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July 2011

Professor Maja Mataric’s name and research appeared in Arianna Huffington’s article, “Crashing the Silicon Ceiling,” the first in a new series of articles on “Women in Tech” in The Huffington Post. For the article, please click here.

Congratulations to Science & Engineering librarian Najwa Hanel, who was one of three USC faculty members to earn the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Service Award. The USC Academic Senate presented the award at the University Club on Wednesday, May 11, 2011.

Congratulations to Professor Eva Kanso! Professor Kanso has been appointed the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering. The appointment was recommended by the appropriate faculty committee, has been approved by President Nikias and recognizes Eva’s exceptional distinction in engineering. Eva joined USC as an assistant professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering in August 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor in December 2010. Prior to her tenure at USC, she held a two-year post-doctoral position in Control and Dynamical Systems at Caltech. She received her Ph.D. (2003) and M.S. (1999) in Mechanical Engineering as well as her M.A. (2002) in Mathematics from UC Berkeley. Her research interests lie in the areas of Nonlinear Dynamical Systems and Fluid Mechanics with application to aquatic locomotion and fish schooling. She is the recipient of an NSF Faculty Early Career Development award (2007-2012).

June 2011

Professor Ellis Meng has won the TATRC/Qualcomm Wireless Health Innovation Challenge Award. For more information, click Here. The TATRC/Qualcomm Wireless Health Innovation Challenge aims to nurture and accelerate the commercialization of selected wireless health technologies developed in Southern California that have the greatest potential to improve healthcare delivery to U.S. military personnel and their families.

May 2011

Professor Ellis Meng (Biomedical Engineering) recognized by the Viterbi School of Engineering with the 2011 Award for Use-Inspired Research Professor Meng’s prolific and prestigious research into biometrically applied biomimetic micro-electronic systems (bioMEMs) is being used to revolutionize the treatment of previously incurable ocular diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.

Professor Andrea Armani (Chemical Engineering and Material Sciences) recognized by the Viterbi School of Engineering with the 2011 Viterbi Junior Research Award Professor Armani’s research involves developing new, high-performance optical sensors for the study of biological and chemical systems, with broad applications ranging from health to defense.

In March 2011 Professor Ana Krylov gave a presentation entitled “Personal account of cultural and societal obstacles facing women pursuing careers in science” at the annual conference of the American Chemical Society in Anaheim, CA (March 27-21, 2011). Her presentation can be accessed here: “Personal account of cultural and societal obstacles facing women pursuing careers in science.”

March/April 2011

WTS-LA Makes WiSE Choice for Diversity Leadership Award — Leana Golubchik

WTS is an international organization dedicated to the professional advancement of women in transportation.Established in 1985, WTS-LA has forged a unique identity as part of a professional transportation association dedicated to the advancement of women in the transportation industry. Combining innovative programs with outstanding mentoring and professional development—as well as unparalleled access to national and regional transportation leaders—WTS-LA provides one-stop support and advocacy for transportation professionals at every level. WTS-LA is the largest chapter of WTS, an international organization founded in 1977 that now boasts more than 4,100 members in three countries. WTS-LA presents the WTS-LA Diversity Leadership Award annually to recognize an individual or organization that demonstrates outstanding initiative in the development of opportunities for women and minorities. Representing last year’s WTS-LA Diversity Leadership Award winner, Port of Long Beach Commission vice president and veteran attorney Susan Wise presented the award to Dr. Golubchik.

Recipient of the WiSE Merit Fellowship for Current Doctoral Students Wins the CAMS Competition Yi Gai, PhD Candidate in Electrical Engineering-Systems in the Viterbi School of Engineering and recipient of a WiSE 2011-2012 Fellowship for Current Doctoral Students, has also been awarded a Graduate Student Prize from the Center for Applied Mathematical Sciences at USC. Congratulations, Yi!

Announcing the 2010-2011 USC Mellon Awards for Excellence in Mentoring

WiSE faculty Jill McNitt-Gray and Maja Mataric have won USC Mellon mentoring awards, Professor McNitt-Gray for undergraduate mentoring and Professor Mataric as part of a Viterbi group for Culture of Mentoring award. Professor Francisco Valero-Cuevas, member of the Vitebi School of Engineering WiSE Committee, has also won an award for undergraduate mentoring.

