Announcing the inaugural director of the USC School of Advanced Computing

February 1, 2024

Today, I am excited to announce that Dr. Gaurav Sukhatme has been appointed the inaugural director of USC’s new School of Advanced Computing. This vibrant new hub is central to USC’s $1B-plus, 10-year Frontiers of Computing presidential moonshot. 

Gaurav is executive vice dean of engineering and Fletcher Jones Foundation Endowed Chair in

Computer Science. He will hold the newly endowed Donald M. Alstadt Chair in Advanced Computing. He is a visionary with exceptional talent and experience in the ever-changing world of advanced computing. Gaurav’s work in robotics and artificial intelligence is on the cutting edge of the explosive growth in technology and computing. He is the ideal choice to lead this school with his outstanding record of interdisciplinary research and passion for preparing our students to compete and excel in a world where technological skills are changing every profession.

USC moves fast when needed most. Advances in technology are accelerating at warp speed and transforming and shaping our future. Advanced computing is not just something for computer scientists or engineering specialists anymore. USC is uniquely positioned to supercharge computing across all our 22 schools—engineering, the sciences, the humanities, business, law, communication, the health professions, and the arts. We have always taken a holistic view of all disciplines and view computing through the same lens of benefiting humanity and serving the greater good. 

The School of Advanced Computing will be located within the USC Viterbi School of Engineering but will serve the entire university. The recently named USC Thomas Lord Department of Computer Science and the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will be the key academic departments with a home in SAC. The new school will be the digital backbone for the university, and it will embed computational power, digital literacy, and related evolving technologies throughout our academic enterprise. With participation from faculty across every school, SAC will facilitate multidisciplinary research and pedagogy, ensuring all Trojans are digitally fluent, technologically adept, and, most importantly, ethically sound.

The Lord Foundation of California’s $260 million gift to USC is helping power our moonshot ambitions. The vision for our pathbreaking Frontiers of Computing moonshot and our new School of Advanced Computing came after serious thought on how to use this extraordinary gift in ways that honored the innovation and vision of Thomas Lord. We wanted this gift to have a long lasting impact and to be game-changing for our students and faculty. My deepest gratitude goes to the family and members of the Lord Foundation for their belief in our vision.

I want to also thank Dean Yannis Yortsos, the faculty, board of councilors, and staff of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering for their vision, excitement, and global leadership in setting this course. With this incredible team, this is only the beginning, and there is much more to come.

Please join me in congratulating Gaurav on this exciting new role. 

With gratitude,

Carol L. Folt