship (Institute of Advanced Studies, University of Western Australia). He is fellow of the American Physical Society and the ASME, was the 2012 Lorenz G. Straub Award Keynote Speaker (Univ. Minn.), gave the Ronald F. Probstein Lecture at MIT in 2018, and was Shimizu Visiting Professor at Stanford University.

    Host: AME Department

    More Info: https://ame.usc.edu/seminars/

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Tessa Yao

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  • Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Info Session

    Wed, Sep 11, 2019 @ 07:30 PM - 08:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Organizations

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Come kick off the semester with AAAI at our Fall 2019 Info Session!

    Join AAAI next Wednesday for an evening of good food and even better conversation. At our kickoff event for the semester, learn more about the club, meet other members, and get involved in our AI community here at USC. Enjoy free food, get to know us, get a sneak peek at some of the exciting events we have in the works for this year, and learn how you can get involved! We look forward to seeing you!

    When: 7:30 - 8:30 pm, Wednesday 9/11
    Where: GFS 106
    Free food will be provided

    RSVP HERE

    Location: GFS 106

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: USC AAAI

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  • Repeating EventSix Sigma Green Belt for Process Improvement

    Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

    Executive Education

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Abstract: Learn how to integrate principles of business, statistics, and engineering to achieve tangible results. Master the use of Six Sigma to quantify the critical quality issues in your company. Once the issues have been quantified, statistics can be applied to provide probabilities of success and failure. Six Sigma methods increase productivity and enhance quality.

    More Info: https://viterbiexeced.usc.edu/engineering-program-areas/six-sigma-lean-certification/six-sigma-green-belt-process-improvement/

    Audiences: Registered Attendees

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    Posted By: Corporate & Professional Programs

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  • Repeating EventGrammar Tutoring

    Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Student Affairs

    Workshops & Infosessions


    Need help refining your grammar for academic or professional writing? The Engineering Writing Program is providing free individual grammar help to all Viterbi graduate and undergraduate students! Bring your writing and sign up for help from a Writing Professor here: bit.ly/grammaratUSC!

    Questions? Email Prof. Choi at helenhch@usc.edu.

    Location: Olin Hall of Engineering (OHE) - 106

    Audiences: Graduate and Undergraduate Students

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    Posted By: Helen Choi

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  • Ph.D. Dissertation Defense

    Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 02:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Pradeep Rajendran, AME Ph.D. candidate

    Talk Title: Speeding Up Trajectory Planning for Autonomous Robots Operating in Complex Environments

    Abstract: Advances in sensing and computing hardware have physically equipped robots to operate in complex environments. In many real-world settings, we desire robots to operate at a high-level of autonomy to reduce operating costs and manpower requirements. A high-level of autonomy can be achieved only when robots are able to plan missions and tasks themselves. Trajectory planning is a fundamental building block required to support high-level decision making in robots.

    Trajectory planning for autonomous robots operating in complex environments is a challenging problem. The complexity of trajectory planning problems stems from the dimensionality of robot's state space, the complexity of the robot kinematic and dynamic model, the nature of environmental constraints (e.g., obstacles), task constraints (e.g., rules), the optimization objective function, and the planning-time requirements needed for deployment in the real world. Depending on the complexity, these problems can be solved by existing methods to produce feasible trajectories. But, in many practical applications (e.g., automated package delivery), computing a feasible trajectory alone is not enough. The quality of the computed trajectory is also important. However, in many cases, computing truly optimal trajectories is computationally intensive and thus, very time-consuming. As a result, existing methods do not satisfy planning-time constraints required by the application while maintaining optimality. We need a method that produces high-quality trajectories and at the same time produce those trajectories quickly. Anytime methods handle exactly this problem. However, these methods produce high-quality trajectories quickly only when good heuristics are used.

    This work focuses on techniques for anytime algorithms that speed up trajectory planning for autonomous robots in complex environments. It is anticipated that the methodology presented in this work will be applicable to mobile robots operating in an outdoor setting such as uneven terrain, water bodies. In such settings, the speed-up techniques will allow the robot to quickly react to the environment and perform tasks safely. Depending on the application domain, this will also serve as an enabling technology for more advanced services. Many industrial processes are currently use high degree-of-freedom manipulators that are manually programmed by a human operator. Methods presented in this work can greatly simplify workflows related to manipulators and improve manufacturing throughput.

    Host: SK Gupta

    Location: Robert Glen Rapp Engineering Research Building (RRB) - Laufer Library

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: SK Gupta

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  • Ming Hsieh Institute Seminar Series on Integrated Systems

    Fri, Sep 13, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:30 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Dr. Hai Li, Associate Professor, Duke University

    Talk Title: Highly Efficient Neuromorphic Computing Systems with Emerging Nonvolatile Memories

    Host: Profs. Hossein Hashemi, Mike Chen, Dina El-Damak, and Mahta Moghaddam

    More Information: MHI Seminar Series IS - Hai Li.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Jenny Lin

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