University of Southern California

About ISI

The Information Sciences Institute (ISI) is a world leader in research and development of advanced information processing, computer and communications technologies.  

A unit of the University of Southern California’s highly ranked Viterbi School of Engineering, ISI is one of the nation’s largest, most successful university-affiliated computer research institutes.  The Institute attracts nearly $60 million annually – from corporations and more than 20 federal government agencies – for basic and applied research.

We bridge the gap between theoretical basic research and product-oriented research and development. ISI’s diverse expertise ranges from core engineering and computer science discovery to design, modeling and implementation of innovative prototypes and devices.  

Visionary expertise, pacesetting legacy

Our focus:  intelligent systems such as natural language, machine translation and information integration; Internet and networked systems, including the highly regarded DETER cybersecurity research program; informatics focused on medical applications, computational systems such as supercomputing approaches; and advanced electronics for space, biomimetics, and other purposes.  

A pacesetter for more than 40 years, ISI helped conceive, design and implement the Internet, including communications protocols that remain fundamental to Net operations.  We also developed the Domain Name System (DNS) and its now-familiar “.com” address system.

Multiple mandates

ISI fulfills three roles:  academic, including research and education; industrial, delivering technology-based solutions for government and business partners; and professional, offering students unusual, hands-on experience.  Our MOSIS subsidiary has fabricated more than 50,000 low-cost, low-volume integrated circuits for customers worldwide.

The Institute employs about 350 engineers, research scientists, graduate students and staff.  About half of our research staff holds Ph.D.s, with 50 serving as USC faculty.   ISI is based in Marina del Rey, California, and maintains a presence in Arlington, Virginia.