$ 25 million in donations transform industrial and systems engineering at USC
A new donation to USC Viterbi School of Engineering totaling $ 14 million will significantly increase the recruitment of expert industrial and systems engineering (ISE) faculty members, with a focus on interdisciplinary areas such as computer systems, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The donation will also catalyze the modernization of the facilities that house Epstein’s industrial and systems engineering department.
The donation is part of a cumulative support of $ 25 million that USC administrator Daniel J. Epstein has contributed to USC to build capacity and expand the university’s impact in research, l teaching and learning of ISE. The latest contribution comes nearly 20 years after Epstein made history with a naming giveaway to establish the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering – the first appointed department at USC and the most great naming gift for an ISE department in the US at the time.
âDan Epstein has been an incredible friend and benefactor of USC, especially our industrial and systems engineering department,â said President Carol L. Folt. âHis donations have already transformed the department and given a tremendous boost to the pioneering work he advances every day. But this most recent donation takes that support to a new level and will ensure the ministry continues its legacy of meeting society’s greatest challenges. We are very grateful for his decades of generosity.
The endowment will enable the Epstein ISE department to embark on an ambitious plan to expand research excellence, improve student experiences, increase diversity and renovate its facilities. The main goals include the strategic hiring of seven additional outstanding researchers and educators and the hosting of Epstein’s department in a collaborative space renovated to meet the standards of a modern educational and research institution. The donation will also further support scholarships for doctoral students.
âMy background in industrial and systems engineering at USC provided a solid foundation for my professional success,â said Epstein, who graduated with honors from USC Viterbi in 1962. âI am honored to continue to support this department so that it can strengthen and advance its ability to recruit the best faculty and create the best educational outcomes for future leaders in the field.
The plan aims to build research capacity in emerging interdisciplinary areas aligned with ISE, such as:
- Computer systems and optimization: harnessing artificial intelligence and mathematical programming to innovate and improve decision-making.
- Statistics, stochastic systems and machine learning: methods of analysis and simulation that exploit and apply massive amounts of data in the service of society.
- Operations and Systems Engineering: Using advanced mathematical models and algorithms to solve emerging problems and big challenges.
The department will recruit new faculty members with expertise to tackle the major challenges facing society in healthcare, supply chains, security and other critical areas.
Gift Brings New Home for ISE at USC
With this new donation, the department will move to the renovated Salvatori Center, following the completion of the new Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg human-centered computing building. The new facility will be designed to promote collaboration, learning and innovation through modern and flexible spaces for conversations, networking, meetings and project-based teamwork.
âDan Epstein’s continued and extraordinary generosity to the ISE Department and the Viterbi School has helped us reach new levels of excellence and achievement,â said USC Viterbi Dean Yannis C. Yortsos. âHis new visionary gift will create new innovations in teaching and research in this area for the benefit of our students and society at large. We are fortunate to have Dan and his family supporting our quest to explore new frontiers.
Epstein’s decades of dedicated support elevated and transformed research and teaching in the department to an elite level, said Maged Dessouky, Dean’s Professor and Chairman of the Epstein Department.
“The new donation will increase the recruitment of exceptional faculty – experts in using optimization, artificial intelligence, systems engineering and data analytics to solve the world’s most pressing problems. company, âhe said.
Epstein’s initial donation led to a period of rapid growth for the department, said Randolph Hall, dean professor at USC Viterbi and former department chair and vice president of research at USC. He said the latest giveaway was the result of careful strategic planning and benchmarking, as well as invaluable input from the department’s advisory board, which Epstein chairs.
âMuch like Dan’s initial giveaway 20 years ago, the primary focus of this giveaway will be to increase excellence through the recruitment of outstanding faculty, including full professors,â Hall said. “USC executed the original plan, and the new giveaway will take us to an even higher level.”
USC Viterbi alumnus committed to giving back
Epstein is the founder of the ConAm Group, headquartered in San Diego, and has had a distinguished career as a real estate entrepreneur. The Epstein Family has long supported USC, contributing many other substantial donations, including donations to establish the Epstein Family Alumni Center, USC Epstein Family Center for Sports Medicine, and the Epstein Family Plaza at USC Viterbi.
Since Epstein’s initial donation in 2002, Epstein’s ISE department has grown in reach and impact, with strengths in areas such as IT and data-centric decision making, healthcare policy, transport and optimization. Ministerial research has contributed to concrete policies and benefits in areas such as resource allocation for social welfare, health care, transport, security, e-commerce and the environment.
Faculty members of the department hold leadership positions in major research centers such as the METRANS Transportation Consortium, the USC Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society, the USC Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Threats and Emergencies and many more.
Epstein’s endowment in the department for two decades enabled the creation of chairs, scholarships, and the founding of the Daniel J. Epstein Institute. More recently, in 2020, Epstein’s support to ISE led to the launch of a new Master of Science in Health Systems Management Engineering aimed at equipping industrial engineers with unique skills to meet urgent healthcare needs. ‘an increasingly strained US healthcare sector – needs that have become even more urgent due to COVID-19. The support enabled the development of a new program, the recruitment of expert faculty members, tailor-made learning spaces and scholarships for students.
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