Forsburg Lauded for Commitment to Women in Science

Susan Forsburg, professor of biological sciences at USC Dornsife College and a WiSE faculty member, has received the 2011 Roche Diagnostics Alice C. Evans Award from the American Society of Microbiology for contributions to the advancement of women in science.

January/February 2011

Two Young Viterbi Professors Awarded Top U.S. Junior Faculty Honor in Science and Engineering

Michelle L. Povinelli and Andrea M. Armani have won the U.S. government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Maja Matarić Receives Presidential Mentoring Award from President Obama

USC Viterbi School of Engineering professor Maja J. Matarić was among the scholars who received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring at a White House ceremony Jan. 27.

December 2010

DREU Project Participant Finalist in CRA Student Competition

Elaine Chew’s Music Computation and Cognition Lab summer student KatieAnna Wolf was selected one of six female finalists for the highly selective Computing Research Association Outstanding Undergraduate Award. Wolf was a 2010 DREU undergraduate research student, one of 70 such fellows selected nationally from more than 500 applicants.

November 2010

Professor Maja Matarić named IEEE Fellow

Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for one of the Association’s most prestigious honors, elevation to IEEE Fellow. Maja Matarić, Professor of Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics at USC, has been elevated to IEEE Fellow, effective 1 January 2011, for contributions to robot coordination and learning in human-robot systems.

Meghan Miller nominated as 2010-11 EarthScope Speaker

EarthScope is a National Science Foundation program to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent and understand the processes that cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Speakers are selected based on their outstanding research accomplishments involving EarthScope as well as their abilities to engage a variety of audiences. Meghan Miller, Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, will present her lecture, “From Structure to Dynamics: New Insights into Continental Dynamics from the EarthScope USArray Seismic Observatory,” in Spring 2011 at James Madison University in Virginia. For more information,

Sour Research, Sweet Results

Emily Liman, Associate Professor of neurobiology at USC Dornsife College, and her team have discovered one way that cells responsive to sour tastes detect protons.

Kristina Lerman to PI $1.4 Million Study of Social Networking Threats

Information Sciences Institute specialist, Research Assistant Professor Kristina Lerman, receives Air Force Office of Science Research funding. Project will bridge gaps between social science, mathematical, and computational approaches to social networks.

Speed Heals

Both the rate and direction of axon growth in the spinal cord can be controlled, according to new research by USC Dornsife College professor Samantha Butler and her collaborators.

USC Viterbi and Mexico Reach Pact on Ph.D. Fellowships

Viterbi School of Engineering WiSE Committee member, Professor Francisco Valero, to coordinate the scholarships for students from his native Mexico.

CNN’s ‘Edge of Discovery’ Features Teaching Robots from the Viterbi School

Maja Matarić discusses the growing use of kid-friendly ‘bots to interest and motivate young students in this CNN video.

One Bear of a Research Trip

USC Dornsife College undergraduate Cara Magnabosco underwent rigorous survival skills training before her research in Svalbard, including what to do if confronted by hazardous weather or a polar bear. Good thing since a bear did meander into their base camp.

Professor Susan Forsburg receives 2011 Alice Evans Award

Susan Forsburg, Professor of Molecular and Computational Biology, is the recipient of the 2011 Alice Evans Award. In 1928, Alice C. Evans was elected the first woman President of ASM. The Roche Diagnostics Alice C. Evans Award was created in her memory to honor ASM members who have contributed to the full participation and advancement of women in microbiology.

October 2010

Ellis Meng and Burcin Becerik are among the 53 Innovative Early-Career

Engineering Faculty selected to participate in National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 2nd Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium

Two USC Engineering Professors have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s second Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium: Assistant Professor Burcin Becerik-Gerber of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Ellis Meng of Biomedical Engineering. Early-career faculty members who are developing and implementing innovative educational approaches in a variety of engineering disciplines will come together for the 2-1/2-day event, where they can share ideas, learn from research and best practice in education, and leave with a charter to bring about improvement in their home institution. The attendees were nominated by fellow engineers or deans and chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants.
Congratulations, Burcin and Ellis!

Presentation Slides and Photos, from the recent NAE Frontiers of Engineering Symposium are now available, including photos of our own Associate Professor Elaine Chew.

