News - 2017

Two ISI Division Directors Named ACM Fellows for Transformative Contributions to Technology

December 23, 2017

ISI division directors Carl Kesselman and Craig Knoblock have been named 2017 Association for Computer Machinery (ACM) Fellows for their “landmark contributions to computing.” Kesselman and Knoblock were among the top one percent of ACM members worldwide honored this year for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology.

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ISI's Networking Group Creates Interactive Internet Outages Heatmap

December 7, 2017

Researchers at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) Analysis of Network Traffic Lab are creating a geographic internet outages map to report the time, location, and severity of internet service outages around the world.

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What lies beneath: “PipeFish” robot patrols city pipes to detect underground water leaks

November 27, 2017

The United States faces a looming crisis over its deteriorating water infrastructure, and fixing it will be a monumental and expensive task. In Los Angeles alone, about two thirds of the city's 7,000 miles of water pipes are more than 60 years old and nearing the end of their useful lives.

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Graduate student profile: Emily Sheng, PhD candidate

November 22, 2017

Meet PhD candidate Emily Sheng, who is researching how natural language processing could revolutionize how knowledge is accessed in scientific literature.

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One tool to rule them all: ISI postdoctoral researcher’s ontology wizard wins best paper award

November 14, 2017

ISI postdoctoral researcher Daniel Garijo has received a Best Paper Award in the Resources Track at the 16th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC) in Vienna, Austria.

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Carl Kesselman to help develop a powerful national NIH Data Commons Platform

November 7, 2017

Carl Kesselman, an ISI Fellow and Informatics Systems Research Division director, is participating in the pilot phase of an ambitious new National Institutes of Health (NIH) data initiative to make it simpler for scientists to share and manage research data online.

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Seven things you didn't know about the internet: Q & A with ISI's John Heidemann

October 27, 2017 On October 29, 1969, the internet was born. Forty-eight years later, its influence on the world is ubiquitous. In 2017, the number of internet users around the world has surpassed three billion, connecting 50 percent of the world's population. Read More >

USC ISI to Lead Project to Simulate Dynamics of Online Social Behavior

October 23, 2017

USC's Information Sciences Institute will lead a $4.95 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiative among universities to develop large-scale simulations of online behavior in complex social networks.

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ISI computer scientist participates in Heidelberg Laureate Forum

October 18, 2017 ISI computer scientist Fred Morstatter was among 200 top students and early-career researchers selected to participate in the 2017 Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Heidelberg, Germany. Read More >

ISI's Pegasus Program Contributed to New Gravitational-Wave Detector Discovery

October 16, 2017 A collaboration that began 16 years ago between computer scientists at the USC Information Sciences Institute (ISI) and members of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo projects is opening up a new window onto the nature of the universe. Read More >

USC ISI Leads IARPA Contract for developing Hybrid Forecasting Systems

October 10, 2017 A research team led by the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at the University of Southern California's Viterbi School of Engineering has received a four-year, multi-million dollar IARPA grant to develop a human-machine hybrid forecasting system. Read More >

Nobel Prize-winning discovery on gravitational waves came about with contributions from ISI computer scientists

October 9, 2017

The Nobel Prize-winning discovery that gravitational waves exist in the universe, which in turn further confirmed Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, was made possible in part by a collaboration with USC computer scientists.

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USC ISI researchers poised to crack the code on reducing workplace stress

October 3, 2017

To combat stress in the workplace, you first need to understand why it happens. That's the aim of a groundbreaking new study underway at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) at USC's Viterbi School of Engineering, in collaboration with Keck Medicine of USC and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

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ISI's Senior Director for Administrative Affairs Receives 2017 Distinguished Service Award from Digital Government Society

October 2, 2017 The Digital Government Society has recognized Yigal Arens, USC ISI's Senior Director for Administrative Affairs, for his long and "sustained service and tireless dedication" to digital government. Read More >

TechCrunch: Researchers find that Twitter bots can be used for good.

September 25, 2017 A study co-authored by ISI researcher Emilio Ferrara found that Twitter bots can be used to run interventions that trigger or foster good behaviors. Read More

Twitter Bots for Good: USC ISI Study Reveals How Information Spreads on Social Media

September 22, 2017 After an election year marked by heated exchanges and the distribution of fake news, Twitter bots earned a bad reputationâ&euro"but not all bots are bad, suggests a new study co-authored by Emilio Ferrara, a USC Information Sciences Institute computer scientist and a research assistant professor in the department of computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Read More >

A Beautiful Find: Facilitating Schizophrenia Research

September 19, 2017 Think "big data," and schizophrenia research probably isn't the first subject that comes to mind. But that's exactly what a USC Information Sciences Institute team is pursuing. Part of a national coalition to foster novel schizophrenia research, ISI is making brain-imaging data far easier to access and integrate across disparate sources â&euro" including relational, specialized neuroimaging and clinical patient databases. Read More >

Science Magazine: Social media 'bots' tried to influence the U.S. election. Germany may be next

September 14, 2017 Research by ISI's Emilio Ferrara, which examined the use of bots during the US presidential election campaign, was highlighted in this story about the upcoming elections in Germany. Read More

New York Magazine: What Happens When Your Face Is Your Password?

