Award Winner and World-Renowned Tech Leader C.-C. Jay Kuo of USC Talks About Research Milestones and the Changing Face of Multimedia Tech

By Lori Cameron
Published 06/25/2019
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After he won the 2019 Edward J. McCluskey Technical Achievement Award, we caught up with C.-C. Jay Kuo of the University of Southern California for a quick interview about his accomplishments and career.

C C Jay Kou

Kuo is a world-renowned technical leader in multimedia computing technologies, systems, and applications with an enduring impact on both the academic and industry realms in the last three decades.

He has completed multiple research projects for more than 75 government agencies and private industries. He currently holds the title of having graduated more PhD students than any other adviser—worldwide. He is currently the director of USC’s Media Communications Lab.

We asked Kuo about his win and the future of multimedia tech.

Computer Society: What does the McCluskey Technical Achievement Award mean to you?

Kuo: It is a great honor to be recognized by the prestigious McCluskey Technical Achievement Award committee. It is an important milestone in my academic career, and I am encouraged to conduct more fundamental and impactful research.

Computer Society: You’ve made tremendous contributions to multimedia technologies. What are you most proud of?

Kuo: I have been working on multimedia compression and computing technologies for thirty years. Many of them have been used in today’s mobile devices in video streaming and image/video capturing.

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Computer Society: What’s the best career advice you can give, for any level—entry, mid-career, managerial?

Kuo: Technologies change rapidly nowadays. You need to be open-minded and prepare for life-long learning. Not everyone is well-suited for a managerial role. It depends on one’s personality and interpersonal skills. On the other hand, everyone should be a good team player. To communicate well with team members is an essential skill.

Jay Kuo
Professor Kuo (center) is flanked by recent graduates at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering PhD hooding ceremony on 9 May 2019.

Computer Society: What tech advances in recent years have surprised you the most and why?

Kuo: Deep Learning has had a great impact on numerous artificial intelligence applications in the last 6-7 years. It has surprised me because the superior performance and capabilities of this powerful tool are still not fully understood. Besides, it can be fooled with adversarial attacks. There are quite a few open research problems to be solved.

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Featured Video with C.-C. Jay Kuo

USC Viterbi Spotlight: Professor C.-C. Jay Kuo



About Lori Cameron

Lori Cameron is Senior Writer for IEEE Computer Society publications and digital media platforms with over 20 years extensive technical writing experience. She is a part-time English professor and winner of two 2018 LA Press Club Awards. Contact her at Follow her on LinkedIn.