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July 1, 2013: New Executive Director Starts at USC Viterbi's Information Sciences Institute

Press Release
CONTACT: Megan Hazle - 213-821-5555 or hazle@usc.edu
July 01, 2013 —

Today, Prem Natarajan, former executive vice president of Raytheon BBN Technologies, takes the helm at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). Based in Marina del Rey, ISI is a world leader in the research and development of advanced information processing, computer and communications technologies. The Institute comprises more than 350 engineers, research scientists, graduate students, and staff developing various technologies, from intelligent systems to advanced electronics.

In April, USC officials announced that Natarajan had been appointed Executive Director of ISI and would begin his term in July, succeeding USC Viterbi Executive Vice Dean John O’Brien. O’Brien has served as interim Executive Director since September 2012 and will remain available to help Natarajan’s transition to ISI.

“It is a privilege to be afforded the opportunity to serve as the leader of this pioneering research institute,” Natarajan said. “I look forward to working closely with every single member of ISI faculty, staff, and students and with the campus faculty in advancing the mission of ISI, the Viterbi School and USC, and shaping an exciting new vision for the Institute."

Natarajan grew up in India and earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Tufts University. During his 17-year career at BBN in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he conducted research in speech recognition, videotext recognition, and topic classification, and served in several capacities within the company, including as Deputy Manager of the Speech and Language Processing Department, Principal Scientist, and Executive Vice President.

Natarajan hopes to increase ISI’s impact in areas including document processing and handwriting recognition, as well as to build on the institute’s thought leadership in networking and quantum computing.

USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos looks forward to Natarajan’s contribution to ISI. “In the person of Dr. Natarajan, we look for the continuation and growth of the Keith Uncapher and Herb Schorr legacies and the development of a truly exciting new vision for the Institute,” Yortsos said.


About the USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. Consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the world, the school enrolls more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, taught by 177 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 60 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu

Megan Hazle – 213-821-5555 or hazle@usc.edu