34 new hires, including the new biomedical engineering chair, join for fall and spring semesters

Jade Bahng | October 28, 2022

USC Viterbi New Faculty Hires 2022-2023

Archimedes Plaza at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering (Photo credit/Noe Montes)

Archimedes Plaza at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering (Photo credit/Noe Montes)



Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Amene (Neda) Maghsoodi

Gabilan Assistant Professor

Joining in January 2023, Maghsoodi’s research lies at the interface of applied mechanics, materials science and biology and develops novel theoretical-computational models to elucidate complex behavior of soft structures in engineering and biology. Maghsoodi was named a Rising Star in Mechanical Engineering by UC-Berkeley and received the Best Paper Award in the ASME International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems. She received her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and M.Sc. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and later a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

Saakar Byahut

Lecturer

Byahut, a lecturer in aerospace and mechanical engineering, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. His research interests include commercial aviation, aircraft design, fluid mechanics and engineering education. He received his Ph.D. here at USC working with Professor Alejandra Uranga on electric propulsion systems for novel aircraft of the future. At USC, he also advises the AeroDesign Team, which builds exciting new remote-controlled aircraft each year to participate in the AIAA Design/Build/Fly competition.

 

Emma Singer

Lecturer

Singer, a lecturer in aerospace and mechanical engineering, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. Her research is broadly multidisciplinary, from micro-robotics to micro-fabrication, designing and building autonomous flying machines while studying the fluid dynamic mechanisms that make these robotic “insects” work. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from CU Boulder and her Ph.D. from USC.

 

 


Department of Biomedical Engineering

Yingxiao (Peter) Wang

Professor

Incoming chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Wang, a research leader in the field of precision medicine, begins at USC Viterbi on January 1, 2023. Wang’s research includes the development of genetically-encoded molecule biosensors based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and the application of these biosensors for the visualization and quantification of molecular signals in live cells with high spatiotemporal resolution under physical/mechanical environment. He is also interested in integrating the cutting-edge technologies in molecular engineering, live cell imaging and nanotechnology for the engineering of machinery molecules to reprogram cellular functions. Wang received the Wallace H. Coulter Early Career Award (both Phase I and Phase II), the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, and National Institutes of Health Independent Scientist Award. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanics and fluid mechanics from Peking University in 1992 and 1996, respectively, and received his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in 2002.


Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Zhenglu Li

Assistant Professor

Li, an assistant professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, will start at USC Viterbi in January 2023. He is broadly interested in developing and applying massively-parallelized computational methods based on many-body quantum theories to study excited-state properties of materials, including bulk solids and reduced-dimensional nanostructures. He received his Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley in 2019, and currently is a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Yu-Tsun Shao

Assistant Professor

Shao, an assistant professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, will start at USC Viterbi in January 2023. Shao’s primary research focuses on understanding the interplay between spin, lattice, polarization, and charge in quantum materials by developing and employing novel electron microscopy techniques, specifically 4D-STEM. He received the Robert P. Apkarian Postdoctoral Scholar Award in 2021, the Presidential Student Award of the Microscopy Society of America in 2016, and the Ludo Frevel Crystallography Scholarship Award of the International Centre for Diffraction Data in 2016. He received his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Professor David Muller’s group at Cornell University.


Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Thomas Petersen

Assistant Professor

Petersen, an assistant professor in the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. His research interests are in applied mechanics with a focus on reactive cementitious and geo-materials. Petersen spent three years working as a senior research engineer at ExxonMobil, where he developed technologies to improve the integrity of wells during construction and operation. He received his master’s and Ph.D. in the civil and environmental engineering department at MIT in 2015 and 2019, respectively.

Sifat Muin

Research Assistant Professor

Muin is a research assistant professor at the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since January 2022. Her research interest lies in earthquake engineering with an emphasis on structural health monitoring, machine learning, and response-based damage detection. Muin has published over 25 research publications and is an active member of Structural Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) network and Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). She earned her Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley in 2018.

