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Urbashi Mitra

Gordon S. Marshall Chair in Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science


  • Doctoral Degree, Electrical Engineering, Princeton University
  • Master's Degree, Electrical Engineering, University of California - Berkeley
  • Bachelor's Degree, Electrical Engineering, University of California - Berkeley


Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, 1994, Princeton University, Priceton, NJ.
Urbashi Mitra received the B.S. and the M.S. degrees from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987 (high honors) and 1989 respectively, both in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. From 1989 until 1990 she worked as a Member of Technical Staff at Bellcore in Red Bank, NJ. In 1994, she received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in Electrical Engineering. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Mitra was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio. She became an Associate Professor in 2000. She joined the University of Southern California in 2001 and was promoted to Full Professor in 2005. She was a Dean's Professor of Electrical Engineering from 2015 to 2017; she is currently the Gordon S. Marshall Chair in Engineeirng.

At the University of Southern California, Dr. Mitra is a member of the Communication Sciences Institute, the Signal and Image Processing Institute, and the Bridge Institute; she holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Computer Science.

Research Summary

My research has focussed on problems in communication theory, information theory, and signal processing. While my early work centered on wireless communication systems as motivated by commercial applications, my current research endeavors to address fundamental questions at the boundaries of communication, estimation, and control for science. Early work on wireless communications focused on point-to-point communication (transmitter to receiver) which then evolved to recognize that methods had to be designed for networks of users. We are now at a point where we must consider networks wherein communication, sensing and control must be jointly designed. Key applications in which we have considered such joint communication, control and sensing problems include wireless body area networks (WBANs) for mobile health, joint spectrum sensing, resource allocation and communication for cognitive radio, network design for collections of underwater autonomous vehicles and finally, the current application of microbial networks. We have also had a focus on the application and adaptation of modern statistical methods (sparse approximation, low-rank, etc.) to a variety of communication and signal processing problems.

Keywords: cognitive radio, V2V communications, structure signal processing methods, compressed sensing, matrix completion and factorization, target localization, channel estimation, molecular diffusion channels, microbial community modeoling, underwater acoustic communications, wireless body area sensing networks, adaptive algorithms, equalization, wireless resource allocation, ultra wideband communications, and sensor networks.


  • 2021 Viterbi School of Engineering Senior Research Award
  • 2017 IEEE Information Theory Society Plenary Speaker, IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory
  • 2017 IEEE Communications Society’s Women in Communications Engineering Committee IEEE Communications Society, Women in Communications Engineering Technical Achievement Award
  • 2017 USC Viterbi Gordon S. Marshall Chair in Engineering
  • 2016 United Kingdom Royal Academy of Engineering United Kingdom Royal Academy of Engineering, Distinguished Visitor Fellowship 2016
  • 2016 Leverhulme Trust Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professorship
  • 2016 Fulbright Foundation Fulbright US Scholar Award
  • 2016 IEEE Communications Society's Women in Communications Engineering Committee IEEE Communications Society, Women in Communications Engineering, Mentorship Award
  • 2015 IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2015 INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine Inspiring Women in STEM Award
  • 2015 Viterbi School of Engineering Dean's Professor of Electrical Engineering
  • 2015 IEEE Communications Society inaugural Editor in Chief
  • 2012 IEEE Globecom 2012 Conference Globecom 2012 Best Paper Award
  • 2012 National Academy of Engineering Lillian Gilbreth Lectureship
  • 2011 National Academy of Engineering U.S. National Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Engineering 2011 China-America Frontiers of Engineering Symposium Speaker
  • 2009 IEEE DCOSS Conference Best Applications Paper Award
  • 2009 Viterbi School of Engineering Dean's Faculty Service Award
  • 2009 USC USC Remarkable Woman Award
  • 2008 USC/Mellon Foundation USC Mellon Mentoring Award (Faculty-to-Faculty)
  • 2007 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Fellow of Professional Society
  • 2003 NAE National Academy of Engineering Frontiers in Engineering Symposium Participant
  • 2001 Okawa Foundation Okawa Award
  • 2000 Ohio State College of Engineering Lumley Research Award
  • 1997 Ohio State University Engineers' Student Council Charles E. MacQuigg Student Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • 1996 National Science Foundation CAREER Grant
  • Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - Systems
  • Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science
  • EEB 536
  • Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Center
  • 3740 McClintock Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 2565
Contact Information
  • (213) 740-4667