Monthly Archives: July 2015

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    MCL interns and students presented their case studies in the entrepreneurship short course – II

MCL interns and students presented their case studies in the entrepreneurship short course – II

In the last lecture of the entrepreneurship short course, another three MCL interns presented their case studies on typical business startups.

Yifang Chen presented Zhihu, a Chinese Q & A website launched in 2011. Zhihu was similar to Quora at its initial stage but later developed its own specialty. She mainly discussed Zhihu’s (as a Social Network Service (SNS) Website) focus on knowledge and intelligence sharing. Her presentation started with how “Cognitive Surplus” phenomena laid the foundation for the Q&A platforms. Then she specifically analyzed the different requirements of techniques to meet the changes in Zhihu’s business strategy, which also changed: useful content, people and core values. Through her presentation, audience did not only learn about how Zhihu accumulated resource, built up its own brand and stepped into expansion but also realize the gradual topic change, or even the deviation off the website’s initial purposes. Her presentation was interactive and interesting to all audiences.

Melody Zhou presented Airbnb which created an excellent solution for home renters and providers worldwide. Since its inception in 2008, Airbnb had started an innovative community marketplace for people to post, discover, and book a wide variety of accommodations around the world. Airbnb has pioneered a new industry of “collaborative consumption” and peer-to-peer accommodation rentals, which leaves room for the company’s potential growth and worldwide adoption. Melody mainly talked about the history of Airbnb, how it was established and several key ingredients of its rapid expansion among many start-ups. Also, she shared some personal experience as a customer. Finally Melody pointed several current challenges for Airbnb, its reaction and future plan. Melody made an objective assessment. Her view was highly valued by the audiences.

Shanglin Yang presented Tesla Motors. The Tesla Motors is the leading company in electric cars, electricvehicle powertrain components, and battery products. Nowadays, Tesla has attracted more and more attention for its success of Model S product, especially in the area of electric vehicle, which is in general hard for new company to [...]

By |July 26th, 2015|News|Comments Off on MCL interns and students presented their case studies in the entrepreneurship short course – II|
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    Three MCL interns presented their case studies in the entrepreneurship short course

Three MCL interns presented their case studies in the entrepreneurship short course

In the last lecture of the entrepreneurship short course, three MCL interns presented their final projects – case studies on successful companies. Their successful and impressive presentations showcased remarkable amount of time and effort they had devoted to the projects. By finishing these projects, the interns acquired fundamental business knowledge and rich experience on technology and business innovations in the MCL.

Kevin Wang presented Zappos, a thriving online shoe and clothing store. Zappos was founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn and obtained their first investment funds of $500,000 from Tony Hsieh of Ventures Frog, who joined Zappos one year later, serving as the Co-CEO. According to Kevin, what distinguishes Zappos from other companies is its core value, “Deliver Happiness”. For its employees, Zappos creates a happy and family-like work environment. For its customers, Zappos wants to “wow” the customer so that he or she will come back. Knowing how to retain its customers is what keeps Zappos profitable. Each of its employees needs to go through a four-month training to improve their capability in serving customers and implementing company culture. It’s no wonder that Zappos has an estimated 75% customer retention rate.  In 2014, Zappos faced a major change in the way it was structured in 2014. It began its transition from a traditional corporate structure to a holacracy, a new type of corporate structure designed to improve communication flow.

Matthew Trans presented Riot Games, an unquestionable world top-tier game development company despite of the fact that it only has one game: League of Legends. Even though League of Legends is a free game, Riot still managed to attain revenue of $624 million last year just from microtransactions. Riot’s success roots deeply in its philosophy of creating the most-player-focused game in history. At Riot, players come first, and revenue second. Not only does Riot’s priority [...]

By |July 19th, 2015|News|Comments Off on Three MCL interns presented their case studies in the entrepreneurship short course|

MCL Offers Summer Internship Courses

This summer, Professor Kuo and his PhD students are providing MCL’s interns with 5-week summer internship courses. The courses, including image processing, web design, computer vision, computer graphic and entrepreneurship, were designed not only to improve students’ academic capability on media communication, but also to give them an edge in preparing business start-ups.

