USC Viterbi COVID-19 Response
Please find activities, links and resources below surrounding USC Viterbi's response to COVID-19.
FAQ and COVID-19 Related Pages
Quick-links below to any FAQ page or other pages created on our school site in relationship to COVID-19.
- COVID-19 FAQ for USC Viterbi International Students
- COVID-19 FAQ for USC Viterbi Researchers
- Online Events Series
- YouTube Playlist - USC Viterbi Virtual Events
Our Four-Pillar Themes
Content relating to our four pillar themes (people, programs, thought leadership, innovation and outreach) that are unique to USC Viterbi in the current environment.
- Viterbi vs. Pandemics! - A Lecture Series by Viterbi Faculty
- Lecture 1: Modeling Epidemics As a Chemical Reaction Process
- Lecture 2: Fluid Dynamics of the Spread of COVID-19
- Lecture 3: Biology and Disinfection for COVID-19
- Lecture 4: Automation Technologies for Ensuring Human Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Lecture 5: Estimation of Risk
- Lecture 6: Predictions on COVID-19 to the C.D.C.
- Lecture 7: Vaccine Development
- Lecture 8: Misinformation Detection
- Lecture 9: Digital Contact Tracing
- Lecture 10: Protein Engineering by Directed Evolution
- Lecture 11: Environmental Influences on Work From Home
- Dean Yortsos moderates ASEE EDGE Deans Panel Discussion on the COVID-19 Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Call to action from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) - USC Viterbi has been instrumental in an effort to engage brilliant engineering minds, whether students, faculty or others, in a call to action for COVID-19. The action involves the creation of a virtual incubator, which accepts ideas and transforms them into actionable concepts, using the lean startup methodology of the NSF I-Corps Program and specifically the participation of the Los Angeles Innovation Node, in which USC Viterbi is the lead institution.
- USC Viterbi K-12 STEM Center's Parents Page - A hub for at-home STEM enrichment
- Student Advising Resources during COVID-19
- Video Series: Day-in-the-life of a USC Viterbi Student
Online Events and Seminars
For upcoming school-level events, please see our Online Events Series page. Links to past events that have been recorded as well as links to materials such as slide decks (when made available) can also be found here.
Many different departments, units, groups and faculty have been holding online events since the start of the pandemic as well and whenever possible have recorded such and made them publicly available. Please understand that some events were held for a closed audience (for example alumni, current or perspective students) and are therefore are not publicly listed. Please visit the various USC Viterbi associated YouTube channels below to view archived online events.
USC Viterbi Online Events Playlist
USC Viterbi Admission
USC Viterbi Current Students
USC Viterbi Graduate and Professional Programs
USC Viterbi Careers
Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Department of Computer Science
USC Aviation Safety
USC Viterbi K12 Stem
Professor Andrea Armani
Professor Jeff Miller
USC Viterbi VAST Program
USC Viterbi CAM
To learn about research at USC Viterbi that addresses COVID-19 challenges, please browse our News and Media section at the bottom of this page, as many of our research projects have been written about or been covered by media. If you are a researcher yourself, you might want to visit COVID-19 FAQ for USC Viterbi Researchers.
Please visit our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Help page if you are seeking PPE or are able to help to produce, donate, etc. We are trying to coordinate such efforts on this page to protect as many people as possible. Stories about PPE can be found lower down on this page in the Related News and Media section section.
- Webinar: Handling the PPE Shortage Through Innovation, Creativity, & Maker Movement
- Webinar: Innovative "DIY" PPE Disinfectant Methods Featuring Andrea Armani
- Webinar: Handling the PPE Shortage: Update on Mask Design and Fabrication
USC Student Emergency Fund Options
- CARES - For more information on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, please click here
- Ignite.com - For donation and volunteer opportunities including USC's crowdfunding platform ignite.usc.edu, please click here
- Student Government emergency funds
- USC Viterbi Emergency Fund – Financial support for registered students at the Viterbi School of Engineering who face unforeseen expenses due the impact of COVID-19
Messages from Leadership
For complete list of community messages from USC Central please visit this page
Community and Resource Links
USC Student Health - Find info for Operational Updates. TeleHealth and more
CDC - Find Travel Advice, Facts & Figures, How to Protect Yourself and more
Music for Surviving a Pandemic - What Trojan engineers are listening to during this period of self-isolation
Related News and Media
Learning From Lies to Spread the Truth
USC Viterbi researchers use new language analysis tools to combat misinformation
WIRED: Do These Gadgets Actually Protect You? We Asked the Experts
Wired featured Andrea Armani on the dangers of using UVC light as a primary disinfectant.
