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Photos by Daryl German.

Racing With Style: Jenny Wu

February 12, 2016

A leading voice on the style scene, Los Angeles fashion lawyer-turned-fashion blogger Jenny Wu ’03 is known among her devotees for cutting an elegant figure in the alluring designer outfits she dons on her blog Good,…

<em>A Penny for Your Thoughts</em> centers on a sleep-deprived character. Image courtesy of Evan McGahey.

USC Science Film Competition unites scientists and artists

February 10, 2016

Registration for the fourth annual USC Science Film competition, which seeks to promote public engagement in the sciences through filmmaking, officially opened in January. Students interested in creating a science-themed film…

The First-Gen Experience at USC

Inaugural summit helps first-gen students identify resources and opportunities

February 9, 2016

For the approximately 15 percent of USC undergraduates who are the first in their families to attend college, navigating university life can sometimes be stressful, confusing or mysterious. A first-ever daylong summit at USC…

California State Poet Laureate and USC Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture Dana Gioia offers tips for writing a meaningful love poem to your Valentine.

How to give a Valentine’s Day gift from your heart, not your wallet.

February 9, 2016

Amid the barrage of chintzy jewelry and mawkish greeting cards we face every February, it’s easy to lose sight of the overall purpose of Valentine’s Day — expressing love. While material items have transient…

Why does Shakespeare's work endure four centuries after his death? Bruce Smith points to a quote from writer Ben Johnson who said in 1623 that Shakespeare was ‘not of an age, but for all time.’

6 reasons Shakespeare remains an icon 400 years after his death

February 8, 2016

“To be or not to be?” That is the question — that has passed over the lips of countless actors playing Hamlet in the last four centuries on stage and on screen. It’s also a question that people in…

Director Edoardo Ponti ’94 premiered his cinematic adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s play <em>Human Voice</em> at the 2014 Tribeca and Cannes film festivals. The short film stars his mother Sophia Loren and was shot on location in Rome and Naples, Italy. Photo by Jon Fauer ©Film and Digital Times.

‘Subsidize the Truth about You’

February 8, 2016

“Every time I write a poem, I read it hearing your voice in my mind,” confesses Edoardo Ponti to David St. John. “And if it sounds like you could read it — that the words fit your vocal pattern —…

Assistant Professor (Research) of Spatial Sciences Yao-Yi Chiang combines his skills in computer programming and the spatial sciences to unlock information in historical maps. Photo courtesy of Yao-Yi Chiang.

Spatial scientist’s digital mapping software opens a window into history

February 5, 2016

There are myriad online platforms that allow you to search the history of a used car before you purchase it or the quality of a hotel before you book a room. But what if you wanted to find out the history of your property…

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ben Carson represent liberal and conservative views. Photo collage by USC Staff.

Purity: It both unites us and keeps us apart

February 2, 2016

Purity is the moral foundation that drives people apart — and a glue that keeps them together, a new study shows. The study, led by USC Dornsife researchers, combined computer science, moral psychology and sociology of…

The carbon dioxide-to-methanol process. Illustration courtesy of Surya Prakash.

Turning air into fuel: USC chemists convert carbon dioxide into methanol

February 1, 2016

They’re making fuel from thin air at the USC Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute. For the first time, researchers there have directly converted carbon dioxide from the air into methanol at relatively low…

USC Dornsife student Sam Deutsch is pictured with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek (Photo/Courtesy of Sony Entertainment)

Political economy major competes on ‘Jeopardy!’

January 29, 2016

Get ready for Jeopardy! College Championship. The two-week tournament, beginning Feb. 1, includes a USC Dornsife student competing for the $100,000 grand prize. Sam Deutsch — a junior from Bethesda, Md., majoring in…

USC Joint Educational Project (JEP) manager DJ Kast watching the Northern Lights during a trip to Iceland in December. Photo by Roee Fung.

One of Forbes’ ‘30 under 30,’ Dieuwertje Kast is educating next-gen STEM leaders.

January 25, 2016

Resplendent in a dress patterned with the periodic table of elements, there can be no doubt that Dieuwertje “DJ” Kast is passionate about her subject. Recently recognized as one of Forbes’ 2016 “30…

Identity-based motivation helps students see their difficulties with school as signs that schoolwork is important, which in turn can improve academic performance, according to USC Dornsife researchers.