View Photos of Prof Chew’s Presentation on the MuCoaCo Blog

View Presentation Slides from the Symposium

View Additional Photos from the Symposium

Yortsos to Serve Second Five-Year Term as Viterbi School Dean

Jean Morrison Named as University Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Boston University

Jean Morrison, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Southern California, has been named University Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Boston University. She will formally begin her appointment at BU in January. We are all tremendously proud of Jean and excited for the new challenges and opportunities she will encounter in her new leadership role at BU. Of course, all of us at USC will miss her terribly. Jean’s service to USC in the Provost’s Office and as the former Director of WiSE has been outstanding.

We wish her the best and offer our sincere congratulations on this major transition!

Assistant Professor Andrea Armani receives 2010 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award

Assistant Professor Shinyi Wu received a $3 million ARRA Grant

The grant will go to develop a depression care management technology and to conduct a comparative effectiveness trial to test the technology-facilitated vs. staff-supported care models in six safety-net diabetes clinics managed by LA County Department of Health Services. Co-investigators include Professors Shri Narayanan in EE, Kathleen Ell in School of Social Work, Joel Hay in School of Pharmacy, and Chih-Ping Chou in Preventive Medicine.

Former WiSE Postoc Anja Volk awarded Vidi Grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Volk, former WiSE postdoc at the Music Computation and Cognition (MuCoaCo) Lab from 2003 to 2005, received the Vidi grant, which is “targeted at researchers who have completed their doctorates and already spent some years conducting post-doctoral research, thereby demonstrating the ability to generate new ideas and bring them independently to fruition. They will be given the opportunity to develop their own innovative lines of research and themselves to appoint one or more researchers to assist them in the task.” Following her postdoctoral work at USC, Volk joined the University of Utrecht’s Department of Information and Computing Sciences in the Netherlands to co-lead the NWO-funded WITCHCRAFT project from 2006 to the present. The Vidi grant will enable her to start a research group to “model music similarity over time using the variation principle.”

September 2010

Appointment of Asst Prof Andrea Hodge to the Philip and Cayley MacDonald Early Career Chair

“This appointment recognizes Andrea’s exceptional distinction and promise as a faculty member in the Viterbi School of Engineering. As is the process in all such honors, the appointment was recommended by an appropriate faculty committee and was approved by the Provost. Andrea is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering with a joint appointment in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.”

– Sept 28, 2010 memo from Dean Yannis Yortsos

Sparkling Drinks Spark Pain Circuits

Emily Liman, Associate Professor of Neurobiology at USC Dornsife College, is the senior author of the study highlighted in this article.

“You may not think of the fizz in soda as spicy, but your body does. The carbon dioxide in fizzy drinks triggers the same pain sensors in the nasal cavity as mustard and horseradish, though at a lower intensity, according to new research at USC.”

Assistant Professor Andrea Armani wins honorable mention in Optical Society Photo Contest

Viterbi Alum, Robyn Strumpf, Honored for her Student Volunteer Work

Viterbi School’s Information Sciences Institute’s testbed used by ten schools’ degree programs, supported by Research Assistant Professor and ISI Computer Scientist Jelena Mirkovic

Monitor the Air – With a Smartphone

Computer Scientists Professor Gaurav Sukhatme and postdoc Sameera Poduri have found a way to combine smartphone resources with a novel application that allows the phones’ users to help monitor air quality.

Congratulations to Suvimol “Ming” Sangkatumvong, BME Graduate Student
Suvimol “Ming” Sangkatumvong was selected as an Open Finalist in the Student Paper Competition at the 2010 Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference, August 31 – September 4, 2010 (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

PECASE Awards for 2009 given to 2 of USC’s WiSE Professors

Assistant Professors Andrea Armani (Materials Science & Chemical Engineering) and Michelle Povinelli (Electrical Engineering) are recipients of the 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The PECASE Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The recipient scientists and engineers will receive their awards at a White House ceremony.

Congratulations, Andrea and Michelle!

August 2010

Assistant Professor Michelle Povinelli Honored with T35 Recognition

Leana Golubchik named Director of WiSE

Jean Morrison named Executive Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Urbashi Mitra to Serve as USC Center for Excellence in Research (CER) Fellow

Digg This: ISI Computer Scientist Forecasts Social Network Behavior; Next, Kristina Lerman hopes to learn how a story goes viral

Burcin Becerik-Gerber to participate in Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium

Professor Burcin Becerik-Gerber was chosen as one of the select few among a large number of very compelling applications to participate in the Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium, to be held at the National Academies’ Beckman Center in Irvine, CA, in December 2010, and hosted by the Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education of the National Academy of Engineering.

Congratulations, Professor Becerik-Gerber!