For New Employees

What Is ISI?

The Information Science Institute is part of the highly ranked USC Viterbi School of Engineering – in part due to ISI’s significant research and other contributions.

We're internationally recognized for our achievements in computer networking, artificial intelligence, privacy and security, grid computing, internet commerce, VOIP, integrated circuit design and fabrication, space electronics and more. Many of us are USC research faculty, mostly in computer science and electrical engineering, who teach graduate courses and/or supervise students working at – or earning their PhDs through – ISI.

We have two locations: in Marina del Rey, CA, approximately 15 miles from the main University Park Campus, and in Arlington, VA. For more, we encourage you to explore our website.

Contact Information

For ISI Marina del Rey and Arlington addresses, phones, directions, and accommodations, click here.

ISI Staff Directories and Floor Plans

An alphabetical, searchable staff directory is located on the main ISI site, or you can search the internal site. Marina del Rey and Arlington floor plans are located on the same page.

Conference and Meeting Rooms

Marina del Rey

Rooms typically used for larger events (20 or more people)

11th floor large conference room: Rm #1135, north side of the floor
11th floor small conference room: Rm #1137, northwest corner of the floor
6th floor conference room: Rm #689, southwest corner of the floor

Large rooms have videoconferencing capabilities, as do some smaller rooms.

Rooms typically available for smaller meetings

There is at least one smaller conference room on each floor. Most accommodate five to 10 people comfortably; check room size in advance. Ask your administrative assistant for locations. If there are no rooms available on your floor, it’s likely there will be another open room somewhere in the building.

To schedule a room for a meeting

Meeting rooms are scheduled with MeetingMaker software. If you don't have an account, please contact your administrative support person to schedule a room.


Large conference room:   #207 (holds up to 26 people)
Small conference room:   #252 (holds up to 10 people)

Both have videoconferencing capabilities. Please hold internal meetings in the smaller room, when comfortably possible, so that the larger room can be reserved for external sponsor meetings.

Calling within ISI

To call ISI people from within ISI, use the last 5 digits of their phone number. For example, if someone's ISI phone number is 310-448-1234, his or her internal extension number would be x81234.

If you know someone's ISI extension dial 1-310-44 followed by the extension. For example, if the extension is x91234, from outside ISI you would dial 1-310-449-1234.

To call an outside number from within ISI, dial 9 before entering the external number.

Computer Support

Marina del Rey

ISI's help desk is known as "Action." For problems with an ISI-issued computer or with networking, check the Action website. You can also reach Action at or phone extension x88289. If you're unsure, contact your administrative assistant.


Please submit a request through Action. If Action isn't yet open in Marina del Rey, contact Forrest Houston (703-812-3726) or Alec Aakesson (703-812-3736) in the Arlington office - but only after notifying Action so that your request can be tracked.

In an Emergency

During a drill or an actual emergency, an announcement will be made over the PA system incstructing you what to do. A response team member wearing a bright orange vest also will be available to provide information and assist you to safety on each floor. A list of these team members in Marina del Rey is located here.

Arlington emergency team members are Forrest Houston, Lorna Kaludis and Claire Jansa.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding emergency procedures and evacuation plans - or would like to become part of the Emergency Organization Team – please contact your administrative assistant.

Places to Eat

Marina del Rey

Coffee and snacks

There is at least one break room on every floor, and most floors have two: one at the north and one at the south end. Rooms typically are stocked with coffee, tea, hot and cold water, and a refrigerator. You;re welcome to store lunch or snacks in your floor refrigerator. Please don’t eat anything else in the refrigerators unless it says to help yourself.

There is a Starbucks in the shopping center just south of ISI, on the east (left as you're walking) side, about halfway through the complex. There is a Peet's Coffee across Lincoln Blvd. in the same shopping center as the Panera Bread restaurant.

Within walking distance

Hamburgers – The Counter, Fatburger, McDonalds
Japanese – Irori
Mexican – Chipotle, Baja Fresh
Pizza – California Pizza Kitchen (CPK)
Sandwiches – Panera, Subway, Ralphs Supermarket, Mendocino Farms

There are many additional restaurants within easy driving distance.


