Cyrus Shahabi, distinguished professor of computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and spatial sciences, chairs USC Viterbi’s Computer Science Department. The holder of the Helen N. and Emmett H. Jones Professorship in Engineering, Shahabi also serves as director of the Integrated Media Systems Center and the Informatics Program. He spoke to senior writer Marc Ballon about the future of computing at USC and beyond.
What about the new Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Human-Centered Computation Building most excites you?
There are so many aspects to be excited about, it’s hard to pick just one! As chair of the department, I am excited that, for the first time, we will have all the computer science faculty together in one building, as well as a dedicated space for computer science students. I am especially excited about the collaboration spaces throughout the building, the new lab spaces, office-hour rooms, discussion spaces and student organization spaces.
As a faculty member, I’m thrilled that the building will offer us an extraordinary opportunity for cross-collaboration, both within computer science and across disciplines, to come up with new and innovative ideas. As a scientist, I am excited that the building itself is a “living lab” to study sustainability, fitted with numerous sensors and actuators, producing data that can be analyzed to control the indoor environment optimally, with little waste.