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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…

The First-Gen Experience at USC

The First-Gen Experience at USC

February 2, 2016

  Video by Mira Zimet.

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…

Phyllis Franzek had worked for USC Dornsife’s Writing Program since 1997. Photo by Alexandra Bissonette.

In Memoriam: Phyllis Franzek, 65

January 25, 2016

Phyllis Franzek, associate professor (teaching) of writing in the USC Dornsife Writing Program, has died. She was 65. Franzek died in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 3 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. She taught…

Robert Dilligan in 1987. Photo by Irene Fertik, courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Robert Dilligan, 75

January 22, 2016

Robert “Bob” Dilligan, Associate Emeritus Professor of English, has died. He was 75. Dilligan died at Silverado Memory Care Facility in Encinitas, Calif., on Jan. 11 from complications from Parkinson’s…

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…