The kitchen, room #243, has a Flavio coffee machine and snacks for purchase. In the building, you’ll find the Tropical Smoothie Café and Water & Wall Restaurant. The nearest Starbucks is in the Virginia Square Metro station on North Nelson. Other recommended eating spots nearby: Cosi on Fairfax Drive and Panera Bread in the Ballston Common Mall. There can be fairly high turnover in restaurants, so if you’d like the latest, try Yelp.

Other Services

Marina del Rey

There is a Chase bank in the ground floor of the ISI building, a Bank of America in the shopping center just to the south, and a US Bank across Lincoln Blvd. in the shopping center with the Panera Bread restaurant. The shopping center just south of ISI also has a Ralphs supermarket, a US post office, a See's Candy and many other stores.


There is a Wells Fargo bank close by on Stafford St., and a United bank on North Quincy St. The closest Metro Station is Virginia Square-George Mason University, which has the Orange Line and Silver Line, at 3600 Fairfax Drive (corner of Fairfax and North Nelson.)

Recurring ISI Events

Weekly Project Leader breakfast/lunch: Fridays at 9:30am Pacific / 12:30pm Eastern. (Marina del Rey)

AI Seminar: Several times a month, typically on Fridays at 11:00am Pacific. Schedule posted on (Marina del Rey)

Weekly Natural Language seminar: Weekly on Fridays at 3pm. Schedule can be found at (Marina del Rey)

A Common Question: Does ISI fill the entire Marina del Rey building?

Yes, pretty much! ISI completely occupies most floors. Specifically, floors are used by:

Ground floor: Chase bank branch
Mezzanine: Storage space, some used by ISI
2nd floor: ISI's Information Processing Center
3rd floor: Rented by ISI, but not currently used
4th floor: USC's Laboratory of Neuro Imaging
5th floor: The USC Viterbi Startup Garage
6th floor: ISI Business Office
7th floor: ISI MOSIS chip brokerage service
8th floor: The Intelligent Systems division
9th floor: The Intelligent Systems division
10th floor: The executive office and Computational Systems and Technology division (also in Arlington)
11th floor: The Internet and Networked Systems division
12th floor: The Informatics division and the Computational Systems and Technology division (also in Arlington)

Important Policy Reminders

ISI's working conditions and work-related expenses are governed by specific USC policies and government regulations. You'll be informed about these by ISI's human resources department and by your supervisor. A few to keep in mind:

  • By law, work-related air travel must be purchased from a U.S. carrier to be eligible for reimbursement. Airline code-sharing policies may place you on a foreign carrier, but the ticket still must be purchased from an American airline. (There are rare exceptions to this policy, but it's unlikely you'll ever encounter them.) To be safe, let your administrative assistant arrange your travel. S/he is an expert at it.
  • For employees paid by the hour and their supervisors:
    • Hourly employees must take an unpaid, one-hour meal break after no more than 5 hours of work. Record the break on your time sheet.
    • Hourly employees are entitled to a 15-minute, paid break for every 3.5 hours you work. Don't record this break on your time sheet.
    • Any more than 8 hours per day (midnight to midnight) or 40 per week (Thursday through Wednesday) is considered overtime. You must not work these hours without prior approval from your supervisor.
  • Student workers may not put in more than 20 hours a week (Thursday through Wednesday) during the academic year.
  • Workplace courtesy: USC, the Viterbi School and ISI strive to maintain a respectful, collegial and courteous working environment.
  • Discrimination and sexual harassment: USC takes discrimination and sexual harassment extremely seriously. For information on USC's policies and procedures, see the USC Policy.

For other questions and concerns, consult USC Policy and your supervisor or division director. Sharon Nealon, ISI's human resources director, can be reached by email or at 310-448-9367.

And Finally...

Enjoy ISI, and we’re glad to have you on board!