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Events for the 3rd week of September

  • Trajectory planning for manipulators performing complex tasks

    Mon, Sep 16, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Ariyan Kabir, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Viterbi School of Engineering

    Talk Title: Trajectory planning for manipulators performing complex tasks

    Abstract: Recent advances in hardware capabilities, computation power, and control algorithms have physically enabled manipulators to perform highly complex tasks. Representative examples can be laundry folding, composite sheet layup, liquid pouring, mobile manipulation, surgery, etc. Using manipulators for complex tasks can significantly improve human productivity and eliminate the need for human involvement in tasks that pose risks to human safety. However, it is not feasible to manually program manipulators for complex tasks in high-mix low-volume applications, as it will take a significant amount of time, effort, and cost. We could use manipulators in complex tasks in high-mix low-volume applications if manipulators could plan their own trajectories. Trajectory planning for manipulators performing complex tasks is a problem with several different challenges. It requires avoiding obstacles present in the robot's workspace, assigning appropriate tasks to the degrees of freedoms in robotic systems, respecting the kinematic and dynamic limitations of the manipulators, and identifying the appropriate trajectory and process parameters for achieving the desired task performance. This talk will present algorithmic foundations to address the problem of trajectory planning for robotic systems. First, I will present a context-dependent search strategy-switching algorithm to navigate the discrete state-space search towards promising directions for point-to-point trajectory planning. Second, I will present a successive refinement strategy for path-constrained trajectory generation using non-linear parametric optimization with conflicting constraints. Finally, I will present an approach to integrate trajectory planning with task-agent assignment for carrying out complex operations with multiple robots.

    Biography: Ariyan Kabir is interested in building smart robotic assistants by contributing at the intersection of artificial intelligence and robotics. His research focus is on motion planning and self-directed learning for high degrees of freedom systems. He is developing algorithms to find near-optimal solutions to computationally hard planning problems. He is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California (USC). He completed his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from USC in July 2019. He completed his B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka. Ariyan has won one best paper award, and two best poster awards from his research contributions.

    Host: Ashutosh Nayyar, ashutosn@usc.edu

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

    More Information: 190916_Ariyan Kabir_CSC Seminar.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Brienne Moore

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  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Seminar - Lyman L. Handy Colloquia

    Tue, Sep 17, 2019 @ 04:00 AM - 05:20 PM

    Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Prof. Peter Voorhees, Materials Science and Engineering, Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University

    Talk Title: The Morphology and Topology of Nanoporous Metals

    Abstract: Nanoporous metals have a broad range of applications such as catalyst supports, artificial muscles, and battery electrodes. The size-scale of these bicontinuous mixtures of metal and void can be controlled by isothermal coarsening. However, the effects of coarsening on the morphology and topology (connectivity) of the metal interfaces are poorly understood, and thus it is difficult to link the processing of nanoporous metals to their properties. In an effort to understand the factors setting the morphology of the interfaces in nanoporous metals, we employ experimental measurements of the three-dimensional morphology of nanoporous gold. These results are then compared with large-scale phase field simulations of the coarsening of bicontinuous two-phase mixtures. The simulations show that during coarsening bicontinuous two-phase mixtures attain a universal self-similar morphology and topology that can thus be compared directly to nanoporous gold. We find dramatic changes in the morphology and topology of bicontinuous structures for volume fractions of solid just above the critical value at which bicontinuity is lost. A comparison between the simulations and experiments shows the critical role of the volume fraction of metal in setting the morphology and topology of the nanoporous metals.

    Biography: Peter Voorhees is the Frank C. Engelhart Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, and Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics. He is co-director of the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering and is director of the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was a member of the Metallurgy Division at the National Institute for Standards and Technology until joining the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. He has received numerous awards including the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, ASM International Materials Science Division Research Award (Silver Medal), the TMS Bruce Chalmers Award, the ASM J. Willard Gibbs Phase Equilibria Award, and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science Award for Teaching Excellence. Professor Voorhees is a fellow of ASM International, the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, and the American Physical Society. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has published over 280 papers in the area of the thermodynamics and kinetics of phase transformations.

