May 20, 2019  
USC Catalogue 2017-2018 
USC Catalogue 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Computer Science

Return to: USC Viterbi School of Engineering  

Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center 104
(213) 740-4494
FAX: (213) 740-7285

Chair: Cyrus Shahabi, PhD


Chan Soon-Shiong Chair: Maja Matarić, PhD (Neuroscience Center)

Dean's Chair in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science: Priya Vashishta, PhD (Computer Science, Physics)

Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair: Nora Ayanian, PhD

Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair: Jernej Barbic, PhD

Gordon S. Marshall Chair in Engineering: Urbashi Mitra, PhD

Jack Munishian Early Career Chair; Zohrab A. Kaprielian Fellow in Engineering: Fei Sha, PhD

Niki and Max Nikias Chair in Engineering: Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan, PhD

Northrup Grumman Chair in Engineering: Ramesh Govindan, PhD

Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Chair in Computer Science: Gaurav Sukhatme, PhD

David Packard Chair in Manufacturing Engineering: Stephen C-Y Lu, PhD (Mechanical Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Charles Lee Powell Chair in Engineering: Viktor Prasanna, PhD (Electrical Engineering)

Charles Lee Powell Chair in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science: Massoud Pedram, PhD (Electrical Engineering)

Henry Salvatori Chair in Computer Science: Leonard M. Adleman, PhD

Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair: Ilias Diakonikolas, PhD

Andrew and Erna Viterbi Early Career Chair: Hao Li, PhD

Philip and Cayley MacDonald Endowed Early Career Chair: Yan Liu, PhD

Dean's Professor of Computer Science: Kevin Knight, PhD

Dean's Professor of Computer Science: Ramakant Nevatia, PhD

Dean's Professor of Computer Science: Gaurav Sukhatme, PhD

Helen N. & Emmett H. Jones Professorship in Engineering: Milind Tambe, PhD (Industrial and Systems Engineering)

Seeley G. Mudd Professor of Engineering: Shanghua Teng, PhD

TRW Professor of Software Engineering: Barry Boehm, PhD

WISE Jr. Gabilan Chair in Computer Science: Aleksandra Korolova, PhD

Professors: Leonard Adleman, PhD (Molecular Biology); Barry Boehm, PhD (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Leana Golubchik, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Ramesh Govindan, PhD; Ellis Horowitz, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Ming-Deh Huang, PhD; Laurent Itti, PhD (Neuroscience Center); Kevin Knight, PhD; Sven Koenig, PhD; Maja Matarić, PhD (Neuroscience Center); Dennis McLeod, PhD; Gerard Medioni, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Nenad Medvidovic, PhD; Aiichiro Nakano, PhD (Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics); Ulrich Neumann, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Ramakant Nevatia, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Paul Rosenbloom, PhD; Stefan Schaal, PhD (Neuroscience Center); Cyrus Shahabi, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Gaurav Sukhatme, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Milind Tambe, PhD (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Shanghua Teng, PhD

Associate Professors: Jernej Barbic, PhD; Shahram Ghandeharizadeh, PhD; William GJ Halfond, PhD; David Kempe, PhD; Fei Sha, PhD; Yan Liu, PhD

Assistant Professors: Nora Ayanian, PhD; Ilias Diakonikolas, PhD; Shaddin Dughmi, PhD; Aleksandra Korolova, PhD; Hao Li, PhD; Joseph Lim, PhD; Wyatt Lloyd, PhD; Haipeng Luo, PhD; Chao Wang, PhD

Joint Professors: Murali Annavaram, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Irving Biederman, PhD (Psychology, Neuroscience); Melvin Breuer, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Todd Brun, PhD; Tim Ting Chen, PhD (Biological Sciences); Michael Crowley, PhD (Information Technology Program); Morteza Dehghani, PhD (Psychology and Computer Science); Panayiotis Georgiou, PhD (Electrical Engineering; Kai Hwang, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Rahul Jain, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Rajiv Kalia, PhD (Physics); Carl Kesselman, PhD (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Bhaskar Krishnamachari, PhD (Electrical Engineering); C-C Jay Kuo, PhD (Signal and Image Processing); Stephen Lu, PhD (Industrial and Systems Engineering); Urbashi Mitra, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Shrikanth (Shri) Narayanan, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Hamid Nazerzadeh, PhD (Data Sciences and Operations); Viktor Prasanna, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Konstantinos Psounis, PhD; Xuehai Qian, PhD (Electrical Engineering); C.S. Raghavendra, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Benjamin Reichardt, PhD (Electrical Engineering); Remo Rohs, PhD (Computational Biology); Nicolas Schweighofer, PhD (Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy); Francisco Valero-Cuevas (Biomedial Engineering); Priya Vashishta, PhD (Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Physics); Michael Waterman, PhD (Mathematics, Biological Sciences); Richard Weinberg, PhD (Cinematic Arts); John Wilson, PhD (Spaital Sciences, Computer Science); Xianghong Zhou, PhD (Biological Sciences)

Adjunct Professors: Danny Cohen, PhD; Paul Debevec, PhD; Rick Selby, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professors: David Chiang, PhD; Mary Hall, PhD; Stacy Marsella, PhD; Larry Matthies, PhD; Chris Mattmann, PhD; Zhengyou Zhang, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professors: Aude Billard, PhD; David DeVault, PhD; Ethan Katz-Bassett, PhD; Auke Ijspeert, PhD; Marco Papa, PhD; Sethu Vijayakumar, PhD; Minlan Yu, PhD; Roger Zimmermann, PhD

Research Professors: Ewa Deelman, PhD; Yolanda Gil, PhD; Jonathan Gratch, PhD; John Heidemann, PhD; Randall Hill, PhD; Jerry Hobbs, PhD; Craig Knoblock, PhD; Premkumar Natarajan, PhD; Herbert Schorr, PhD; William Swartout, PhD

