Eleven New Faculty Join USC’s Department of Computer Science

| October 3, 2022

USC Viterbi’s Department of Computer Science welcomes a diverse group of new faculty members for the 2022/2023 academic year.

New faculty members, clockwise from left: Souti Chattopadhyay, Luis Garcia, Filip Ilievski, Lars Lindemann, Harsha Madhyastha, Marco Papa, Oded Stein, Swabha Swayamdipta, Weihang Wang, Dani Yogatama, Yajie Zhao.

This academic year, USC Viterbi’s Department of Computer Science welcomes eleven new full-time faculty members to campus, with expertise ranging from human-computer interaction and software engineering to natural language processing and distributed systems.

Souti 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.

Luis Garcia joined USC as a research assistant professor of computer science 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 PhD 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 joined USC as a research assistant professor of computer science 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 PhD from the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in Amsterdam.

Lars 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 PhD 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.

Harsha Madhyastha will join USC Viterbi in 2023 as an associate professor of computer science. Madhyastha’s research is broadly in the area of distributed systems and networking. Madhyastha will come to USC from Michigan Engineering, where he serves as an associate professor. Over the last decade, his group has focused on enabling global-scale web services and improving the web’s performance and availability. More recently, his group has developed solutions for the long-term preservation of content on the web. His research has twice received the Internet Research Task Force’s Applied Networking Research Prize, in addition to several Google Faculty Research Awards, a NetApp Faculty Fellowship, a Facebook Faculty Award, and an NSF CAREER award.

Marco Papa is a senior lecturer of computer science and the former CTO of CareerBuilder and Luckman Interactive with more than 30 years of experience in the IT and internet businesses. More recently, he was 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. A Trojan alumnus, he holds a PhD in computer science from USC (’88) and now teaches courses on web technologies and principles of programming languages.

Oded 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 PhD 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 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 PhD from Carnegie Mellon University, followed by a postdoc at the Allen Institute for AI.

Weihang 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 PhD from Purdue University, where she was awarded a Maurice H. Halstead Memorial Research Award.

Dani 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 PhD from Carnegie Mellon University.

Published on October 3rd, 2022

Last updated on November 11th, 2022

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