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But the “exciting and ingenious” ideas behind those titles could drive the very re-imagination of our world, from providing access to clean water to eliminating poverty.
All under the slightly less Twitter-friendly constraints of physics, chemistry, biology, and even social phenomena, of course.
The 2015 USC Viterbi Ph.D. Hooding and Awards Ceremony, held Thursday at Bovard Auditorium, ushered in a new group of “one percenters,” a select group of Trojans to join the just over 1 percent of the U.S. population named doctors of philosophy, according to the most recent U.S. census data.
In addition to the traditional hooding ceremony, this year’s event saw the inauguration of the William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research, awarded to the best doctoral dissertation from all eight departments of engineering.
Ballhaus, a member of USC Viterbi’s Board of Councilors and former CEO of the Aerospace Corporation, joined Yortsos on stage to honor the prize’s first recipient, Seyedhamed M Barghi.
(from left to right) USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos; William F. Ballhaus, Jr. and Seyedhamed M Barghi, inaugural winner of the William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research.
Liviawati Wu and Dileep Manisseri Kalathil, the two runners-up for the inaugural Ballhaus Prize, were further evidence of what Yortsos referred to as engineers “painting on a grand canvas of physical, chemical, geological, biological and social phenomena.” Wu, for example, whose passion is in optimizing drug research for better patient care, focused her dissertation on aiding patients with hepatitis C, a virus that affects 170 million people globally. Kalathil, now a postdoc in UC Berkeley’s department of electrical engineering and computer science, leverages game theory to more efficiently allocate resources on limited wireless networks.
Said Yortsos, “Of course, after today . . . you will become truly doctors of philosophy — by the way, this does not mean you are philosophy majors, but it does refer to the ancient Greek φιλοσοφία (philosophia), meaning: love of wisdom. And this is what a Ph.D. is all about.”
|Babak Haji||Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering||Queueing Loss System with Heterogeneous Skill Based Servers and Discriminating Arrivals|
|Adam Lammert||Department of Computer Science||Structure and Function in Speech Production|
|Haitian Chen||Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering (Electrophysics)||Nanomaterials for Macroelectronics and Energy Storage Devices|
|Dileep Manisseri Kalathil*||Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering (Systems)||Emprical Methods in Control and Optimization|
|Liviawati Wu*||Department of Biomedical Engineering||Ribavirin Systemic and Intracellular Exposure and its Role on Viral Response and Anemia in Chronic Hepatitis C Genotype 1 Infection.|
|Seyedhamed M Barghi**||Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science||Hydrogen Storage in Carbon and Silicon Carbide Nanotubes|
*finalist for the William F. Ballhaus, Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research
**winner, William F. Ballhaus Jr. Prize for Excellence in Graduate Engineering Research
Best Research Assistants:
|William Yu||Department of Astronautical Engineering|
|Curtis Dixon Lee||Department of Biomedical Engineering|
|Mary Gertrude Gutierrez||Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science|
|Sina Hasheminassab||Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|Mahdi Ebrahimian Dehaghani||Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|Zheng Yang||Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|Leandro Soriano Marcolino||Department of Computer Science|
|Luis David Pedrosa||Department of Computer Science|
Best Teaching Assistants:
|Daoru Han||Department of Astronautical Engineering|
|Jeffrey Tanedo||Department of Biomedical Engineering|
|Lee Hamill||Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science|
|Aykut Ayca||Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|Dongbin Wang||Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|Stephanie Kemna||Department of Computer Science|
|Eli Pincus||Department of Computer Science|
|Max Pflueger||Department of Computer Science|
|Saied Jafari||Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering|
|Laith Shalalfeh||Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering|
|John Franklin||Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering|
Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering - Ming Hsieh Institute Scholars
Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Awards
|Alan Cheng Hou Tsang||Excellence in Research Award|
|Harshavardhan Mylapilli||Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award|
Viterbi Undergraduate Research Mentoring Awards
|Simin Mehrabani||Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science|
|Aaron St. Clair||Department of Computer Science|
|Farrokh Jazizadeh Karimi||Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||USC Ph.D. Achievement Award|
|Bo Cheng Jin||Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering||University Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award|