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USC is a leading private research university located in Los Angeles – a global center for arts, technology and international business. As the city’s largest private employer, responsible for more than $5 billion annually in economic activity in the region, we offer the opportunity to work in a dynamic and diverse environment, in careers that span a broad spectrum of talents and skills across a variety of academic schools and units. As a USC employee, you will enjoy excellent benefits and perks, and you will be a member of the Trojan Family - the faculty, staff, students and alumni who make USC a great place to work. Think you’ve got what it takes to join us? We invite you to search our open positions and apply!

Graphics Programmer

Institute for Creative Technologies Playa Vista, California

We appreciate your interest in the Graphics Programmer opportunity at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies.

The University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies is where academia, entertainment, and the military meet. Located in the heart of Silicon Beach in Playa Vista, CA, no other institute offers a more diverse collaborative environment where basic, applied, and advanced research work hand in hand to develop cutting edge technologies. We find the ICT to be an exciting place to work and expect you will too.

As a Graphics Programmer for ICT’s One World Terrain (OWT) effort, you will have the opportunity to work on challenging problems related to geographical information systems (GIS), terrain capture and modeling, UAS, and global-scale real time rendering and simulation within game engines. The Graphics Programmer will work with the Unity 3D game engine, as well as other graphics and simulation technologies, in support of the OWT effort. The OWT effort is an applied research project designed to assist the DoD in creating the most realistic, accurate and informative representations of the physical and non-physical landscapes in a virtual setting.

To get a feel for some of the work we have done on this effort, you can view video introductions to the OWT project here: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkZ-G3LV8iE&list=PLv1hR099y64zHduzCeK-v_PTXopZYHmpa&index=15

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku_M-5GJU60&t=0s&index=3&list=PLv1hR099y64zHduzCeK-v_PTXopZYHmpa

The compensation range for the Graphics Programmer position is $80-90K commensurate with experience. ICT offers relocation assistance.

The Graphics Programmer will:

  • Follow design specifications to develop, test, debug, install, document, and maintain new software applications.
  • Follow design specifications to develop new and enhanced functionality for existing software applications.
  • Prepare code and documentation in support of program development.
  • Perform work of moderate complexity and handle most activities under general supervision of more experienced programming staff.

Preferred Experience and Skills:

  • Experience and understanding of graphics pipeline, DirectX, shaders, real time, 3D rendering in game engines.
  • Experience playing a substantive role in a project using a real-time 3D renderer (including Unity).
  • Ability to develop/identify tools to for data fusion to process data in different formats into a standardized format.
  • Ability to optimize graphics performance for real time graphics and simulation.
  • Ability to work independently on defined tasks and collectively as part of a broader team.
  • Ability and willingness and curiosity to learn new skills (hardware and software).
  • Strong verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills required.
  • Desired interest include sUAS/drones/aviation, geospatial (GIS) systems and data sets, photogrammetry software and techniques and simulations.

Applicants selected for this position may require access to ITAR materials. According to U.S. government restrictions, only U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (green card) are eligible for ITAR access.

The One World Terrain effort is centered around ICT’s futurist mindset of understanding and evolving the technology revolution expected to take place within M&S, particularly as it relates to collecting terrain data and then turning it into usable assets. We develop prototypes and proofs-of-concept that center around experiments to determine whether large amounts of the Earth’s land and space terrain/features can be used in real-time by a next-generation simulation platform. They will also demonstrate how user-driven social media data may be incorporated in real or near real time into a virtual or constructive environment.

The project seeks to:

  • Construct a single 3D geospatial database for use in next-generation simulations and virtual environments
  • Utilize commercial cloud solutions and services for storing and serving geospatial data
  • Procedurally recreate 3D terrain using drones and other capturing equipment
  • Reduce the cost and time for creating geo-specific datasets for Modeling and Simulation (M&S).

ICT is a world leader in modeling and simulation, virtual human research, VR/AR, computer training simulations, computer graphics, and immersive experiences that improve decision making, leadership, and health. ICT employees are encouraged to develop themselves both professionally and personally, through workshops, invited guest talks, movie nights, social events, a private gym and a personal trainer.  The atmosphere at ICT is informal and flexible, while also encouraging initiative, personal responsibility, and a strong work ethic. We put a premium on satisfaction in the workplace at ICT and encourage all associates to maintain a quality work-life balance.

As part of the University of Southern California, ICT employees enjoy a range of great benefits, as well as the rich academic environment afforded by a highly-regarded research university.  Employees can choose from a variety of exceptional medical and dental plans (as well as vision and long-term care), the USC Retirement Savings Program (where USC matches up to 5% of your total compensation and also makes an additional 5% contribution whether or not you contribute), educational benefits (100% FREE tuition at USC for you or your children and 50% payment for your spouse), paid time off (including Winter Recess and 9 PAID holidays), and many more! Please look at all the benefits offered to our full-time employees in full detail at http://benefits.usc.edu.

When applying for this position, please provide a link to your web site, demo reel or code samples in addition to your resume.

Please do not apply if you do not meet the minimum required education/experience.


Minimum Education: Bachelor's degree, Combined work experience and education as equivalent

Minimum Experience: 1 year, Combined education/experience as substitute for minimum experience

Minimum Field of Expertise: Sound knowledge of programming and documentation procedures, programming methods, program flow charts and operator instructions. Knowledge of one or more appropriate computer languages.


REQ20067352 Posted Date: 10/29/2018

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