Online Celebrations for the Class of 2020

On this important day for our newest graduates, the Class of 2020 and their families are invited to celebrate during an online celebration this May 15. This webpage includes USC computer science undergraduate and graduate celebrations. Times listed are in Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Fight on!

Watch these special video messages below for our new graduates from USC Department of Computer Science Chair Cyrus Shahabi and computer science professors! 


Mindfulness Meditation

May 12 | 4 p.m. 

Join us for an online mindfulness meditation showing a way to create calm and inner peace led by Mindful USC’s Professor Allen Weiss. This is a unique and challenging time, yet we find joy and gratitude for you: our graduates, the Class of 2020!

Link emailed to computer science graduates.

Computer Science Class of 2020 Dance Party

May 13 | 4 p.m. 

We celebrate the Computer Science Class of 2020! Join us in an online dance party with tunes by DJ Ryan Live!

Link emailed to computer science graduates.

Computer Science Graduation Celebration Reception 

May 15 | 11 a.m. 

Please join us in celebrating the Class of 2020 with a live event featuring messages from our chair, Cyrus Shahabi, and special guests. 

Watch the YouTube Live Stream! 

Get social! Share memories & shoutouts #USCGrad #ViterbiGrad  


Submit your video message!

Help us celebrate the Class of 2020 by recording a special congratulations video and uploading so we can share your message! And/or share on social using #USCGrad #ViterbiGrad 


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Animated "USC CS" GIFs

Add #USCGrad GIF stickers to your Story posts on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok by searching for, you guessed it, #USCGrad!


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Instagram story templates


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Virtual backgrounds and more!

A selection of virtual backgrounds, including our beloved SAL, and other Viterbi School of Engineering celebation items for the online festivities!

Celebration toolkit

Class of 2020: Meet Some of Our Newest Graduates


Melissa Wen
BS Computer Science, Minor in Music Production

Born and raised in San Jose, Melissa Wen started playing piano at age 6. Many more instruments soon followed: clarinet, bassoon, contrabassoon and cello. After discovering music making software, Wen’s childhood passion segued to her future career: computer science. Along with her computer science major, at USC, Wen took a minor in music, including songwriting and production classes.

On campus, she hosted her own weekly on-air radio show on KXSC Radio, where she spun records in her favorite genres: future funk and new disco. Wen also studied abroad in Beijing, China and at the National University of Singapore. While completing her studies, Wen also worked in the USC Admission Center as a spring admit ambassador as well as an off-campus orientation leader during freshman and sophomore years.

After graduation, Wen will join Google to work full-time as a site reliability engineer at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, while also completing a master’s in computer science at Georgia Tech.  


Alexander Reyes
BS Computer Science

Originally from Colombia, Alexander Reyes—a dad of three kids under 10—transferred to USC after earning an associate degree from community college, while also working full-time. He joined USC to "push his brain to a new level" and fulfill his dream of earning his bachelor's degree in computer science. While studying at USC, Reyes worked 20 hours a week on campus to support his family—he would often arrive home from campus at 10 p.m. and work on coursework until 4 a.m., grabbing just a few hours’ sleep before getting up for class again.

At first it was challenging to balance student, work and family life and he feared he would fail his first semester. But he pushed through and ended up on the dean’s list twice. He is currently applying for software development positions and developing his own startup business. On Friday, May 15, he and his family plan to dress up and watch the broadcast ceremony on their TV at home.


Aya Shimizu
BS Computer Science

Aya Shimizu is a dancer with a passion for bridging art and technology. Before joining USC, she ran an after-school dance class for underprivileged teens in her hometown of Bellevue, WA. When she came to USC, she once again brought together both passions. 

Shimizu served as a USC Song Girl for two years, balancing a full courseload with practice three hours per day, five days a week, and traveling across the country to perform at football games and charity events. She also took elective classes in social entrepreneurship and participated in USC Volunteer Center’s Alternative Break, working with a school and companies in Guatemala to create recreational areas for kids and also teach English.

After graduation, she has secured a job working at Apple in Cupertino. In the future, she hopes to apply her skills in the social impact world, and is particularly interested in integrating technology with art therapy. One day, she said, she would love to return to USC to earn a graduate degree in social entrepreneurship.

Award Winners

Undegraduate Outstanding Student Award

Oliver Eisenberg, Joseph (Joey) Blundell, Yun Tian (Tony) Xu, Sichong (Jack) Zhao, Anant Jain, Nihar Agrawal, Zhonghao Shi, Jingyun Yang, Zhaoqi Zhu, Ryan Moreno, Olivia Hong, Jamin Chen, Alina Abidi, Rachit Kataria, Yue (Lily) Cao, Muyao Xu, Yue Zhu

Undergraduate Outstanding Service Award

Ana Rescala

Boyuan (Jack) Xu

Undergraduate Outstanding Research 

Zhonghao Shi

Master's Awaards

Edward Hu, Nicole Fronda, Samar Haider, Seung Hee Yoon

PhD Winners

Best Dissertation: Yijing Li 

Best Research Assistants: Chen-YU Wei, Thomas Groechel

Best Teaching Assistant: Ritesh Ahuja