A rendering of USC’s new computer science building.

A rendering of USC’s new computer science building.

USC officials will break ground May 6 on a new building that could become a key center for technological advancement in Los Angeles.

Thanks to the philanthropic support of ophthalmologist Allen Ginsburg and his wife, Charlotte Ginsburg, the university’s Viterbi School of Engineering is adding a computer science building named for the couple.


Viterbi Dean Yannis Yortsos said the 98,000-square-foot structure will become a “hub for computer science in Southern California,” creating new spaces for research in robotics, drone development and artificial intelligence.


“If you look at Southern California, you have a lot of powerhouse institutions like Caltech and UCLA,” Yortsos said. “However, there is no one single entity where you can say ‘This is a place where interesting things are happening in AI and other things.’ I think USC is well positioned to play that role.”


Viterbi has already been working to connect students with the tech and startup communities of Silicon Beach, Yortsos said.


The school’s Information Sciences Institute is based in Marina del Rey and houses the USC Viterbi Startup Garage, an incubator for budding entrepreneurs.

 
Yortsos said the new building will be an important center for information sciences, as well as the school’s computer sciences department and the Department of Defense-sponsored Institute for Creative Technologies. The building will also be situated next to Michelson Hall and Irani Hall, which house the university’s bioscience and life sciences programs, respectively.


“This is the first time we’ll have a building that will house a lot of these activities in one place,” he said. “We’re going to have a lot more interaction and exchange of information.”


The seven-story structure is designed to maximize opportunities for these interactions to take place, with large study areas, a 300-seat auditorium and open-plan laboratory spaces. Slated to open in 2023, the building will also include a sunken garden and lounge areas.

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