Tianhorng Chang, an MCL alumnus, entered the PhD/EE program at USC in Spring 1989, passed his screening exam on December 4, 1989, and became the third PhD student of Dr. Kuo in Spring 1990. Tianhorng took his qualifying exam on May 7, 1992. He was originally scheduled to take his defense in 1993. However, he could not do it but passed away in 1994 because of cancer.

Tianhorng Chang completed 46 units at USC and transferred in another 30 units from his previous MSEE program at the University of Florida. His graduate GPA at USC was 3.93. His seminal paper titled with “Texture Analysis and Classification with Tree-Structured Wavelet Transform” published by IEEE Trans. on Image Processing (1993) received 2000 citations. Due to Tianhorng’s near-complete curriculum and impactful research, USC granted Tianhorng’s posthumous PhD degree in 2018 August.

Tianhorng received his BSEE degree from the National Tsinghua University, Taiwan, in 1983. A ceremony to award the posthumous PhD degree to Tianhorng’s family was held in the National Tsinghua University on November 18, 2018. Many of his undergraduate classmates and MCL alumni in Taiwan attended the award ceremony. During the ceremony, Professor Kuo and several participants shared their memory on Tianhorng. A video clip featuring short speeches given by Professor Richard Leahy (the current Chair of USC/EE), Professor Sandeep Gupta (the former Chair of USC/EE) and Ms. Diane Demetras was also played. Tianhorng’s younger brother received the posthumous PhD degree on behalf of his family. The whole ceremony took about 1 hour.

Professor Kuo said, “Hope this award ceremony brings some comfort to Tianhorng’s family and Tianhorng’s story will encourage a younger generation to pursuit advanced research as long as they have strong passion.”