September 14, 2017 Prem Natarajan, ISI's Michael Keston Executive Director, was interviewed about issues related to the use of facial-verification as a mode of authentication. Read More

ISI Recognizes Two Outstanding Summer Interns

September 14, 2017 Two Information Sciences Institute (ISI) summer interns, Chenyou Fan and Katayoun Neshatpour, have been named ISI's Director's Interns, 2017, in recognition of their exceptional research and dedication to creating innovative, impactful and potentially game-changing technologies. Read More >

XConomy: Hurricane Harvey, A Test-Bed for Internet Resilience

September 12, 2017 ISI's John Heidemann tracked internet outages related to Hurricane Harvey, mapping the storm's destructive path as it made landfall in Southeast Texas. Read More

Everything a computer wanted to know about humans (But was too afraid to ask).

September 6, 2017 Computers can outperform the greatest minds in many challenges, but while new approaches in machine learning are making in huge strides, from classifying images to understanding languages, machines still fall short in other areas. Read More >

USC ISI professor tracks Hurricane Harvey through the Eyes of the Internet

September 5, 2017 John Heidemann, a USC Information Sciences Institute computer scientist and a research professor in the department of computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, is mapping the destructive impact of Hurricane Harvey through the eyes of the internet â&euro" by measuring the size and location of internet outages as the storm hit southeast Texas last week. Read More >

ISI Team's AI Research Could Speed Language Translation — and Save Lives

August 22, 2017 Words matter. And in the wake of a crisis, understanding another countryâ&euro&trades language is vital so that information never gets lost in translation. Read More >

A Rose is a Rose is an Algorithm: ISI Students Create Award-Winning Interactive Poetry Generator

August 22, 2017 If you need a little poetic inspiration, a team of three students from USC's Information Sciences Institute has just the thing: an interactive poetry generation system, which recently won best demo award at the 2017 Association for Computational Linguistics (ACL) conference. Read More >

ISI Publication Recognition Awards Celebrate Stellar Research

August 18, 2017 ISI's Publication Recognition Awards celebrate the Institute's most prolific authors, whose research publications are fueling discovery and innovation in numerous disciplines spanning cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, science automation and advanced electronics. Read More >

LA Times: USC study finds that movies are still dominated by men, on- and off-screen

August 13, 2017 ISI researcher Shrikanth Narayanan's study on diversity and stereotypes in movie dialogues is highlighted in the LA Times. Read More

Bloomberg: Big Data Shows Big Promise in Medicine

August 13, 2017 ISI's Greg Ver Steeg was highlighted for his algorithm CorEx which was used to help friend and computational biologist Shirley Pepke find treatment options for her cancer diagnosis. Read More

ISI Computer Scientist Wins Best Paper Award for Entity Resolution Breakthrough

August 7, 2017 ISI computer scientist Mayank Kejriwal has been awarded best paper at the 2017 Semantic Web Science Association (SWSA) Distinguished Dissertation Awards. Read More >

In the News: Novel X-Ray Technique Maps Microchip in 3D

August 2, 2017 An ISI research team, led by Advanced Electronics division director John Damoulakis, is developing techniques to clearly image the smallest features in silicon integrated circuit chips at a resolution of sub-10 nanometers (10 billionths of a meter). Read More >

Collaborating to Combat Cyberwar: DETER Team Wins Federal Government Award

July 25, 2017 Cyberwar knows no geographic boundaries, but neither does ISI's award-winning Cyber Defense Technology Experimental Research (DETER) group. Read More >

Better Than Ever

July 24, 2017 ISI today attracts more federal research funding than at any comparable time in its 45-year history. And the growing institute recently opened a new office in Greater Boston. Read More >

Unlocking the Gate: ISI Team Wins Recognition for New FPGA Approach

July 13, 2017 A team headed by Matthew French, a senior supervising computer scientist at the USC Information Sciences Institute, is garnering attention for a novel approach to coding field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips. Read More >

WIRED: The Human Army Teaching Phones AI to Drive

July 10, 2017 Prem Natarajan, ISI's Michael Keston Executive Director, was interviewed on the best strategies to develop artificial intelligence. Read More

San Diego Union Tribune: USC's Expanding Scientific Ambitions Include San Diego

July 8, 2017 ISI's Carl Kesselman is featured in an article about USC's efforts to expand its imprint in the biosciences. Kesselman was interviewed regarding his effort to create a means for scientists to organize data digitally. Read More

Test Drive: Terry Benzel Joins California Transportation Commission Evaluation

July 7, 2017 California is known both for a cheery, idealized car culture and the grinding reality of traffic and sometimes dangerously polluted air. Undergirding those opposing images: 50,000 miles of aging roads, highways and freeways that continually must be maintained and repaired with gas-tax funding. Read More >

