Information for New ISIers


What Is ISI?

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

We're internationally recognized for our recent and past 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 faculty, mostly in computer science and electrical engineering. ISI faculty teach graduate courses and supervise students performing research at ISI, many of whom earn their PhDs with us.

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

Contact Information

For ISI Marina del Rey, Arlington, and Boston addresses, phones, and directions, please visit our contact page.

ISI Staff Directories and Floor Plans

An alphabetical, searchable staff directory is located on the main ISI website.

Other Important and Useful ISI Websites

Other important sites may be found on the ISI Staff Portal. Please make sure you are on the ISI network to visit this section of the website.

Conference and Meeting Rooms

Marina del Rey

Rooms typically used for larger meetings (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 many smaller rooms. For more information on individual rooms, click here.

Rooms typically available for smaller meetings

There is at least one smaller conference room on every floor. Most accommodate five to ten people comfortably; check room size in advance. Ask your administrative assistant for locations. If there are no rooms available on your floor, there is almost always another open room somewhere in the building. Please remember that rooms need to be reserved.

To schedule a room for a meeting

Meeting rooms are scheduled with Outlook Calendar. 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)


  • Large conference room: #104 (holds up to 16 people)
  • Small conference room: #103 (holds up to 6 people)

Both conference rooms in Arlington and the larger conference room in Boston have videoconferencing capabilities. Please hold internal meetings in the smaller rooms, when comfortably possible, so that the larger rooms can be reserved for external sponsor meetings. If necessary in Waltham, there is also a non-ISI conference center available in the building for use on a first-come first-served basis (reserved through the building’s Management Office).

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. If you're unsure, contact your administrative assistant.

Arlington & Boston

Please submit a request through ISI IT support - Action portal. Instructions are included in the Welcome email you received when your account was created.

Useful Software and Services

Software and services that may be utilized can be found at ISI IT support - Action Portal. Additional software and services can also be found on the USC ITS website that is supported by Campus IT team.

In an Emergency

Marina del Rey

During a drill or an actual emergency, an announcement will be made over the PA system instructing 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.


Emergency team members are Forrest Houston and Lorna Kaludis.

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.

When Away from the Office

If you encounter an emergency while on domestic or international travel, contact the USC travel emergency hotline: 213-821-1042, collect if necessary. For additional information about what to do during emergencies on travel, please check this site.

Places to Eat

Marina del Rey

Coffee and snacks

The ISI Lounge is located on the 5th floor. It has comfortable seating for individuals and groups, as well as espresso machines and vending machines with a variety of beverages and food.

There is at least one break room on every floor, and most floors have two: one at the north end and one at the south end. You are 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.

A snack vending machine is on the mezzanine (floor M).

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 also a Peet's Coffee across Lincoln Blvd. in the same shopping center as U.S. Bank.

Within walking distance

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

There are many additional restaurants within easy driving distance.


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


The kitchen in the ISI suite has an espresso machine, and on the first floor of the office building there is a café serving breakfast (7:30am-10:00am), snacks (10:00am-11:30am), and lunch (11:30am-2:00pm) Monday through Friday. There are also a number of restaurants within a five to ten minute drive, particularly near the intersection of Winter Street and I-95, including Bertucci’s (Italian), Green Papaya (Thai), Naked Fish (Seafood), Osteria Posto (Italian), Relish Burger Bistro, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and the Copper House Tavern.

Other Services

Marina del Rey

There is a Chase bank branch on 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 shops.


Virginia Square Plaza offers free membership to their on-site fitness center with lockers and showers. The center is located on Level 1 of the office building. Please see ISI/Arlington’s facilities manager, Forrest Houston, for a Fitness Center Consent and Waiver Liability form which is required to become a member. 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.)


A fitness center is located on the first floor of the office building, accessible by card access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The fitness center includes treadmills, exercise bikes, a rowing machine, elliptical trainers and a variety of free weight equipment. Day lockers and showers are also available. There is also a branch of Boston Sports Club nearby, as well as a CostCo, Home Depot, and numerous hotels. Located adjacent to the 880 Building (next door) is a tree lined path that runs next to the nearby residential area and can be used as a jogging trail. More information about the Waltham facility can be found at

Participate in ISI Activities

Recurring ISI Events

  • Seminars: ISI hosts several seminar series on different topics. To see topic and subscribe to seminar announcements, follow this link.
  • Monthly Research Update breakfast/lunch, open to all: Last Friday of the month at 9:30am Pacific / 12:30pm Eastern.
  • Weekly Research Leadership breakfast/lunch, open to Research Team Leaders and senior management: Fridays at 9:30am Pacific / 12:30pm Eastern.

Networking Lists

  • ISI Opportunities Mailing List: Researchers may wish to be kept abreast of developing research opportunities and new funding announcements, to seek interested collaborators or participate in discussions and planning. A low-volume mailing list is available for this purpose. To join the ISI Opportunities mailing list follow this link.
  • Slack: Several research groups at ISI use Slack for announcements and communication. To find out more about Slack, follow this link.
  • Other mailing lists: ISI maintains several mailing lists for people interested in social and research activities. Find them here.

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: CIS labs, Co-Location
  • 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, ISI Facilities Department, and USC's Research Advancement Office
  • 7th floor: ISI MOSIS chip brokerage service, Computing and Information Services (CIS)
  • 8th floor: The Artificial Intelligence division
  • 9th floor: The Artificial Intelligence division
  • 10th floor: The executive office and Computational Systems and Technology division (also in Arlington)
  • 11th floor: The Networking and Cybersecurity division
  • 12th floor: The Informatics Systems Research 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 meal 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 overtime 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.
  • Do not spend any funds on travel before the travel request has been approved.
  • Travel-related expenses are processed for reimbursement after travel is complete. Keep that in mind if you use a personal credit card to pay for airfare and other expenses. Late payment fees and interest will not be reimbursed.
  • If one chooses not to use a USC travel card or procurement card, all expenses for which one expects to be reimbursed must be charged on the staff/student’s personal credit card, and not that of a family member or a friend. Bills as well must be in the name of the relevant individual.

For other questions and concerns, consult USC Policy and your supervisor or division director. Derek Mikuriya, ISI's human resources director, can be reached by email at [email protected].

And Finally...

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