30 year anniversary of Communication Sciences Institute
Organizers: Andy Molisch & Alan Willner
Sponsored: Spring 2012 – Fall 2012
November 29 - 30, 2012
USC Davidson Conference Center
Background: the Communication Sciences Institute (CSI) of the EE Department was founded in 1982. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, the faculty decided to hold a conference that should present research results of our alumni, as well as current faculty and students. The conference was planned to be held over a period of 1.5 days, at the Davidson Center at USC.
Attendance: the attendance of the meeting was excellent: not only 82 USC faculty and staff, but more importantly 68 Visitors, for a total of 150 attendants (this is more than many international workshops). This was helped by the fact that we placed the conference in the week before Globecom (a major international conference) in Anaheim, so that many attendants could combine their trips.
Keynotes: we managed to have two extremely high-profile keynote speakers: Dr. Andrew Viterbi, who gave the naming gift to the Viterbi school, and Dr. Roberto de Marca, the 2013 president-elect of IEEE. Both keynote speakers are furthermore alumni of the school.
Scientific program: a number of invited talks gave an overview of the wide variety of topics researched by our alumni; we also presented a few examples of the topics current faculty is researching (please find the complete program at http://csi.usc.edu/csi30/program.html). Further presentations were given in poster sessions: a total of 44 posters was presented. A best-poster award (which included an i-pad mini as prize) was given to the top two posters.
Panels and historical retrospective: The panel on “Founding a Startup - Communications in the Entrepreneurial World” discussed the entrepreneurial aspects of communications engineering, and was discussed by an illustrious panel of alumni who have been successful in the business world. The panel on “the Future of Communications Research in Academia & Industry” discussed the general challenges of how to select promising topics and ensure sufficient funding and acknowledgement of research. A historical retrospective of USC in general and CSI in particular also proved very popular.