Could Mapping Tiny Hairlike Structures Help Treat Lung Illnesses?
With a $2.3 million NIH award, USC researchers will study how cilia behavior and structure impact their function, a key in improving diagnostics and treatments for lung illnesses like COVID-19.
“Natural Killer Cells” to Fight Viral Infections Like COVID-19 Awarded NSF Funding
Eun Ji Chung and her team will examine the properties of these powerful cells and how they can be developed into treatments for COVID-19 and other viral infections.
Expert Q&A: Does social media misinformation cause vaccine hesitancy?
In a new analysis, USC computer science researchers found a large anti-vaccine misinformation and conspiracy community on Twitter.
KNBC-TV : USC Study: Political Discourse on Twitter Helped Predict COVID-19 Outbreak Sites
KNBC-TV featured research by Kristina Lerman that linked political discourse on Twitter to future COVID-19 outbreaks.
Can Measuring Air Pollutants Help Us Combat COVID-19?
An air sampling method created by USC Viterbi researchers has been adopted by the Department of Homeland Security to better understand COVID-19’s spread.
An Opportunity to Mitigate Student Health Outbreaks Through Wastewater
USC researchers use wastewater to help predict and mitigate spread of COVID-19, with applications toward other highly contagious illnesses like the flu.
Using Ancient Knowledge to Fight Pandemics
Class of 2021 USC Viterbi biomedical engineering senior Melissa Banks is working on self-sanitizing copper-coated masks to keep us safe from dangerous viruses.
Spectrum News 1: Using Algorithms to Create COVID-19 Vaccines and Predict Variants
Spectrum News 1 featured Paul Bogdan on using algorithms to create COVID-19 vaccines and predict variants.
How Do You Build a Rocket Without a Lab?
How USC’s renowned Rocket Propulsion Laboratory took one of the most hands-on clubs on campus remote.
Virus Minority Report
USC Viterbi researchers show how we might one day develop vaccines for viruses that haven’t even evolved yet
What Happens To All Those COVID Test Nasal Swabs? That’s Where It Gets Complicated.
Recent XPRIZE finalist Tapestry, led by Manoj Gopalkrishnan, ’08, could save time, money and lives by testing hundreds of samples at once
Can We Predict Which COVID-19 Patients Will End Up in the ICU?
USC researchers created an algorithm that uses five biomarkers to determine which COVID-19 patients will need intensive care after hospitalization.
USC Undergraduate Student Team Reaches Final Round of $500k Pandemic Response Challenge
The USC team was among 48 teams from 17 countries chosen to advance to the second and final phase of the competition.
USC News: Artificial intelligence yields new ways to combat the coronavirus
Computer model created by Paul Bogdan and colleagues eliminates 95% of the compounds that could have possibly treated SARS-CoV-2 and pinpoints the best options
The Four-Legged Robot That Can Crawl, Crouch, Clean and Fight COVID
A team of USC master’s students creates a disinfection robot to use on COVID-19 prevention.
Adobe Spark: How Working from Home Changed Us
After March’s stay-at-home orders took effect, USC researchers studied the impact of widespread work from home on well-being and productivity.
Technology and Design Keep Holiday Tradition Alive–Even at a Distance
Roboticist and first-year student collaborate on social-distanced tech solution
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics” Lecture 11: Environmental Influences on Work From Home
As part of an 11-part lecture series, USC Viterbi researchers spoke on the role and influence of built environments on mental and physical health, and work productivity and satisfaction.
Youtube: Quadruped Robots to Disinfect
Working with Professor Gupta and Professor Nguyen, students are developing semi-autonomous robots to disinfect hard to-reach spaces to protect against COVID
USC ISI Researcher Uses AI to Combat COVID-19 Under the Microsoft AI for Health Program
The Microsoft grant will help develop knowledge graphs for a COVID-19 data infrastructure.
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics” Lecture 10: Protein Engineering by Directed Evolution
Richard Roberts’s lab invented mRNA display to design new peptides and proteins. He is now using this and other tools to help scientists develop therapies and diagnostics for COVID-19.
WIRED: Proning COVID Patients Seems to Save Lives
Andrea Armani was interviewed on simple interventions that can improve COVID-19 patient outcomes
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics” Lecture 9: Digital Contact Tracing
Cyrus Shahabi’s digital contact tracing goes beyond mobile phones, reducing false positives.