Bo-Tong Zheng

Research Assistant Professor

Zheng is a research assistant professor at the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since July 2022. Zheng’s current research focuses on digital construction and 3D printing of concrete, also covering advanced modeling of structural behavior. He serves as the assistant editor for the journal Advances in Structural Engineering. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Houston in 2016 and later joined The Hong Kong Polytechnic University as a postdoctoral fellow and became a research assistant professor in 2020.

 Roxana Javid

Senior Lecturer

Starting in August 2022, Javid has been involved in projects and educational programs such as the Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship and Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) programs to help the next generation of transportation professionals. She currently serves as a member of the Transportation Research Board AJE35 Committee.  Javid completed her Ph.D. in civil engineering at Texas Tech University, then joined the faculty of Savannah State University where she was Director of the Transportation Infrastructures and Geotechnics Education and Research (TIGER) Group.

 


Department of Computer Science

 Harsha Madhyastha

Associate Professor

Madhyastha, an associate professor in the computer science department, started at USC Viterbi in January 2023. Madhyastha’s research is broadly in the area of distributed systems. Over the last decade, his group has focused on enabling cost-effective service deployments which span the globe and improving the web’s performance and availability. Madhyastha’s research has received the IRTF’s Applied Networking Research Prize twice and led to award papers at OSDI, NSDI, IMC and IEEE CNS. He received multiple Google Faculty Research Awards, a NetApp Faculty Fellowship, a Facebook Faculty Award, and an NSF CAREER award. Madhyastha will come to USC from Michigan Engineering, where he serves as an associate professor.

Souti Chattopadhyay

Assistant Professor

Chattopadhyay joined USC as an assistant professor of computer science in August 2022. Her work lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, software engineering and cognitive science. Specifically, her research focuses on understanding how humans make decisions when interacting with interfaces, particularly programming interfaces. Ultimately, she aims to understand and model cognitive processes in experts and end-users of computing to make tools and platforms that improve user experience and productivity. In 2020, her paper, “A Tale from the Trenches: Cognitive Bias in Software Development” received an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award.

Weihang Wang

Assistant Professor

Wang joined USC as an assistant professor of computer science in August 2022 with a research focus on software engineering. Noted for her work in program analysis and software testing of web applications, Wang joins USC from the University of Buffalo, where she was awarded a Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a Facebook Testing and Verification Research Award, and a Mozilla Research Award. She received her Ph.D. from Purdue University, where she was awarded a Maurice H. Halstead Memorial Research Award.

Dani Yogatama

Assistant Professor

Yogatama joined USC as an assistant professor of computer science in August 2022. His research interests lie in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. Prior to his arrival at USC, he was a senior staff research scientist at DeepMind, where he worked on large language models, reinforcement learning, and neural network architectures. He was a Monbukagakusho fellow at the University of Tokyo and received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Lars Lindemann

Assistant Professor

Lindemann will join USC as an assistant professor of computer science in January 2023. He has been serving as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania after receiving his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology. His research interests include systems and control theory, formal methods and verification, and safety in autonomous systems. He received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2021 Conference on Decision and Control (as a co-author) and the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the 2019 Conference on Decision and Control. He was a finalist for the Best Paper Award at the 2022 Conference on Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control, and for the Best Student Paper Award at the 2018 American Control Conference.

Oded Stein

Assistant Professor

Stein will join USC as an assistant professor of computer science in January 2023. His research focuses on all things geometry, including geometry processing, numerical mathematics and optimization, computer graphics, computer-aided fabrication, physical simulation, and differential geometry. His goal is to make the useful tools of geometry processing and computer-aided fabrication more economical, robust, and accessible to scientists of all fields as well as lay users. He received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from Columbia University in 2020 and has since been serving as a postdoctoral fellow at MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab.

Swabha Swayamdipta

Assistant Professor

Swayamdipta joined USC as an assistant professor of computer science in August 2022. Her research interests are in natural language processing and machine learning, with a primary interest in the estimation of dataset quality, the semi-automatic collection of impactful data, and evaluating how human biases affect dataset construction and model decisions. At USC, Swayamdipta has launched the Data, Interpretability, Language and Learning (DILL) Lab. She received her Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University, followed by a postdoc at the Allen Institute for AI.

