Logo: University of Southern California

Dean Welcomes Impressive MS Class to Viterbi School

Students Come From All Over U.S. and the Globe

September 14, 2009 —

“Good Morning!

Dean Yannis Yortsos
Zao Shang Hao!
Nei Ho! …”

Yannis Yortsos, the dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, enthusiastically greeted the school’s large 2009 entering class of Master’s students, who came from all over the nation and the globe to join one of the most progressive MS programs in engineering education. Twenty-seven languages were represented in the impressive new student group – a number that provides telling evidence of the Viterbi School’s global reach.

Thoroughly enjoying a welcome event that was far more festive than academic, the overflow entering class crowd gathered in the ballroom of USC’s Town & Gown roared their approval.

Yortsos told them that they were a special group – and that they were coming to a special place. He noted that they were “joining a dynamic school, one that will provide you with the tools and education you need to flourish in a new global, technology-dominated world.” He also told them, “Engineering has become the great enabler - the discipline that can unlock the mysteries of other sciences, the humanities and even the arts. And new technologies and engineering discoveries will be the key to restoring a growing global economy. At the Viterbi School we call this Engineering+!” Yortsos briefly enumerated a few of the Viterbi School’s recent successes: its leadership in response to the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges program; its two faculty members elected to the academy last year – the second year in a row that Viterbi had two

A full house in Town & Gown
elected, a level reached only by a handful of engineering schools; and the two faculty members recently chosen by MIT’s Technology Review for their TR35 list of 35 outstanding men and women under the age of 35 who exemplify the spirit of innovation in business and technology. “They are 2 out of 35. USC Engineering was the only engineering school in the nation, along with UC Berkeley with that distinction!” said Yortsos. The dean also told them about the award to USC of a new Energy Frontiers Research Center by the Department of Energy.

Also attending were Senior Associate Deans John O’Brien and Raghu Raghavendra and the department chairs of the Viterbi School.

Following the dean’s talk, a faculty panel shared insights on how to succeed in the classroom. The students were then introduced to their academic advisors, given help with registration and any other administrative requirements, informed about career services and opportunities, and welcomed by representatives from the school’s student organizations.

The BBQ in the E-Quad
Then they finished their day in the best of all ways – their first Viterbi BBQ in the E-Quad!

Satoshi Iwakata, a new student from Japan pursuing an MS in Engineering Management remarked, “Every orientation program was well-prepared, and the BBQ was a great way to establish connections!”