Skip to main content

2012 News Archives

USC Dornsife professor emeritus Moshe Lazar examining a Sephardic manuscript in the 1980s. Lazar devoted his life to saving rare medieval Judeo-Spanish — or Ladino — texts. Photo courtesy of Sonia Lazar.

In Memoriam: Moshe Lazar, 84

December 21, 2012

Moshe Lazar, professor emeritus of comparative literature and former chair, has died. He was 84. Lazar died on December 13, 2012, at his home in Los Angeles after fighting Alzheimer’s disease for six years. Described…

Patrick James, the Dean’s Professor of International Relations in USC Dornsife, has co-authored a new textbook, <em>The International Relations of Middle-earth: Learning From The Lord of the Rings</em> (University of Michigan, 2012), which has already been picked up for use in course-work at the University of Glasgow and Heidelberg College. Portrait by Philip Channing.

Rings of Power Struggle

December 19, 2012

Everyone knows a Hobbit’s traditional forum is in English class. But for Patrick James, the world of J.R.R. Tolkien is more than escapist fantasy. The Dean’s Professor of International Relations in USC Dornsife…

Every person has perhaps billions of bytes of information stored in long-term memory. Babies develop long-term memories for past experiences beginning at the age of about six months or even earlier.

Mind Games

December 18, 2012

As a child, how many of you memorized the planet names and order with this little ditty: My very elegant mother just sat upon nine porcupines. Although the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet renders this particular mnemonic…

Candy Hwang, chemistry doctoral student in USC Dornsife, is depicted in a video she created with USC School of Cinematic Arts animators, which picked up two awards in a recent National Science Foundation competition. Titled, <em>The Secrets of Nitrogenase</em>, the video breaks down the complex science behind the nitrogenase enzyme.

The Little Enzyme That Could

December 12, 2012

The cute kiddie cartoon shows an animated Candy Hwang wearing a white lab coat jotting down data on her clipboard. But the 90-second video is not child’s play. Called The Secrets of Nitrogenase, it clearly and concisely…

USC Dornsife senior Michael Rosenthal at the 2012 NCAA men’s water polo championship tournament at McDonald’s Swim Stadium Dec. 2. He was named tournament MVP following the white-knuckle 11-10 victory against the UCLA Bruins. Photo by Dan Avila/USC Sports Information.

'The Cherry on Top'

December 12, 2012

Here’s the scene: The USC men’s water polo team is swimming in their home pool for the 2012 NCAA tournament against crosstown rival the UCLA Bruins. A year ago, the Trojans had achieved a history-making four-year…

G.K. Prakash, Professor and George A. and Judith A. Olah Nobel Laureate Chair in Hydrocarbon Chemistry in USC Dornsife, who has spent decades researching flourine reagents is also working on a methanol economy concept. Here, he holds up a methanol fuel cell, which is powering a fan. Photo by Philip Channing.

One Man’s Trash, Another Man’s Treasure

December 11, 2012

A team of USC Dornsife chemists has developed a way to transform a hitherto useless ozone-destroying greenhouse gas that is the byproduct of Teflon manufacture into reagents for producing pharmaceuticals. The discovery was…

Brittany Berns (left) and her colleague Sabi Yoto, a fellow teacher at Toucountouna's secondary school. Berns taught English and helped to expand a school as a Peace Corps volunteer in Toucountouna from 2010 to 2012. Photo courtesy of Brittany Berns.

A Rising Star

December 6, 2012

At 6 a.m., Brittany Berns would awake to the sound of her neighbors’ breakfast pans clacking. Nearby, roosters crowed and pigs snorted. After grabbing a bite of rice and beans, Berns would pull a bucket of water from…

New Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator Jed Fuhrman, McCulloch-Crosby Chair of Marine Biology in USC Dornsife, will hire full-time personnel needed to handle the expected avalanche of new data that will be generated. Photo by Philip Channing.

Marine Biologist Takes Risks

December 5, 2012

Jed Fuhrman, McCulloch-Crosby Chair of Marine Biology in USC Dornsife, has been honored with a prestigious Marine Microbiology Initiative Investigator Award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Fuhrman is one of 16…

Arieh Warshel, Distinguished Professor of USC Dornsife (left), receives his  2012 Soft Matter & Biophysical Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry's Faraday Division Council President Graham Hutchings during a recent three-day symposium in England. Photo courtesy of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Warshel Fêted by Royal Society of Chemistry

December 4, 2012

In 1963, a burning question kept invading the mind of a young kibbutznik studying chemistry at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa. Arieh Warshel had to know: just how do enzymes speed up chemical…

The 13 professors honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science bring the number of USC Dornsife AAAS fellows to 47.

Lucky Thirteen

November 30, 2012

Chosen by their peers in recognition of their research that significantly raises the bar of our understanding of science worldwide, an unprecedented 13 scientists from USC Dornsife have been elected fellows of the 2012…