Students are required to demo their final projects by the end of next week. For the image processing class, they are required to show a face morphing video and explain related working details. For the web design class, they will introduce themselves using the website they designed. For the computer vision class, they will show how their own trained detectors work. For the computer graphic class, they are going to show their 3D model transformation video as well as explain how the codes work. Then on the last day, intern students, as well as other lab members, will present their case study results on various promising startups.

Finishing their own fantastic projects from the scratch is extremely meaningful for these interns, especially considering the fact that some of them just finished their freshman year and some are still applying for college entrance.  Through these courses, they obtained not only extracurricular knowledge but a better understanding of research methods and their appliance in business world.

By |July 13th, 2015|News|Comments Off on MCL Offers Summer Internship Courses|

MCL Member Attended ICME 2015 in Torino, Italy

Joe Yuchieh Lin, a member of MCL, attended ICME 2015 hosted in Turin, Italy from June 29th to July 3rd to present his work in the Cloud based Media (CbM) Workshop. ICME has been the flagship multimedia conference since 2000. It serves as a forum to promote the exchange of the latest advances in multimedia technologies, systems, and applications. The CbM workshop is added this year since Cloud Computing arises as a promising solution to reserve assets on demand and guarantee their provision over time. The solution lies in the design and development of an abstraction entity that is responsible to manage the media resources and the network capabilities, acting as a mediator between the client application and the media-aware cloud.

The conference, according to Joe, covers a wide range of topics in multimedia processing, all of which may lead to the most excellent research ideas. The sessions are relatively smaller but the discussions are more active. Besides, Turin is a beautiful city with history in cinema industry and presents transition from past to modern technologies in multimedia. The trip is not only full of multimedia technologies but also the artistic atmosphere in the city.

Joe presented his work in the CbM workshop. His paper is titled “EVQA: AN ENSEMBLE-LEARNING-BASED VIDEO QUALITY ASSESSMENT INDEX”. This paper proposes a scalable solution of video quality assessment method. EVQA adopts a frame-based learning mechanism to address the limited training data problem and fuses multiple image quality assessment indices to generate the final video quality score. The superior performance of the proposed EVQA index is demonstrated by experimental results conducted on both LIVE and MCL-V video databases.

By |July 5th, 2015|News|Comments Off on MCL Member Attended ICME 2015 in Torino, Italy|

Matthew Tran to Join MCL as Intern Student in 2015 Summer

We are so happy to welcome a new senior high school student – Matthew Tran to our lab in summer. Let us hear what he said about the intern in our group.

Q1: Could you briefly introduce yourself? (Previous research/project experience, research interest and expertise)

A1: I’m Matthew Tran and I will be a senior in high school in the Bay Area. I am interested in majoring in computer science. Although high school does not provide much research opportunities, I have done multiple projects that range from computer science and robotics to video production. I am interested to participate in research opportunities that involve web design and computer graphics.


Q2: What was your first impression of USC and MCL?

A2: USC is a great place to start my foundation in advanced engineering concepts. No matter what the major, it is an amazing place that provides opportunities to everyone. Everyone seems to have a drive to learn new things.

MCL has provided me with opportunities to learn concepts that my high school does not teach. It’s a great place to get a head start and see how what I learn can be applied into real life situations. The people at MCL are also very welcoming and help me feel comfortable in class, despite the age disparity.


Q3: What drove you to join MCL?

A3: I heard about MCL from Dr. Kuo, who provided me with my internship. I would like to thank him for giving me the opportunity to take classes that graduate students would take. The internship provides me with hands on experience, while also giving me a feel of how college life is like.


Q4: What is your further expectation of being an MCL member?

A4: I am very excited to learn new things during my five-week stay at USC. I [...]

By |July 1st, 2015|News|Comments Off on Matthew Tran to Join MCL as Intern Student in 2015 Summer|