USC Starts $1 Billion Advanced Computing Initiative 2023

“Frontiers of Computing,” a $1 billion effort at USC, will increase advanced computing instruction and research across the campus.

“I want every student who comes through our programs, whether they are in science, business, the humanities or the arts, to have a solid grounding in technology and the ethics of their work,” said USC President Carol Folt in the university’s statement.

“We will integrate digital literacy across disciplines to create responsible leaders for the future workforce.” Folt’s campus letter introducing the plan is here.

The Lord Foundation of California donated USC $260 million for Frontiers of Computing, a three-year initiative.

  • create a School of Advanced Computing to research and teach AI, machine learning, data science, blockchain, and quantum information. The Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Human-Centered Computation Hall, under construction, will house the school next spring.
  • new faculty. Thirty priority-area faculty members are projected by 2025, with 60 more by 2030. First, AI and machine learning software, hardware efficiency and scalability, and quantum computing will be prioritized.
  • to honor the benefactor, engineer, and inventor who created the Lord Foundation of California.
  • fund a chair in memory of Donald M. Alstadt, former Lord Corporation president and Lord Foundation of California director.
  • grow in Silicon Beach, a tech hotspot. USC maintains two institutions there: the Information Sciences Institute at Marina del Rey and the Institute for Creative Technologies at Playa del Rey.
  • construct a presidential scholars program to prepare community college students for four-year USC degrees.
  • offer Silicon Beach K-12 and community college computer and coding camps.

In the next decade, the institution intends to graduate over 28,000 students with computing skills across fields and degrees. To build tech-savvy, trustworthy pupils, the curriculum will stress ethical and communication skills in addition to technical skills.

“The world needs engineers and computer scientists to solve the grand challenges we face,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi institution of Engineering, which will manage the new institution. In our fast-changing environment, the new School of Advanced Computing will offer reinvented engineering curriculum that prioritize technological ethics.

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