Digital game aims to motivate students

January 22, 2016

A USC professor’s program to motivate children to achieve success in school and at work will soon be translated into a digital game to help more students succeed academically. USC Dean’s Professor of Psychology…

Matthew Kahn is currently a visiting professor of economics and spatial sciences at USC Dornsife but will come onboard full-time in August 2016. Photo courtesy of Matthew Kahn.

New faculty member brings passion for environmental economics

January 21, 2016

When Matthew Kahn was nine years old, in the early 1970s, he wrote a letter to then-President Gerald Ford to inquire about the details of Ford’s “Whip Inflation Now” economic program. “At a very young…

Frontline Scholar: Austin

Frontline Scholar: Austin

January 19, 2016

This first video in our Frontline Scholars series profiles Austin Reagan ’16, a double major in environmental studies and political science. Building on a family tradition of global consciousness and the opportunities…

USC Dornsife alumnus Doug Hauck, left, works alongside his assistant winemaker to push down grapes during the fermentation process at Midnight Cellars Winery & Vineyard. Photo credit ©Mark Rightmire, <em>The Orange County Register</em>.

Dentist-turned-vintner turns a dream into reality

January 19, 2016

When I spoke with Doug Hauck recently, he was in the middle of two crown appointments, a couple of teeth cleanings and an implant at his Newport Beach dental office. All in a day’s work for the USC Dornsife alumnus,…

Clifford Johnson, professor of physics and astronomy, is using graphic novel storytelling to explain the nature of the universe. The process, shown above, begins with rough work as depicted in blue on the bottom and develops into a detailed finished sequence as shown on top. Image courtesy of Clifford Johnson.

A physicist gets graphic about the nature of the universe

January 15, 2016

Clifford Johnson is a champion of making the sciences accessible to all.  When he’s not teaching at USC or working on his research, the USC Dornsife professor of physics and astronomy lectures, blogs and even…

Legendary rock star David Bowie was a restless innovator and creative genius whose inspired songwriting and mesmerizing performances changed popular music forever. Here he is shown performing on NBC’s <em>Today</em> show at Rockefeller Plaza on Sept. 18, 2003, in New York City. Photo by J. Stone.

David Bowie: Life and Death of an Icon

January 13, 2016

David Bowie, rock’s greatest chameleon, passed away on Jan. 10 from liver cancer. His death, like the many transformations in persona he so skillfully executed during his lifetime, came without warning, shocking fans and…

The default-mode network of the brain shows increased activity when subjects read stories that deal with their core values. Image courtesy of Sarah Gimbel/USC.

Deep thinking in the brain may be spurred by stories with moral quandaries

January 11, 2016

Everyone has at least a few non-negotiable values. These are the things that, no matter what the circumstance, you’d never compromise for any reason — such as “I’d never hurt a child,” or…

Gaming Chinese Historical Capitalism

Gaming the past

January 11, 2016

Jenny Xu and her small family had worked hard to get ahead in life. With patience, focus and saved money, they managed to acquire several parcels of land and eventually even a permit to build a factory. Jenny began to flourish…

Archaeology at El Zotz

USC Dornsife archaeologist discovers Maya royal burial

January 7, 2016

Thomas Garrison was four hours away from camp down a bumpy jungle road — headed into the city to get treated for poisonwood exposure — when he got the call from his co-director Edwin Román. “You need…

Curtis Kin in his office at the California Superior Court of Los Angeles County. Photos by Damon Casarez.

Good Judgement: Curtis Kin

January 6, 2016

With his easy laugh, even keel and boyish face, Curtis Kin is immediately likeable. Perhaps the type of guy you would cast in a reality television show as a foil to the more outrageous characters. It stands to reason, because…

This summer, two international relations majors at USC Dornsife got an opportunity to learn how to use the big data and visualization tools employed by the United States military to understand and map terrorist networks.

Students use big data to map terrorist networks

January 5, 2016

In the wake of the recent Paris and San Bernardino attacks, counterintelligence experts have been forced to conclude that the face of terrorism appears to be shifting. Moving away from complex, grandiose plots to blow up…

Emily Liman: Sparkling Study

Neurobiology scientists discover new mechanism for detecting sour taste

January 4, 2016

Researchers have discovered a new way that taste cells detect sourness, a sensation that is linked to acidity. Of the five basic tastes, sour remains the most mysterious — to the point that the tongue’s sour…

USC Dornsife’s writers pick their favorite stories from 2015

USC Dornsife’s writers pick their favorite stories from 2015

December 31, 2015

The writing staff in the USC Dornsife Communication department has the privilege of working with some of the most brilliant and inspiring students, faculty members and alumni on the planet and telling their stories. Reflecting…

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