Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Privacy/FATE and Security


Researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) seek to understand and develop machines with human-level intelligence by exploring the academic and real-world challenges surrounding AI. 

At USC’s Department of Computer Science, we are pioneering breakthroughs in a full spectrum of topics related to AI, including machine learning, computer vision and image processing, human-robot interaction, speech and language analysis, information extraction and privacy-protection.

Our researchers are working in areas where artificial intelligence has been under study for decades—like language—and where the tools are just starting to make inroads—such as efforts to combat human trafficking, diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome, and prevent terrorist attacks using limited resources. 

We understand that the long-term goal of building intelligent machines relies on collaboration across many fields. That’s why we also work closely with researchers across application domains, such as health care, social work and linguistics.

Theory and Computation


USC has a strong and active background in modern theoretical computer science, with research spanning a broad range of topics.  Areas of particular interest include the theory of algorithms and optimization, graph theory, scalable algorithms, theory of machine  learning, computational geometry, complex analysis, computational complexity, algorithmic number theory and cryptography.

Our researchers in this area are particularly motivated by bridging the gap between theory and practice, such as non-blockchain digital currencies, social network analysis, smoothed analysis, bilingual learning and post-quantum cryptography.

In addition, we have many strong connections to other fields, including economics and game theory, pure mathematics, applied mathematics and scientific computing, network science, sociology, as well as evolution of concepts, ideas and organisms.

Systems, Databases, Software Engineering and CyberPhysical Systems


The demands on modern computing systems are increasingly complex, from small embedded systems in phones, laptops and wearables, to large-scale cloud computing and high-performance networks.

Systems, databases and software engineering research at USC aims to develop innovative hardware and software across the computing spectrum for existing technologies and to support future power-efficient, sustainable and secure computer systems.

From smart cities and intelligent transportation systems to personalized medicine, next-generation computer systems will require new, innovative and visionary approaches to hardware, wired and wireless communication.

At USC, researchers investigate various issues in the design and analysis of infrastructures for large networks. We focus on fundamental aspects of information acquisition, processing, security, privacy, storage, and communication.

Our research interests include crowd-sensing, program analysis, privacy-preserving systems, network design and management, software-defined networking, cloud computing, internet measurement, software verification and synthesis, advanced 5G wireless networks and data center design.

Computer Vision, Robotics, Graphics and HCI


At USC, the areas of computer vision, robotics and graphics represent the interface between computers and the rest of the world. 

Robotics at USC focuses on developing effective, robust, human-centric, and scalable robotic systems. In this area, our expertise ranges from socially assistive robotic and novel haptics technology for virtual touch to complex human-robot interaction and  multi-robot systems.

In computer vision and graphics, our researchers bridge physical and digital worlds with powerful recognition and analysis algorithms, as well as immersive technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality.

In computer vision, our strengths include object detection and recognition, face identification, activity recognition, video retrieval and integrating computer vision with natural language queries.

Our graphics researchers focus on interactive techniques and the simulation and synthesis of multimedia, 3D content and virtual worlds, including image-based modeling and reconstruction, shape analysis, 3D face processing, human digitization, efficient physics simulation, image and video-based rendering techniques.

Last but not least, USC Games, a collaboration between the Department of Computer Science and the School of Cinematics Arts, is recognized as one of North America’s top game design programs, according to Princeton Review.

Published on August 2nd, 2019

Last updated on November 29th, 2022