Research Associate Professors: Aram Galstyan, PhD; Andrew Gordon, PhD; Kristina Lerman, PhD; Robert Lucas, PhD; Daniel Marcu, PhD; Stacey Marsella, PhD; Wei-Min Shen, PhD; Pedro Szekely, PhD; Joseph Touch, PhD

Research Assistant Professors: Jose Luis Ambite, PhD; Ron Artstein PhD; Young Cho, PhD; Emilio Ferrara, PhD; Rafael Ferreira da Silva, PhD; Kallirroi Georgila, PhD; Anton Leuski, PhD; Jonathan May, PhD; Jelena Mirkovic, PhD; Stefan Scherer, PhD; Ari Shapiro, PhD; Evan Suma Rosenberg, PhD; David Traum, PhD; Ning Wang, PhD; Greg Ver Steeg, PhD

Professors of Engineering Practice: Victor Adamchik, PhD; Michael Zyda, PhD

Associate Professors of Engineering Practice: Jeffrey Miller, PhD; Clifford Neuman, PhD;

Lecturers: Claire Bono; William Cheng, PhD; Aaron Cote, PhD; Scott Easley, BA; Andrew Goodney, PhD; Saty Raghavachary, PhD (Senior Lecturer); Tatyana Ryutov, PhD (Senior Lecturer); Shawn Shamsian, PhD (Senior Lecturer); Michael Shindler, PhD; Sheila Tejada, PhD (Senior Lecturer)

Emeritus Professors: Michael A. Arbib, PhD (Biological Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Neuroscience and Psychology), George Bekey, PhD (Electrical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering), Aristides A.G. Requicha, PhD (Electrical Engineering)

Bachelor of Science

Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the undergraduate program in Computer Science are expected to attain the following objectives within a few years of graduation:

  1. Graduates apply the computational and analytical approaches of computer science to their chosen professions.
  2. Graduates successfully engage in life-long learning to continue to be contributing members of their communities in fields within and outside the traditional scope of computer science.
  3. Graduates exhibit high professional and ethical standards to become productive leaders in society.

Undergraduate Program Criteria

The program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science includes at least one and one-third years of computer science that covers the fundamentals of algorithms, data structures, software design, concepts of programming languages and computer organization and software; provides an exposure to a variety of programming languages and systems, including at least one higher-level language; and includes advanced course work that builds on the fundamental course work to provide depth.

The program includes at least one year of science and mathematics, including at least one-half year of mathematics, including discrete mathematics. Additional mathematics might consist of calculus, linear algebra, numerical methods, probability, statistics, number theory, geometry, or symbolic logic. The science component develops an understanding of the scientific method and provides an opportunity to experience this mode of inquiry in courses for science or engineering majors that provide some exposure to laboratory work.

Physics/Computer Science Major Requirements for the Bachelor of Science

This program is intended for students with dual interests in physics and computer science who wish to complete the essential courses for both majors within their normal four year career. See the Physics and Astronomy  Department section for course requirements.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering and Computer Science

See the listing under Computer Engineering Program .

Minor in 2-D Art for Games

This interdisciplinary minor integrates three major disciplines (fine arts, computer science and interactive media) to develop the 2-D visual skills necessary to conceptualize and illustrate images for games. For more information, see USC Roski School of Art and Design .

Minor in 3-D Art for Games

The focus of the 3-D Art for Games minor is a trans-disciplinary approach that incorporates the creative, technological and team-based communication skills necessary to develop 3-D art skills for video games. For more information, see USC Roski School of Art and Design .

Graduate Degrees

The requirements listed below are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements  of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering for master's degrees and the general requirements  of the USC Graduate School for PhD degrees. The graduate program in computer science provides intensive preparation in the basic concepts and techniques related to the design, programming and application of digital computers. Both the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered.

A Master of Science degree with specialization in software engineering is also offered. The program seeks to prepare students for an industrial leadership career in software engineering. It also serves as an introduction to this area for students who wish to pursue advanced studies and research leading to a PhD.

A Master of Science degree with specialization in intelligent robotics is also offered. This program seeks to prepare students for an industrial career in the development of computer systems for CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing) and robotics. It also serves as an introduction to this area for students who wish to pursue advanced studies and research leading to a PhD. The emphasis is on the domain of mechanical, electromechanical and mechatronic products. (CAD for digital systems is covered by a separate program offered by the Electrical Engineering-Systems department.)

A Master of Science degree with a specialization in computer networks is offered. This specialization prepares students in the areas of computer communications, networks and distributed processing.

A Master of Science in Computer Science (Multimedia and Creative Technologies) is also offered.

A Master of Science in Computer Science (High Performance Computing and Simulations) is also offered.

A Master of Science in Computer Science (Data Science) is also offered.

A Master of Science in Computer Science (Game Development) is also offered.

A Master of Science in Computer Science (Computer Security) is also offered.

A Master of Science in Computer Science Dual Degree with Tsinghua University School of Information Science and Technology – China is also offered.

A Master of Science in Computer Science (Scientists and Engineers) is also offered for students with limited background in computer science.

Admission and Prerequisites

Admission is determined by the Office of Admission and the Viterbi School of Engineering, in consultation with the Computer Science Department. The applicant is required to have a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university; satisfactory scores on the verbal and quantitative portions of the aptitude test of the Graduate Record Examinations (one advanced test from computer science, mathematics or engineering is recommended); and a substantial background in computing constitutes a minimum requirement. Foreign students must earn a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS).


    Bachelor's DegreeMinorJoint DegreeMaster's DegreeUniversity CertificateDoctoral Degree


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