Following a groundbreaking ceremony held on May 6, construction has formally commenced for the new home of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science.

Architectural rendering of the robotics labUSC

The Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Human-Centered Computation Hall, named in honor of its principal donors, replaces a surface parking lot on Downey Avenue just east of Vermont Avenue.  The new seven-story structure will be bordered by Michelson Hall to the east and Irani Hall to the north.

“We’re so grateful to the Ginsburgs for making USC Viterbi the hub for solving our greatest challenges,” said USC President Carol L. Folt during the ceremony. “In a way, it’s like chasing the impossible. Except the Ginsburgs don’t see it as impossible; and neither do we.”

The approximately 116,000-square-foot complex, which is expected to secure LEED Platinum certification, is described as a centralized hub for the university's computer science students and researchers, who will develop robots, applications, drones, and artificial intelligence systems.  Additionally, it will allow members of the department to work with other disciplines within the university to work on issues ranging from cancer and dementia to human tracking and homelessness.

Interior lobbyUSC

The contemporary mid-rise structure, designed by the Culver City studio of architecture firm HOK, will include a mix of research labs and offices for faculty and administrative services.  Plans also call for a 300-seat auditorium, study spaces, and even a 25-foot-deep aerial robotics flight area for testing drones.

Completion of Ginsburg Hall is expected in 2023.

The USC Computer Science Department, founded in 1968, today includes more than 80 faculty members, 315 doctoral students, and 3,800 master's and undergraduate students.  Microsoft has ranked the department in the top 10 worldwide for academic research.

Location of the Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Human-Centered Computation HallGoogle Maps

News of the groundbreaking was first reported by the L.A. Business Journal.