Key activities sponsored by the Ming Hsieh Institute include supporting ground-breaking proposals by our faculty members to launch research and other academic endeavors that enhance the electrical engineering department in significant ways. Proposals are evaluated by the MHI Faculty Advisory Council and / or the MHI leadership. Submit a proposal to request support.

Sponsorship is aimed to support programmatic activities that broadly benefit electrical engineering faculty and students, build an energetic academic environment, and increase the department’s impact and visibility. This includes venture funding for activities under three well-defined themes – Networks, Computation & Devices, and Healthcare – to initiate research and academic programs that are strikingly innovative and forward-looking. The Ming Hsieh Institute supports the below activities.


Design and analysis of communication networks, including next-generation Internet, cooperative wireless networks, optical networks, cognitive radio systems, sensor networks and mobile-based sensing, vehicular networks, underwater networks, and social networks.

Fifth Annual Southern California Symposium on Network Economics & Game Theory, 2013
Principal Investigator: Rahul Jain
Sponsored: Fall 2013 – November 7-8, 2013
The Annual Southern California Network Economics and Game Theory (NEGT) Symposium began in 2009 and is now entering its fifth year. It is a multi-university, inter-disciplinary academic workshop with significant local, but also national and international participation. The academic focus of the 2 day workshops is on economic and game theoretic problems that arise in communications, networks, power systems and social networks. There is significant participation from Electrical engineers, Computer Scientists and Economists.

Large-Scale Software-Radio Testbed
Sponsored: Spring 2011 – present
Principal Investigator: K. Psounis, G. Caire, A. Molisch, M. Chen
Co-PIs: A. Dimakis, R. Govindan, H. Hashemi, R. Jain, B. Krisnamachari, J.Kuo, T. Levi, U. Mitra, A. Ortega
Large-Scale Software-Radio Testbed aims to build the best software radio testbed in the world at USC.

NEGT Symposium
Principal Investigator: Rahul Jain
Sponsored: Fall 2011
This annual event has raised the profile of the hosting institutions in the area, and lead to development of a thriving local research community. It also gives our graduate students exposure to high quality research, as well as a chance to interact with topnotch people in a very relaxed environment.

The Smartphone in Your Pocket – Refreshing the Hardware of EE 579
Principal Investigator: Murali Annavaram
Sponsored: Spring 2011
The goal of this MHI grant was to provide greater platform selection to the students of EE 579 (Wireless and Mobile Networks Design and Laboratory).

Third Annual School of Information Theory
Principal Investigators: Aylin Yener and Gerhard Kramer
Sponsored: Summer 2010
The school offered graduate students and postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to learn from leading experts in information theory through short courses and talks as well as the chance to present their own work.

Computation & Devices

This thrust focuses on materials, devices, technologies, architectures, and computer tools towards realization energy-efficient, fast, and reliable computation systems beyond Moore’s Law in 2020. Examples include quantum engineering and quantum information processing.

A Single Photon Source Testbed for Quantum Computing and Quantum Information Processing
Principal Investigator: Stephen Cronin
Co-PIs: Tony Levi, Todd Brun, Daniel Lidar, Michelle Povinelli, Alan Willner, John O’Brien, Wei Wu
Sponsored:11/1/13 – 10/31/14 (1 year)
This proposal aims to build an electrically-driven single photon source testbed at USC. Single photon sources are an essential building block for quantum information processing. Currently, there are no off-the-shelf components capable of producing single photons in a controllable way. As a result, a vast majority of the existing work in the field has been theoretical rather than experimental. The proposed single photon source testbed will enable various algorithms that have previously been put forth theoretically to be implemented experimentally.

22nd California Nonlinear Control Workshop
Principal Investigator: Petros Ioannou
Sponsored: Spring 2012
To support the hosting of the California Workshop on Nonlinear Control where students and postdocs from Southern California Universities present and get to meet with other researchers in the area. The event takes place at a different campus every semester on a rotational basis. The 22nd one is USC’s turn to host. The event was held on May 18, 2012 at Davis Auditorium

Second International Conference on Quantum Error Correction
Principal Investigators: Daniel Lidar and Todd Brun
Sponsored: Fall 2011
Quantum Information Science and Technology (QIST) is concerned with the use of quantum hardware and brought together a wide group of experts to discuss all aspects of decoherence control and fault tolerance at the conference on December 5-9, 2011. The conference included talks surveying the latest experimental progress and promoted an interaction between theoreticians and experimentalists.

