Summary of IMSC Impacts

Statistics during the 11 year ERC period (1996 – 2007)

  • 11 start-up companies founded, 144 inventions disclosed, 92 licenses issued, 79 patent applications filed, and 15 patents awarded
  • 319 IMSC students granted degrees at the Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. levels. 47 new courses were created based on IMSC research.
  • 599 articles in refereed journals, 1,892 articles in refereed conference proceedings, and 10 books. Numerous faculty awards, Presidential Early Career awards, and honors in professional societies and organizations. Also produced the Best Paper of the Decade award and an Oscar Academy Award for Technical Achievement.
  • 5 major USC research centers incubated at IMSC: CiSoft (Chevron), PWICE (Pratt Whtiney), CREATE (DHS), and ICT (US Army).


List of IMSC Spin-off Companies

  1. Eyematic, Inc., by Christoph von der Malsburg (1997)
  2. Actoma, by Jay Kuo (1997)
  3. MediaFair, Inc., by Jay Kuo and Mike Wang (1998)
  4. Phaethon Communications, Inc., by Alan Willner and B. Hoanca (1999)
  5. Fetch Technologies, by Craig Knoblock, S. Minton, and Y. Arens (1999)
  6. Xronix, by Alan Willner (2001)
  7. New Media University Academy, Inc., by Mark Bielak and J. Umana (2002)
  8. Audyssey Laboratories, by Chris Kyriakakis (2003)
  9. Geosemble Technologies, by Cyrus Shahabi and Craig Knoblock (2004)
  10. BabbleStream, Inc., by Roger Zimmerman (2004)
  11. Sentinel AVE, LLC, by Ulrich Neumann (2005)
  12. GameDesk, by Lucien Vatel (aka Victor Lacour) (2009) – Post Graduation
  13. ClearPath, by Cyrus Shahabi (2013) – Post Graduation


Highlights (per each main research area at IMSC):

  • Immersive Audio: In addition to an Oscar Academy Award, the technology was transferred to Audyssey startup. Audyssey develops innovative technologies for enhancing the quality of sound in home theaters, automobiles, movie theaters, cell phones, and portable music players and now has 40 employees (several from USC) and is headquartered in downtown LA. It also has offices in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, Korea. Audyssey can be found in nearly 75% of home theaters, in every new IMAX theater, in millions of TVs and in millions of cars. It has won many awards, e.g., the CES Innovations Design and Engineering Award (2010).
  • Geospatial Information Management: The technology was transferred to the Geosemble Technologies startup. Geosemble provides automatic techniques for extracting and fusing geospatial data sets, including maps, aerial imagery, lists, events, databases, businesses and more. In April 2009, Geosemble received a strategic investment, technology development program, and licensing agreement with In-Q-Tel, the independent strategic investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the mission of the broader U.S. Intelligence Community. Geosemble has been acquired in July 2012 by another In-Q-Tel portfolio company, Terrago Technologies. All Geosemble’s shareholders made money from the transaction. The main product, GeoXray is being used by several government and municipal organizations.
  • Immersive Games: The technology was transferred to the GameDesk stratup. GameDesk is a nonprofit research, development, and outreach organization that seeks to rethink learning through play, making, and interaction. In 2013, it was ranked #6 in the world’s top 10 most innovative companies in education by Fast Company.
  • Fiber Optics: An IMSC PhD graduate, Jin-Xing Cai is now an IEEE and OSA (Optical Society of America) fellow, and he produces world-record-setting optical fiber undersea communication systems for Tyco Submarine Systems. Streaming Media: An IMSC MS graduate, Dwipal A. Desai was YouTube’s employee #9 and now a successful entrepreneur. Prof. Roger Zimmermann, an IMSC PhD graduate and later an IMSC investigator is now a successful tenured Associate Professor at National University of Singapore (NUS).
  • Graphics: An IMSC PhD graduate, Doug Fidaleo, serves as Chief Scientist at an LA startup, Big Stage. Dr. Fidaleo led the development of the core Big Stage Facial Capture system that grew out of his Ph.D. work in IMSC and as a post doc at USC. In September 2009, Forbes Magazine named Big Stage Entertainment among America’s Top 20 Most Promising Companies.


A Self-Sustained ERC:

  • IMSC has raised more than $5M in a short period of its post-graduation (August 2010 – April 2013) from various government agencies (e.g., NSF, National Institute of Justice, LA Metro) and industries (e.g., Microsoft, Google, HP Labs, Northrop Grumman, Intel). Its management team includes 4 full-time post-doctorate research staff as Associate Directors (see: IMSC Management Team)
  • IMSC’s current advisory board has 24 members from major industry and academia (see IMSC Advisory Board) who gather annually at IMSC, see the following URL for the detailed information on the latest annual meeting on March 7, 2013: IMSC Retreat 2013
  • In July 2011, NSF used IMSC as a success story for its self-sustained centers, see the following coverage by Science Nation: Here
  • The culture of technology transfer continues at IMSC, with two examples of successful startups post graduation: GameDesk and ClearPath (recently changed to TallyGo).
  • IMSC continues to be in the news, see the latest coverage of IMSC’s ClearPath by Voice-of-America and GameDesk by PBS: VOA Here and PBS Here
  • IMSC continues influencing USC’s research by participating at major university’s research events, e.g., GLIMPSE: Read More