115 Years, 115 Impactful Moments
In 1905, USC offered its very first engineering courses out of the physics and mathematics departments.
One hundred and fifteen years later, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has a name and a host of accomplishments over the ensuing 11.5 decades.
This past May, Dean Yannis Yortsos, working with USC Viterbi vice deans, chairs, and select senior faculty, sought to identify 115 amazing USC Viterbi accomplishments by faculty, students and alumni over that span of time. This list would span all eight departments, the famed USC Information Sciences Institute and various programs of the school.
This list, like many of its kind, suffers from a clear recency bias. It is by no means the definitive list of all the USC Viterbi School’s noteworthy accomplishments! However, despite these limitations, perhaps it will serve as a helpful primer on what George Bekey, USC Viterbi professor emeritus, once called the school’s “remarkable trajectory.”
Test your knowledge of these USC Viterbi “wins” in a “Who Wants To be A Millionaire”-style interactive game above.
Or, for those who prefer to dive right in…the full list of 115 accomplishments for 115 years awaits.
In 2016, the Min Family Challenge (MFC) is established through an endowment by alumnus Bryan Min and his wife, Julie Min, to place USC Viterbi students at the epicenter of the world’s most pressing issues.
In 2004, with a donation by trustee Mark Stevens, USC Viterbi establishes what is today known as the Stevens Institute for Innovation — the largest naming gift to establish a technology commercialization institute at an engineering school.
USC Viterbi was selected by the National Science Foundation in 2014 to lead a regional hub for start-ups in Southern California: Innovation Node-Los Angeles.
At the time, it was one of only seven such designated sites in the United States, building on USC Viterbi entrepreneurial strength represented by MEPC, Startup Garage, and the Min Family Challenge.
In 1984, Al Dorman, M.S. CE '62, became the founding chairman and first CEO of AECOM Technology Corp, a top-ranked engineering design firm that generated over $20 billion operating in 100 countries in 2019.
Dorman’s most famous early work was the design and construction of Disneyland.
Co-founded by Andrew Viterbi (Ph.D. EE ’62) in 1985, Qualcomm becomes one of the foremost developers of wireless telecommunications products and services; became world’s leading mobile chipset provider in 2007.
In 1977, A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr. (B.S. EE ’64 and M.S. EE ’66) becomes the co-founder and first investor in Apple. He plays a critical role in helping to build Apple into a Fortune 500 company in less than five years.
The Maseeh Entrepreneurship Prize Competition (MEPC) becomes one of the first business plan competitions at an engineering school in 2010 after an endowment from entrepreneur Fariborz Maseeh.
Second Spectrum, the 2013 victor, is currently the official tracking and analytics provider for the NBA, MLS and Premier League.