Experimental Mini-Cluster to Support Vlsi and Architecture Classes
Principal Investigator: Sandeep Gupta, Collaborators: Woojoo Lee, Doochul Shin
Sponsored: Spring 2011
Developments to date: Using the MHI funds, we have acquired an eight-node cluster.


Research and development in devices, signals and systems targeting critical problems in biology and biomedicine with scientific and translational impact on human health and well being.

Creating the USC Technology Enabled Aging Mind Center (TEAMc)
PI: Shrikanth Narayanan
Co-PIs: Urbashi Mitra, Murali Annavaram, Panayiotis Georgiou, Sandeep Gupta, Gaurav Sukhatme
Sponsored: 8/29/13 – 8/30/14 (1 year)
The goal of TEAMc is to build and test a wireless health and wellness monitoring system with a particular focus on the aging population. As part of the project, we envision building the system components for test deployment, deploying the system on a select few participants, and do initial analysis and modeling on the system and the generated data. These efforts will crucially seed the efforts of TEAMc creation, and enable scaling up its efforts for extramural funding.

12th International Meeting on Fully Three-Dimensional Image Reconstruction in Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
PI: Richard Leahy
Co-PI: Bing Bai
Sponsored: June 2013
Fully3D is a relatively small meeting that brings together researchers focused on improving computational methods for 3D medical image reconstruction, particularly in x-ray CT, PET and SPECT. Many of the major developments in this field have first been presented at Fully3D. This years meeting was held in Lake Tahoe in June 2013 with a main focus on reducing x-ray dose in CT imaging studies. Current and former USC EE faculty, students and postdocs comprised a majority of the organizing committee.

Engineering and Autism: A national workshop
Principal Investigators: Shri Narayanan (Coordinator), Panayiotis Georgiou, Justin Haldar, Jay Kuo, Richard Leahy, Urbashi Mitra, Andy Molisch, Krishna Nayak, Antonio Ortega
Sponsored: Fall 2012
One-day national workshop on September 28, 2012 that showcases EE research in the behavioral informatics domain, and to initiate a direct dialog with major Autism researchers, as well as the broader stakeholder community of clinicians, practitioners, families, and people on the Autism Spectrum. While this will be focused technical meeting on the proposed theme of “Computational Approaches to Quantifying Social Communication and Interaction Development in Autism”, it will have a major outreach.

Center for Human Behavioral Informatics
Principal Investigator: Shri Narayanan (Coordinator), Richard Leahy, Krishna Nayak, Urbashi Mitra, Andy Molisch, Antonio Ortega, Jay Kuo, Justin Haldar, Panayiotis Georgiou
Sponsored: Spring 2012 – present
The Center for Human Behavioral Informatics will create and use engineering advances to the study of human behavior. The scientific thrust will explore the gaps in our understanding of the complex interplay between the human brain, body and behavior facilitated by engineering advances in sensing, signal processing and systems modeling. The computational and technological thrusts would focus on creating novel techniques and tools for especially for supporting health diagnostics and interventions.

Cross-Cutting Activities

Activities and programs that seek to enhance the intellectual and social life of the department to benefit faculty and students in the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, with the objective to attract and retain the best talents, build an energetic academic environment, and increase visibility.

Electrical Engineering Pioneer Series
Principal Investigator: Ming Hsieh Institute
Sponsored: Spring 2014 – Present
A brand new series that showcases members of our very own USC Electrical Engineering Faculty. This seminar series will not only offer a technical presentation from faculty, but will also feature an oral history interview. The EE Pioneer Seminar Series will capture the inspiring journeys and stories of the many individuals who have helped shape and develop our department.

Celebration of Professor Steier’s 46 Years at USC
Principal Investigator: Eun Sok Kim
Co-PIs: Satsuki Takahashi, Marilyn Poplawski
Sponsored: Spring 2014
As Prof. William Steier retires in May 2014 after 46 years of outstanding service at USC, we held a symposium and a dinner to celebrate his academic career. The symposium was held with six speakers who talked about Prof. Steier’s
technical accomplishments, and was open to all. The dinner event (by invitation only) started with cocktail hour, followed by dinner and celebratory program, and was attended by approx. 120 people.