After a record-breaking deployment Navy Officer returns to USC for second graduate degree
Jonathan Messer, M.S. ’18, put his systems engineering degree to use during a global pandemic and a humanitarian mission in Central America. He’s now taking it to outer space.
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics” Lecture 8: Misinformation Detection
Yan Liu shares how machine learning and AI could help combat COVID-19 by identifying and mitigating misinformation on social media.
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” Lecture 7: Vaccine Development
Zohrab A. Kaprielian fellow in Engineering and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering Pin Wang discussed immunology behind the COVID-19 vaccine.
Pasadena Star-News: Digital Contact Tracing Stalls Out Nationwide
Pasadena Star-News quoted Cyrus Shahabi regarding the concerns around contact tracing apps.
A 10-Day Forecast for COVID-19
USC Viterbi’s Roger Ghanem and Xiaoshu Zeng have created models which predict daily, new COVID-19 cases.
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics” Lecture 6: Predictions on COVID-19 to the C.D.C.
USC Viterbi data scientists helping decision-makers see beyond the fog of data to provide better pandemic forecasts and save lives
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” Lecture 5: Estimation of Risk
Bhaskar Krishnamachari shares how to visualize COVID risk over time for different communities using real data from L.A. County to illustrate the approach.
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” Lecture 4: Automation Technologies for Ensuring Human Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The fourth lecture in the 10-part series focuses on how automation can help enhance human productivity in industries such as manufacturing while keeping them safe during the global pandemic.
Graphs: The Hidden Ingredient to More Realistic Simulations
New PhD graduate Alana Shine researches graph theory, which can help create more accurate models of disease spread.
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” Lecture 3: Biology and Disinfection for COVID-19
Professor Andrea Armani, the Ray Irani Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, discusses new approaches to sterilizing medical equipment to meet urgent needs during the pandemic.
Urgent Times Call for Urgent Measures
USC ISI scientists research urgency detection in short crisis situations through social media
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” Lecture 2: Fluid Dynamics of the Spread of COVID-19
The second lecture in the 10-part series focuses on how the virus spreads in droplets and what masks are most effective
“Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” Lecture 1: Modeling Epidemics
Inaugural lecture in 10-part series focuses on modeling epidemics as a chemical reaction process
KCBS: Effectiveness of UV Light to Sanitize Surfaces Amid COVID-19
CBS featured Andrea Armani who discussed the use of UV light to sanitize surfaces amid COVID-19.
Engineering Our Way Through a Global Pandemic
USC master’s students tackle robots, masks and droplet dispersion, to better understand how to live with COVID-19.
USC Viterbi Offers Two New Short Courses: “Viterbi vs. Pandemics!” and “Sustainable Energy”
Both lecture series launch the week after Labor Day, offering students a comprehensive faculty coverage of COVID-19 and a series on sustainable energy with Dean Yortsos
Biegler Hall Gets a Makeover
The third floor Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering lab was reconfigured over the summer to offer students an interactive, yet safe experience this fall.
Zoom Work Meetings, Anyone?
Researchers at USC ISI prepare for future emergencies during COVID 19 pandemic.
USC Viterbi Researchers Win 1st Place, Develop COVID-19 Risk Score for Los Angeles
Recent data science challenge, hosted by the city, identifies a new, color-coded metric for individual risk.
A Warm Fall 2020 Welcome from USC Viterbi
Dean Yannis Yortsos, faculty and staff welcome students and parents in this most unique of years.
USC Viterbi Alumnus Donates 33,000 Masks
Qihong Wang, B.S. EE ’19, donated essential masks to USC Viterbi researchers, allowing them to continue pursuing their work during the pandemic.
What’s Next in Pandemic Forecasting?
USC Viterbi Researchers Answer Questions About Their Unique Modeling Tool and Share Advice for Future Forecasters.
NBC News: How LA’s Sewers Could Be an Early Warning System for Coronavirus Outbreaks
Researchers believe waste water could serve as a warning sign for coronavirus outbreaks.
A Lifeline For Students During The Pandemic
Over 100 students have been aided by USC Viterbi’s Emergency Relief Fund; Ming Hsieh, alumnus and university trustee, offers an additional $50K match to donors
Designing for a Better World: A Summer of Innovation
Over 100 high school students from across the nation ideate solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic in USC-led bootcamp
Helping La Peñita Through COVID-19
Travis Mendoza, ’16, came to Mexico to build a hotel; when the pandemic struck, he began to focus more on building a community.
