Join us in celebrating our newest graduates!
We are delighted to celebrate the amazing achievements of our USC computer science graduates! This year, USC will host in-person commencement ceremonies for the classes of 2020 and 2021 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. USC Viterbi also hosted academic department virtual celebrations for the class of 2021 on May 13. Find the link to our department celebrations below and visit the USC Viterbi commencement portal and the USC commencement webpage for more information. Fight on!
#2021Trojan video messages
Watch these special video messages from graduating USC computer science students and their professors and student advisors!
Virtual celebrations - full recording
Watch the USC Department of Computer Science Virtual Celebrations from May 13 on demand!
Class of 2021: Meet Some of Our Newest Graduates
BS Computer Engineering & Computer Science
Hanna Endrias came to Los Angeles for college from Washington, D.C., eager to get out of “her bubble.” It worked; and then some. During four years at USC as a computer engineering and computer science (CECS) student, she found a support system of great friends, roommates, dance partners and professors who helped her make the most of her experience and encouraged her to finish strong.
While learning about the “wonderful world” of computer architecture and software development, she took dance classes, ranging from ballet to hip hop, and was part of the USC Ballroom and Latin Dance Team. A passionate linguist—she speaks Spanish and Amharic, an Ethiopian language—she jumped at the opportunity to study abroad in Zaragosa, Spain, from 2016 to 2017, where she fell in love with flamenco dance.
Back at USC, she served as vice president of the award-winning USC Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). After graduation, she will join Microsoft as program manager, working with designers and developers to identify problems and bring solutions to life.
Samuel Alex Atcheson
BS Computer Science
In the past few years, many initiatives have aimed to get more kids involved in computer science. But most technologies used to teach coding are not accessible for children who are blind or visually impaired. It doesn’t have to be that way, says USC computer science senior Samuel Alex Atcheson.
In an effort to change the status quo, he is working on technologies that use the sense of touch—or haptics—to help people with visual impairments learn how to code. Since 2019, Atcheson has been working in Assistant Professor Heather Culbertson’s Haptics Robotics and Virtual Interaction Lab, which explores the sense of touch in technology. Through his research, Atcheson aims to explore the connection between touch and learning to improve educational experiences.
Using a 3D-printed tactile programming device, users can arrange coding blocks—small 3D objects, each representing a different coding element—to generate functional programs.
A recipient of the USC computer science undergraduate research award, after graduation, he will join the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to pursue his Ph.D. in Computer Science, concentrating on human-computer interaction.
MS Healthcare Data Science
A first-generation student born and raised in the San Gabriel Valley, Meng was initially on-track to becoming a doctor. But after interning in a research lab working on a robotic arm to help rehabilitate stroke patients, she realized she could branch out into the engineering side of healthcare, and still help people.
During her internships at USC, Meng witnessed first-hand the impact of data science on people’s lives in the real world. During her first year, she worked in Dan Ruderman’s lab at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, developing a machine learning algorithm to help diagnose breast cancer tissues.
Since last summer, she has worked remotely in the Image Processing and Informatics Lab of Brent Liu — a USC Viterbi associate professor and the healthcare data science program’s co-director — working on a radiation therapy decision support algorithm for head and neck cancer patients.
After graduation, she will join Northrop Grumman working in the company’s mission systems sector, with a goal to eventually apply her skills in the health technology area.
BS Computer Science (Games)
Sterling Rios found his voice as a game developer at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering by digging into his LatinX roots and designing a game that pushes the bounds of interactivity and physics. His game, “Pelota,” part of the USC Advanced Games Program, headlines May 15 at the USC Games Expo – the annual showcase of the best in games from USC Games.
“Pelota” is an action-packed, online multiplayer game that brings an ancient sport into a new level of interactivity. Players are immersed in a vibrant Mesoamerican setting as they master the game’s novel physics-based mechanics to get the game ball through a vertical hoop, using everything they have—except their hands—in order to win the favor of the gods.
Personally for Rios, who grew up in San Antonio, Pelota is also a love letter to his Latino heritage: his father's family comes from Múzquiz, a municipality within the state of Coahuila in northeastern Mexico. After graduation, Rios plans to continue refining “Pelota” even as he interviews with several prominent game companies. He looks back fondly at his time as an engineering student, especially teaching virtual reality, C# and Unity to high school students at summer camps.
Undergraduate Outstanding Student Award
Katrina Bianca Chandra, Philip Jung, Zhengyu Yang, Tong Zhi, Juliette Paule Magdeleine Chirol Hill, Ashwin Bhumbla, Shreya Parag Havaldar, Yinghui He, Mingze Yao, Jincheng Zhou, Mingyu Cui, Yizhou Sheng, Nianxu Wang, Vikash A Mody, Gabrielle Sinacola
Undergraduate Outstanding Service Award
Radhika Agrawal, Shreya Parag Havaldar
Undergraduate Outstanding Research
Kartik Dhananjay Mahajan, Samuel Alexander Atcheson, Benjamin Jia-An Ma, Zane Durante
Master's Awards Best Research
Ankith Mohan, Sunny Singh, Xiao Song, Zhengyu Wang, Zhehui Huang
Best Dissertation: Yixue Zhao
Best Research Assistants: Jiaoyang Li, Emily Chen
Best Teaching Assistant: Patricia Chaffey