University of Southern California

USC Global Conference

Global Challenges for Humanity
Seoul, Korea
May 23-25, 2013

Track 2 – 11:15 AM, Friday, May 24

Confirmed speakers as of May 1, 2013.


John O'Brien NewJohn O’Brien is the executive vice dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and interim director at the Information Sciences Institute (ISI). At the USC Viterbi School, he previously served as senior associate dean for academic affairs from 2006 to 2011, and was responsible for faculty affairs, the Office for Admissions and Student Affairs, and the Office for Graduate Affairs.

O’Brien is a professor of electrical engineering-electrophysics.  He received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University in 1991, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1993 and 1996, respectively.  He joined USC in 1997 as an assistant professor.  In 1999 he received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and in 2000 was awarded a National Science Foundation Career Award.  John was promoted to professor of electrical engineering in 2006.  His research interests are in nanophotonics and photonic crystal devices.


Carl Kesselman New

Carl Kesselman is professor of industrial and systems engineering and a fellow in the Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He is also a professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is the director of the medical information systems division at ISI, the director of the Center for Biomedical Informatics Systems, and serves as the principal investigator of the NIH-funded Biomedical Research Informatics Network (BIRN). He received a Ph.D. in computer science from the University of California, Los Angeles, a master of science degree in electrical engineering from USC, and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University at Buffalo.

Kesselman’s current research interests include health informatics as well as all aspects of Grid computing, including basic infrastructure, security, resource management, high-level services and Grid applications. Together with colleague Ian Foster, he initiated the Globus Project™, one of the leading Grid research projects.

Kesselman received the 1997 Global Information Infrastructure Next Generation Internet award, the 2002 R&D 100 award, the 2002 R&D editors’ choice award, the Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer and the 2002 Ada Lovelace Medal from the British Computing Society for significant contributions to information technology. With his colleagues Ian Foster and Steve Tuecke, he was named one of the top 10 innovators of 2002 by InfoWorld Magazine. In 2003, he and Ian Foster were named by MIT Technology Review as the creators of one of the “10 technologies that will change the world.” In 2006, Kesselman received an honorary doctorate from the University of Amsterdam. In 2007, he received the Internet2 Idea award, and the ComputerWorld Horizon Award.

Yan Liu New

Yan Liu joined the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2010, as an assistant professor in the computer science department. Before that, she was a research staff member at IBM Research from 2006 to 2010. She received her M.Sc and Ph.D. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 and 2006, respectively. Her research interest includes developing scalable machine learning algorithms with applications to social media analysis, computational biology, climate modeling and business analytics.

She has received several awards, including the Yahoo! Faculty Award, the Association for Computing Machinery Dissertation Award (honorable mention), Best Application Paper Award in System Design and Management 2007, and winner of several data mining competitions, including the KDD Cup 2007, 2008, 2009 and the INFORMS data mining competition 2008. She has published over 40 referred articles and served as program committee of SIGKDD, International Conference on Machine Learning, Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management , Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval, International Conference on Data Mining, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, International Conference on Computational Linguistics, Conference on Empirical Methods on Natural Language Processing and Computational Natural Language Learning and co-chair of workshops in KDD and the International Conference on Data Mining.

Cyrus Shahabi New

Cyrus Shahabi is a professor of computer science and electrical engineering and the director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Integrated Media Systems Center at the University of Southern California. He was also the chief technology officer and co-founder of a USC spin-off and an In-Q-Tel portfolio company, Geosemble Technologies, which was acquired in June 2012.

He received his B.S. in computer engineering from Sharif University of Technology in 1989 and then his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the University of Southern California in May 1993 and August 1996, respectively. He authored two books and more than two hundred research papers in the areas of databases, geographic information systems (GIS) and multimedia.

Shahabi has received funding from several agencies such as the NSF, National Institute of Justice, National Aeronautics and Science Administration, National Institutes of Health, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Air Force Research Laboratory, and Department of Homeland Security as well as several industries such as Chevron, Google, HP, Intel, Microsoft, NCR and NGC. He is currently on the editorial board of the VLDB Journal and IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering. Shahabi is a recipient of the Association for Computing Machinery Distinguished Scientist award and the U.S. Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He was the recipient of U.S. Vietnam Education Foundation (VEF) faculty fellowship award in 2011 and 2012, an organizer of the 2011 National Academy of Engineering “Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering” program, an invited speaker in the 2010 National Research Council (of the National Academies) Committee on New Research Directions for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and a participant in the 2005 National Academy of Engineering “Frontiers of Engineering” program.


Jing Shyr

Jing Shyr is a chief statistician and distinguished engineer in predictive analytics for the IBM Software Group. At IBM, Shyr leads a team of researchers and software developers responsible for the creation of data mining technology and analytical solutions, an emerging area. Today she is applying her technological vision and business savvy to create technology that enables both expert and novice users to apply the predictive power of data mining to improve business operations.

Since 1986, Jing Shyr held a variety of positions at SPSS Inc. (acquired by IBM in 2009), where she advanced from statistician to chief statistician and then senior vice president of statistical development. She has been responsible for building development groups in the U.S. and China. Her contributions to the research and development of SPSS Inc. analytics were instrumental in the company’s evolution from a developer of desktop statistical products to a provider of analytical solutions, as well as the company’s sustained growth in Chicago and around the globe.

She holds a master’s degree in applied statistics from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan and a Ph.D. in statistics from Purdue University. She is an active member of the American Statistical Association, the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the advisory council of the Purdue University College of Science. Shyr is a recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award from Purdue University. In 2002, she was selected as one of the 25 most influential women in the Chicago technology community by i-Street magazine.