Global Online Symposia Focus on COVID-19 Research
Faculty presentations help address COVID-19 and related technology topics
New Math Model Predicts Real-World Systems
New USC Viterbi research models complex, real-world outcomes, including coronavirus and Alzheimer’s disease
AI to Better Diagnose and Treat Renal Cancer and COVID-19
USC researchers are using AI to fuel more confident diagnosis of renal tumors, as well as more customized treatment for cancer patients and patients infected with COVID-19.
Beating A Pandemic To The Punch
USC Viterbi researchers are helping us understand what COVID-19 might do next.
Six Innovative Ideas To Aid People in Crisis Zones
USC Viterbi’s Virtual Demo Day showcases student-designed products for the world’s hardest-to-reach people.
Wastewater Surveillance Could Promote Early COVID-19 Detection
USC Researchers Receive NSF RAPID grant to track coronavirus spread through wastewater samples.
The Engineering Bat Signal for COVID-19 Went Out. She Answered It.
How Julia Sircar, a Class of 2020 graduate, came to work with top engineers to combat a pandemic.
A Call to Action for Engineers
USC Viterbi dean, faculty and students play key role in NAE’s Call to Action to finding engineering solutions to problems posed by COVID-19.
KPCC: Teaching College from Home
Andrea Armani was interviewed about online teaching, webinars and ppe efforts at USC
Spectrum News: USC Professor Uses 3D Printers to Create Face Shields for Essential Workers
Andrea Armani was interviewed about her and colleagues’ efforts to collaborate with industry and produce PPE
Washington Post: Your smartphone as a weapon against Coronavirus
Cyrus Shahabi was interviewed about a contact tracing app his team is working on to fight the spread of COVID19
Fast Company: UVC Light and COVID19
Andrea Armani was interviewed on whether UVC light could fight COVID19
Opinion: Why We Need More Than Bluetooth Data to Fight Covid-19
In order to stop the pandemic in its tracks, we need a nuanced risk assessment that takes many factors into consideration, including people’s mobility patterns, says Cyrus Shahabi.
Music for Surviving a Pandemic
What Trojan engineers are listening to during this period of self-isolation
USC Student Collects and Distributes Protective Gear for Hospitals
Computer science and business administration student MacKenzie McClung is rounding up much-needed protective equipment for healthcare workers in Florida.
Your Social Media Feed is Biased
A USC Viterbi professor’s new research paper exposes the inherently biased nature of our social media networks.
Robotic Arms Extend the Reach of UV Disinfection
USC researchers adapt a customizable robot to autonomously perform disinfection tasks in both small and large spaces.
A Coronavirus Tracking App That’s Putting Privacy First
By anonymously tracking coronavirus spread through contact tracing, smartphone technology could help people get back to their daily lives—while keeping a close eye on the resurgence of the virus.
As the World Goes Remote, USC Researchers, Entrepreneurs Work to Fill Gap in Healthcare Supply Chain
USC researchers and alumni emphasize innovation and collaboration to support the fight against COVID-19 on the front lines.
Center for Cyber-Physical Systems: CCI Virtual Mini-Workshop on Digital Technologies for COVID-19
USC Researchers and faculty presented on how digital technologies– mobile applications, internet of things, data science, AI, and machine learning can play a role in understanding, monitoring and combatting COVID-19.
USC News: How Hardware Store Parts Transformed into Virus-Destroying Devices
A partnership between USC Viterbi and the Keck School of Medicine has produced a system — built from off-the-shelf items — that uses UV light to disinfect face shields.
USC Researchers Analyze Coronavirus Misinformation on Twitter
By analyzing millions of tweets, USC computer science researchers are investigating how false information about the coronavirus spreads on social media.
Adobe Spark: 5 Scientific Achievements Accomplished Remotely
How USC Viterbi researchers innovated, disrupted, and engaged new frontiers from a distance
USC Researchers Release Public Coronavirus Twitter Set for Academics
Dataset to track public sentiment and help researchers understand the social dimensions of the pandemic
Research Team in Race to Develop COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatments
Researchers in the USC Viterbi Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science are joining the global research effort to develop a viable vaccine to halt the global pandemic.
USC News: Faculty and staff send protective gear to medical center during coronavirus crisis
Viterbi faculty and staff are stepping up to donate masks or produce eyewear to protect Keck Medicine of USC healthcare professionals against the new coronavirus
5 Tips to Stay Cyber Secure When Working Remotely
Personal hygiene is important to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but don’t skimp on your cyber hygiene.
DEN@Viterbi: Going the Distance: USC Viterbi Provides Distance Education During COVID-19
What Happens When All Students Become On-Line Students? Look to the Engineers.