What's Going On: Answering Questions With Web Corpora

June 28, 2017 Pedro Szekely understands dark matter in an all-too- human, not cosmological, universe. Beginning in 2015, his work with Craig Knoblock on sophisticated, cloud-based analytics has generated substantial media attention for its ability to expose human trafficking hidden deeply online. Read More >

Root Matters: ISI Greatly Enhances Internet Root Server

June 12, 2017 The USC Information Sciences Institute launched a second physical site of the Internet root server it manages on May 2, greatly boosting the service's ability to fulfill an unusual, dual mandate. Read More >

The Next Platform: Python Coils Around FPGAs for Broader Accelerator Reach

June 5, 2017 An ISI team has created a new platform that makes FPGAs more usable and accessible for everyday domain scientists. Read More

ISI Postdoctoral Scholar Chosen for Prestigious Program

May 12, 2017 Yonatan Bisk, a postdoctoral scholar and research associate in ISI's intelligent systems division, has been named to a novel program being offered by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). Read More >

ISI Researchers Recognized for Reproducibility

May 8, 2017 A 2013 journal paper co-authored by Information Sciences Institute Director of Knowledge Technologies Yolanda Gil and postdoctoral student Daniel Garijo is among a handful of articles chosen to represent the best of open-access publishing. Read More >

John Heidemann and Student Win Best Paper

May 2, 2017 ISI research professor John Heidemann, together with post-doctoral scholar Ricardo de Oliveria Schmidt and masters student Jan Harm Kuipers, both at the University of Twente (Netherlands), were awarded Best Paper at the 2017 Passive and Active Measurements (PAM) conference in late March. Read More >

What's Going On: Of Bots and Human Behavior

April 27, 2017 Emilio Ferrara's research on social bots was compelling even before the current Congressional investigations into likely Russian hacks surrounding the 2016 US presidential election. Read More >

Yigal Arens Receives Digital Government Honor

April 27, 2017 ISI Intelligent Systems Division Director Yigal Arens has been honored for distinguished service by the Digital Government Society (DGS), which fosters innovative deployment of technology and information to support public policy, upgrade government operations and engage citizens worldwide. Read More >

What's Going On: Handling Sensor Changes and Failures

April 18, 2017 Craig Knoblock is best known for research on a large scale: semantic alignment of data in the widely used open-source tool called Karma, geospatial mapping techniques used by the Army in Iraq, collaboration on a commercial web data extraction platform, and recent, groundbreaking progress on international human trafficking with Pedro Szekely. Read More >

What's Going On: Teaching Data Science with Data Science

March 28, 2017 Call it (data science)2. In a February, 2017 seminar, Jose Luis Ambite described a project that uses data science—a concept unifying statistics, data analysis, related methods and their results—to teach biomedical researchers about data science. Read More >

Twitter Bot Analysis Receives Wide Media Coverage

March 16, 2017 An analysis of Twitter bots led by ISI's Emilio Ferrara is garnering high-profile media coverage around the globe. Read More >

What's Going On: Heterogeneous Computing

March 9, 2017 Andrew Schmidt is in favor of lowering entry barriers in computing-intensive fields, where fewer obstacles translate into faster innovation. Read More >

Bradley Fidler Named Postel Scholar

March 7, 2017 Bradley Fidler, an Internet researcher and historian at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has been appointed a visiting scholar at ISI's Postel Center for Experimental Networking. Read More >

Spanish Newspaper Features ISI Fake Bots Analysis

February 15, 2017 Emilio Ferrara's work on fake Twitter bots was reported in the February 11, 2017 edition of El Periódico de Catalunya, a major Spanish newspaper based in Barcelona. Read More >

ISI Analysis of Jihadi Tweets Featured by MIT Technology Review

February 14, 2017 MIT Technology Review covered work by Adam Badawy and Emilio Ferrara that used data mining to analyze Twitter messages by 25,000 ISIS supporters. In the February 10, 2017 issue, MIT TR describes Badawy and Ferrara's exploration of 1.9 million tweets from now-closed accounts. Read More >

Recipients of ISI's Institute Achievement Award Announced

January 24, 2017 ISI has presented Pedro Szekey, Ewa Deelman, and John Heidemann with an Institute Achievement Award in recognition of innovative and exemplary contributions to research at ISI. Awards were presented at ISI's annual holiday celebration on 16 December 2016. Read More >

Clifford Neuman interviewed on KABC

January 23, 2017 Clifford Neuman was interviewed in January for a ransomware story by KABC about the ransomware attack at LA Valley College, in which the college paid $28,000 in bitcoins to unlock its systems. Read More >

SERC Creates Hands-On Tracking Course

January 23, 2017 The Space Engineering Research Center, a joint effort between the USC Viterbi Astronautics Department and ISI, has just launched a novel class on satellite-to-ground communication. Read More >