Five MCL members attended the Viterbi PhD hooding ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2014, from 8:30-11:00 a.m. in the Bovard Auditorium. They were Sachin Chachada, Xiang Fu, Pang-Chang Lan, Sudeng Hu, and Joe Yuchieh Lin. Congratulations to them and their families for their accomplishments in completing their PhD program at USC.

Sachin Chachada received his B.E. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from S.R.K.N.E.C., RTM Nagpur University and an M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California (USC). Since 2009, he has been a member in the Media Communications Lab at USC, participating in the fields of statistical signal processing, and machine learning with applications to image and audio analysis. His dissertation, entitled “Environmental Sound Recognition: Classification and Retrieval,” discusses the algorithms that can be used to advance general audio understanding and management. His work demonstrates superior performance of ensemble learning algorithm for environmental audio classification, with use of classical, contemporary and a new set of time-frequency features. His work also includes novel algorithms for environmental sound retrieval for a large database, with promising applications for audio content management.

Xiang Fu received his B.S. degree in Electronic Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), China in 2009, and his M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and in Computer Science, both from University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles in 2011 and 2014, respectively. Since 2011, he has been pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering with Media Communications Lab (MCL) at USC advised by Prof. C.-C. Jay Kuo, and has been working on various research areas including image/video segmentation, spectral clustering, visual tracking, object recognition, video surveillance, and machine learning. His dissertation, entitled “An Information Fusion Approach to Visual Data Segmentation”, discusses feature fusions for interactive video object segmentation and automatic image segmentation. The superior performance of the proposed image/video segmentation algorithms is demonstrated by experiments on the well-known datasets.

Pang-Chang Lan​ received a B.S. degree​ and an M.S. degree​ both in Electrical Engineering from ​National Taiwan University (NTU). Since 2012, he has been a member in the Media Communications Lab at USC, participating in the fields of statistical signal processing, wireless communication, and physical layer security. His dissertation, entitled “Enhancing Secrecy in Wireless Environments with Only Transmitter-Side Channel State Information,” demonstrates the possibility of achieving better information secrecy by designing systematic schemes with the realistic assumption that only the transmitter has the channel information. In particular, a practical scheme named “Unitary Modulation” is proposed in the multi-antenna wireless system to show the effectiveness and robustness of having only the transmitter-side channel information in both theory and practice.

Sudeng Hu received his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Zhejiang University , China in 2007 and his M.Phil. degree in Computer Science from City University of Hong Kong in 2010. Since 2011, he has been pursuing his Ph.D degree under the supervision of Prof. C.-C. Jay Kuo. His research interests include image and video quality assessment, perceptual coding and video coding. His thesis tilted “Image and Video Quality Assessment and Perceptual Coding” discusses the methods that measure image and video quality in terms of human’s perception and integrate these perceptual measurement into image and video coding to achieve a better compression without degrading the perceptual quality.

Joe Yuchieh Lin received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the National Chiao Tung University in 2004 and 2006, respectively. From 2007 to 2011, he was a Senior Engineer of Corel, working on optimizing video codecs and building new features. His accolades include the recipient of Government scholarship to study abroad in 2011, the winning award in National Micro-Computer Applied System Design Production Contest in 2005, and the merit award of 4th MXIC Golden Silicon Awards in 2005. His research interests are image processing, video coding theory, and video quality assessment. His thesis, entitled “Video Quality Database Design and Objective Assessment Methods,” discusses the design of quality database and development of video quality assessment methods. The video database provides valuable ground truth for video quality research. The proposed quality assessment framework is scalable such that can be used to improve video encoders in different scenarios. His recent research extends quality database to just-noticeable database, which can enable video encoders to make smart decision in compression parameters.