DEN@Viterbi: Through the Looking Glass
NASA launched the Space Shuttle program and HBO launched the first subscription cable service in the U.S. The first scientific hand-held calculator — the HP-35 — hit the shelves at just under $400. For context, average monthly rent in 1972 was $165 and a gallon of gas cost 55 cents.
That same year, USC Viterbi offered its first online courses via the Norman Topping Instructional Television Network, or ITV. Today that system is known as USC Viterbi’s Distance Engineering Network, or DEN. Its architect was Jack Munushian, who came to USC in 1968 from Hughes Aircraft.
“To an extent few people realize, we at the Viterbi School live in a house that Jack built,” Dean Yannis C. Yortsos said following Munushian’s death in 2005.
Today, DEN@Viterbi, which offers graduate students anywhere in the world the opportunity to earn a master’s degree, consistently ranks among the top five online engineering graduate schools in the country. As recently as 2017, it was ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report.
As universities shift to remote learning, we look to DEN’s pioneering history.