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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…

Mark Kann, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History, and Associates Chair Emeritus in Social Science, pictured in 1998. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Mark Kann, 68

January 20, 2016

Mark Kann, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and History and Associates Chair Emeritus in Social Science at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 68. Kann died of causes related to multiple myeloma on Jan. 5 at his home in San…

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…