    Host: Dr. Kassner

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Karen Woo/Mork Family

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  • International Students Open Forum

    Tue, Sep 17, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    International students, increase your career and internship knowledge 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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  • **No ISE 651 - Epstein Seminar this week**

    Tue, Sep 17, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Grace Owh

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  • Computer Science General Faculty Meeting

    Wed, Sep 18, 2019 @ 12:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Computer Science

    Receptions & Special Events


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

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Assistant to CS chair

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  • International Students Open Forum

    Wed, Sep 18, 2019 @ 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

    Viterbi School of Engineering Career Connections

    Workshops & Infosessions


    International students, increase your career and internship knowledge 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 18, 2019 @ 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM

    Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Georgios Bouloukakis, University of California, Irvine

    Talk Title: Towards End-to-end Data Exchange in the IoT

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

    Abstract: To enable direct Internet connectivity of Things, complete protocol stacks need to be deployed on resource-constrained devices. Such protocol stacks typically build on lightweight IPv6 adaptations and may even include a middleware layer supporting high-level application development. However, the profusion of IoT middleware-layer interaction protocols has introduced technology diversity and high fragmentation in the IoT systems landscape with siloed vertical solutions. To enable the interconnection of heterogeneous Things across these barriers, advanced interoperability solutions are required.

    In this talk, I will introduce a solution for the automated synthesis of protocol mediators that support the interconnection of heterogeneous Things. Our systematic approach relies on software architecture abstractions and model-driven development. I will also present our ongoing work for the automated placement and deployment of protocol mediators at the Edge of IoT spaces.


    Biography: Georgios Bouloukakis is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Irvine in the Distributed Systems Middleware group. His research mainly focuses on the design of extensible and efficient IoT systems by leveraging fundamental mathematical models and state-of-the-art technologies. Before joining UC Irvine, Georgios received a postdoctoral scholarship from the Inria@SiliconValley research program. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Pierre and Marie Curie University, conducting his thesis at the research center of Inria Paris in the MiMove team in France.

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Talyia White

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  • AME Seminar

    Wed, Sep 18, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Kunihiko (Sam) Taira, UCLA

    Talk Title: Network-Based Characterization, Modeling, and Control of Fluid Flows

    Abstract: The network of interactions among fluid elements and coherent structures gives rise to the amazingly rich dynamics of vortical flows. To describe these interactions, we consider the use of mathematical tools from the emerging field of network science that is comprised of graph theory, dynamical systems, data science, and control theory. In this presentation, we discuss ways to describe unsteady fluid flows with vortical interaction, modal-interaction, and probability transition networks. The insights gained from these formulations can be used to characterize, model, and control laminar and turbulent flows. We will also discuss some of the challenges of applying network based techniques to fluid flows and the prospects of addressing them through data-inspired techniques.

    Biography: Kunihiko (Sam) Taira is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UCLA. His research focuses on computational fluid dynamics, flow control, and network science. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology. He is a recipient of the 2013 U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research and 2016 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Awards.

    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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  • NL Seminar- Allen NLP Tools Workshop

    Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

    Information Sciences Institute

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Seraphina Goldfarb-Tarrant, USC/ISI

    Talk Title: AllenNLP Tools Workshop

    Series: Natural Language Seminar

    Abstract: This is a practical talk that highlights some of the areas where AllenNLP the NLP research library excels, and gives a look at new features being released. It will focus on the ways that use of the library can enable reproducibility, interpretability, and visualizations.



    Biography: Seraphina Goldfarb-Tarrant is a Research Programmer at ISI, doing work in NLG. She finished her Master's at the University of Washington, and is beginning her PhD at the University of Edinburgh.