USC Speech MRI Summit
Principal Investigator: Krishna Nayak (PI),
Co-PIs: Shrikanth Narayanan, Sungbok Lee, Justin Haldar, Richard Leahy
Sponsored: February 18-19, 2014
A one to one and a half day meeting in January 2014 will gather international experts in the imaging of speech production with MRI, will showcase USC EE research in this area, and will provide a forum for sharing best practices.

Fifteenth International Conference on the Science and Application of Nanotubes
Principal Investigator: Stephen Cronin
Co-PI: Chongwu Zhou
Sponsored: Spring 2013. International conference to be held at USC June 2014.
Profs. Chongwu Zhou and Stephen Cronin won a bid to host the Fifteenth International Conference on the Science and Application of Nanotubes at USC. This conference is held every year in a different country, and it has not been held in the US for the past 10 years. We are expecting between 400-500 attendees and many world-renown scientists giving invited talks on topics including electronic device physics, materials science, and systems architecture.

Driving Simulator Test Bed
Principal Investigator: Petros Ioannou
Sponsored: Fall 2012 – present
The driving simulator project will enable USC researchers to carry out various studies that include human factors, vehicle dynamics and interaction with driver, impact of sensors and warnings on driver, impact of different control techniques and automation on driver, driver assistance systems, information systems etc. The simulator can also be used as the starting point to improve its capabilities by developing additional driving scenarios and visualizations so there is also an element of computer science. The driving simulator will be used for research, individual directed research studies and projects. It will be accessible to all members of the EE Department and with permission on a case by case to students and researchers outside the Department. The simulator will be installed in the CATT laboratory at EEB 305.

ASYNC 2013
Principal Investigator: Peter Beerel
Sponsored: (Symposium date: May 19-22, 2013)
ASYNC 2013 is the premier forum for researchers around the globe to present their latest findings in the area of asynchronous design. Authors will be invited to submit full papers on any aspect of asynchronous design, ranging from the core topics of design, synthesis, and test, to asynchronous applications in system-level integration and emerging computing technologies, including neuromorphic systems.

APSIPA 2012 Conference
Principal Investigators: C.-C. Jay Kuo, Antonio Ortega and Shri Narayanan
Sponsored: December 3-6, 2012
APSIPA ASC 2012 was held at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa in Hollywood, CA on December 3-6, 2012 with an international organization committee led by three faculty members of the Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI). Besides, quite a few SIPI faculty, staff and alumni take critical roles in this conference.

SIPI 40th Anniversary Symposium
Principal Investigator: C.-C. Jay Kuo
Sponsored: December 2, 2012
The Signal and Image Processing Institute (SIPI) celebrated its 40th anniversary on December 2, 2012 at a one-day symposium. About 200 guests attended, including SIPI Founding Directors, Dr. William K. Pratt and Dr. Harry C. Andrews, former and current faculty, alumni and current Ph.D. students and friends.

30th anniversary of the Communications Sciences Institute
Principal Investigator: Andy Molisch & Alan Willner
Sponsored: November 29 – 30, 2012
A 1.5 day conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Communications Sciences Institute. 150 guests attended the conference which contained invited keynotes, technical talks, panels, and technical sessions of interest to industry affiliates, alumni, and prospective friends of the EE Department.

2012 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium (APS)
Principal Investigator: Mahta Moghaddam
Sponsored: July 8-14, 2012, Chicago, IL
The 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and USNC-URSI National Radio Science Meeting (APS/URSI) was held on July 8-14, 2012, in Chicago, IL, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. APS/URSI is the premier international event in the field of antennas and wireless propagation. Attendees include those from major universities and wireless, aerospace, and S/W companies. The 2012 APS broke many previous records: number of attendees, number of papers, level of sponsorships, number of and attendance at social events, etc. The contribution of the USC Ming Hsieh Institute (MHI) supported these achievements.

Cornell Cup USA: Team VISIONary
Principal Investigator: Hossein Hashemi
Student Presenters: Olaoluwa Fadiran, Pushpak Sarang, Young Hoon Lee, Mahesh Dasarath and
Carey Zhang
Sponsored: Spring 2012
An enthusiastic group of M.S. students from the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering has formed a team to compete in the Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel, a nation-wide university embedded design competition. Ming Hsieh Institute supports Team VISIONary from USC to compete in the competition.