Luis Garcia

Research Assistant Professor

Garcia joined the USC Viterbi computer science department as a research assistant professor in July 2022. His research interests include the safety and security of learning-enabled cyber-physical systems, malware analysis and reverse engineering, industrial control system security and verification and neurosymbolic architectures for trustworthy cyber-physical systems. Garcia was previously a postdoctoral scholar in the Networked and Embedded Systems Laboratory (NESL) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He joined USC ISI’s Networking and Cybersecurity Division as a research computer scientist in June 2020. Garcia received his Ph.D. in computer engineering with a cyber security track working on the safety and security of cyber-physical industrial control systems at Rutgers University in 2018.

Filip Ilievski

Research Assistant Professor

Ilievski, a research assistant professor in the computer science department, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. He is also a research lead at the Center on Knowledge Graphs within USC’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI). His research focuses on developing robust and explainable neuro-symbolic technology with positive real-world impact, based on neural methods and high-quality knowledge. Ilievski has over 40 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier venues on commonsense reasoning, information extraction, and knowledge graphs. He received his Ph.D. in Natural Language Processing from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam.

Yajie Zhao

Research Assistant Professor

Zhao, the interim director of the Vision & Graphics Lab at the USC Institute for Creative Technolgies (ICT), started at USC Viterbi in July 2022. Her research interests are human face modeling, tracking, AR/VR related face appearance synthesizing. She received her Ph.D. from University of Kentucky in 2017 and later join ICT as a post-doctoral researcher.

 

Marco Papa

Senior Lecturer

Papa joined the computer science department in August 2022. He is formerly the CTO of CareerBuilder and Luckman Interactive, and, more recently, the chief technologist at the Los Angeles Superior Court, the largest court system in the world. He is the principal of Intersect World LLC, a mobile development company that develops mobile software for the iOS and Android platforms.

 

 


Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Demetrios Christodoulides

Professor

Christodoulides a professor in the electrical and computer engineering department, started at USC Viterbi in January 2022. He has an interest in linear and nonlinear optical beam interactions, synthetic optical materials, optical solitons and quantum electronics. Christodoulides received the OSA Max Born Award in 2018 and the R.W. Wood Prize of OSA in 2011 and is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society. He received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1986 and later joined Bellcore as a post-doctoral fellow at Murray Hill.

Feng Qian

Associate Professor

Qian will join USC Viterbi in Janurary 2023. His research interests cover the broad areas of intelligent mobile systems (including 5G), virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) systems, cross-layer system design & analysis, application & transport layer protocols, real-world system measurement and system security. Qian obtained his bachelor’s degree from the ACM Honors Class at Shanghai Jiao Tong University and his Ph.D. from University of Michigan.

 

Yasser Khan

Assistant Professor

Khan joined the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an assistant professor in January 2022. His research focuses on additive manufacturing and hardware AI to produce skin-like wearables, implantables and ingestibles. Khan published over 40 research publications in the most reputed platforms in the field, which were highlighted by BBC News, Wall Street Journal, NSF News. He received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018 and was also a postdoctoral researcher in the chemical engineering department at Stanford University.

Christopher Lin Torng

Assistant Professor

Torng will join the electrical and computer engineering department at USC Viterbi in January 2023. His research focuses on high-performance and energy-efficient computer architectures and domain-specific accelerators, with an emphasis on developing novel architectures and tools to accelerate chip-building design cycles. Torng has been selected as a Rising Star in Computer Architecture by Georgia Tech in 2018 and an IEEE MICRO Top Pick from Hot Chips in 2018. He received his Ph.D. degree from Cornell University in 2019 and was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University in the department of electrical engineering.