    Host: Emily Sheng

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

    Webcast: https://bluejeans.com/s/OUQy4/

    Location: Information Science Institute (ISI) - CR #689

    WebCast Link: https://bluejeans.com/s/OUQy4/

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Peter Zamar

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  • Thesis Proposal - Ryan Julian

    Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 12:00 PM - 01:00 PM

    Computer Science

    University Calendar


    Title: The Adaptation Base Case: Understanding the Challenge of Continual Robot Learning
    Date/Time: Thursday, September 19th 12pm
    Location: RTH 406
    Candidate: Ryan Julian
    Committee: Prof. Gaurav Sukhatme (adviser), Prof. Joseph Lim, Prof. Heather Culbertson, Prof. Stefanos Nikolaidis, Prof. SK Gupta, Dr. Karol Hausman

    Abstract:
    Much of the promise of reinforcement learning (RL) for robotics is predicated on the idea of hands-off continual improvement: that these systems will be able to use machine learning to improve their performance after deployment. Without this property, RL does not compare very favorably to hand-engineered robotics. The research community has successfully shown that RL can train agents which are at least as good, or better than, hand-engineered controllers after a single large-scale up-front training process. Furthermore, multi-task and meta-learning has research shown that we can learn controllers which adapt to new tasks, by reusing data and models from related tasks. What is not well-understood is whether we can make this adaptation process continual. The overall schematic off-policy multi-task RL algorithms suggests these might make good continual learners, but we don't if know that's actually the case. In this presentation, I'll review the recent history of adaptive robot learning research, and enumerate the most important unanswered questions which prevent us from designing continual multi-task learners. I'll then outline a research agenda which will answer those questions, to provide a road map to continual multi-task learning for robotics.

    Location: 406

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Lizsl De Leon

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  • CS Tech Talk: Lyft Level 5 Tech Talk

    Thu, Sep 19, 2019 @ 03:30 PM - 04:50 PM

    Computer Science

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Anjie Liang, Robert Pinkerton, Alice Chuang, Lyft Level 5

    Talk Title: Lyft Level 5 Tech Talk

    Series: Computer Science Colloquium

    Abstract: Come learn more about our Lyft Core and Level 5 self-driving teams!
    Swag will be provided!

    This lecture satisfies requirements for CSCI 591: Research Colloquium.


    Biography: For the tech talk, we welcome the following speakers:

    Anjie Liang, Software Engineer
    Anjie is a software engineer on Data Infrastructure for Level 5, a team responsible for indexing and serving all the data that is collected on the autonomous vehicles. Before Lyft, she was completing her undergrad at the University of Texas at Austin. Considering the large amounts of data that is collected on the cars every day, and the many distributed systems needed to process that data, Anjie's first year of working full time has been full of learning opportunities and interesting challenges.

    Robert Pinkerton, Hardware Engineer
    Rob is a systems engineer at Lyft Level 5, a team responsible for the architecture and requirements definition of our self-driving cars. Before Lyft, he was a systems engineer at SpaceX where he worked on various aspects of the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy Launch vehicles, including launching a car into space. Rob has performed graduate study in Systems Engineering and Electrical Engineering at Cornell and Stanford University respectively. He is extremely passionate about turning complex systems into products that improve our lives in a meaningful and sustainable way.

    Alice Chuang, Software Engineer
    Alice is a Software Engineer on Mapping Algo for Level 5, a team that uses Computer Vision and Machine Learning to leverage the data to build maps for autonomous vehicles. Alice graduated from Columbia in the City of New York and after interning last summer, she returned as a full time engineer at Level 5! So far, Alice's experiences at Lyft have been very insightful and exciting.


    Host: Computer Science Department

    Location: Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center (SAL) - 101

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Computer Science Department

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  • Repeating EventGrammar Tutoring

    Fri, Sep 20, 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

    View All Dates

    Posted By: Helen Choi

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  • Ph.D. Dissertation Defense

    Fri, Sep 20, 2019 @ 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM

    Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

    Conferences, Lectures, & Seminars


    Speaker: Longlong Chang, AME Ph.D. candidate

    Talk Title: Dynamic Modeling and Simulation of Flapping-Wing Micro Air Vehicles

    Host: Nestor Perez-Arancibia

    More Information: DissertationAbastract_LonglongChang.pdf

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

    Audiences: Everyone Is Invited

    Posted By: Nestor Perez-Arancibia

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