Mengjie Yu

Assistant Professor

Yu, an assistant professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, started at USC Viterbi in January 2022. Her current research interests include nonlinear physics, optical frequency comb, mid-infrared spectroscopy, coherent photonic computing and quantum photonics, enabled by advanced nanofabrication of low-loss photonic structures based on silicon, silicon nitride, and lithium niobate. Yu is the 2020 Optical Society (OSA) Ambassador, winner of the 2016 Maiman Paper Competition and the 2016 Emil Wolf Paper Competition, and a finalist of the 2020 and 2021 Tingye Li Innovation Prize. She was also the Caltech 2019 Young Investigator Lecturer and selected as the Rising Star Women in Engineering in the Asian Deans’ Forum 2019. Yu received her Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering in 2018 from Cornell.

Quntao Zhuang

Assistant Professor

Zhuang, an assistant professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. His research focuses on the theory of quantum sensing and communication. He is a DARPA-YFA and NSF CAREER awardee. He got his Ph.D. in physics from MIT in 2018 and was an assistant professor at University of Arizona prior to joining USC.

 

Zaijun Chen

Research Assistant Professor

Chen joins us this year, anticipated to be a research assistant professor in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. His previous work focuses on quantum simulation with ultra-cold atoms in optical tweezers and optical computing for machine learning applications. He received his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) and LMU Munich in 2019.

 

Susan Schober

Senior Lecturer

Schober joined USC Viterbi in August 2022. Her research interests include creating novel, low power analog circuits for ultra-deep sub-um and nanoscale CMOS technologies, developing phase-locked loops for multi-GHz frequency synthesis, designing mixed-signal IC blocks for wireless and wireline systems including amplifiers, ADCs, and DACs, and the automation of analog circuit design. Schober also co-founded the company CircuitSeed, LLC and teaches analog circuit design at USC.

 


Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Giacomo Nannicini

Associate Professor

Nannicini joins us this year, anticipated to be an associate professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, started at USC Viterbi in August 2022. His research area is mathematical optimization broadly defined, but he also worked in linear and nonlinear integer programming, network optimization, dynamic programming, derivative-free optimization, quantum computing, transportation, supply chain, sustainable architecture, engineering and energy related problems. Giacomo is the recipient of several awards, including the 2021 Beale-Orchard-Hays Prize,  the 2016 COIN-OR Cup, the 2015 Prix Robert Faure. Prior to joining USC, he was a research staff member in the Quantum Algorithms Group at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.

Abigail Horn

Research Assistant Professor

Horn, a research assistant professor in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, started at USC in July 2022. The general area of her research is the combination of approaches from network and computational social science and systems modeling with large-scale data sources to design solutions to pressing public health challenges related to food systems — from food safety to nutrition. She obtained her Ph.D. in engineering systems from the Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT and recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship in biostatistics at USC.

 Niloufar Izadinia

Lecturer

Izadinia will be joining USC Viterbi as a lecturer in the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering in January 2023. Her work advances models and methods in data-driven large-scale optimization and decision-making under uncertainty. Her applied research interests are operations, supply chain management and sustainable designs. Izadinia is the recipient of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) HRP Grant Augmentation Award in 2019 and the Hurter Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award at Northwestern University in 2021. She is a Ph.D. candidate in industrial engineering and management sciences at Northwestern University.


USC Information Technology Program (ITP)

Maryam Majedi

Senior Lecturer

Majedi joined USC Viterbi in August 2022. Her research focuses on embedding ethics into computer science courses. She holds a M.Sc. in high-performance scientific computing from the University of New Brunswick and a fellowship in medical innovation from Western University. Majedi received her Ph.D. in data privacy at the University of Calgary. Her Ph.D. work resulted in introducing a new privacy policy modelling technique.

 

Reza Jafarkhani

Senior Lecturer

Jafarkhani joined USC Viterbi as a senior lecturer in August 2022. His research focuses on system identification, damage detection and health monitoring of civil infrastructures using vibration data recordings. Jafarkhani received his Ph.D in civil engineering from USC in 2013. He is teaching machine learning and programming.

 

 

 

 

Published on October 28th, 2022

Last updated on October 28th, 2022

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