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Graduate Research News

From left, doctoral student Diane Kim, SPOT coordinator Troy Gunderson and doctoral student David Needham stand aboard research vessel <em>Yellowfin</em> with a Rosette water sampler equipped with sensors used to collect real-time environmental data. Photo by Cheryl Chow.

A Scientific Hot SPOT

September 25, 2014

At a station in the San Pedro Basin, a region between Los Angeles Harbor and Catalina Island, USC Dornsife faculty and student researchers study the physical, biological and biogeochemical cycles that define the coastal…

Andrey Vilesov of chemistry and physics found that quantum vortices, or whirlpools, form in spinning helium nanodroplets in unprecedented quantities. Photo by Rico Mayro Tanyag.

Discovery in Helium Droplets

August 28, 2014

Liquid helium, when cooled down nearly to absolute zero, exhibits unusual properties that scientists have struggled to understand: it creeps up walls and flows freely through impossibly small channels, completely lacking…

“I have never been happier about being wrong,” said El-Naggar, corresponding author of a new study in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em> that shows the key feature in bacterial nanowires are not hair-like features, or pili. Photo by Matt Meindl.

Bacterial Nanowires Not Pili

August 20, 2014

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of “electric bacteria” that shoots out long tendrils like electric wires, using them to power themselves and transfer electricity to a variety of…

Two new online graduate certificates in geospatial information science and technology launched by USC Dornsife's Spatial Sciences Institute this Fall will offer GIST professionals additional expertise in leadership and geospatial intelligence. Image courtesy of Spatial Sciences Institute.

Mapping a Better Future

August 14, 2014

The Spatial Sciences Institute housed at USC Dornsife continues to set new standards in the study of geospatial analysis with the launch this Fall of two new online graduate certificates in geographic information science and…

Alumni and friends Dawn McDaniel and Marat Zanov work at Georgia-based Virtually Better, Inc., to develop virtual reality treatments for anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which frequently affects veterans. Both earned Ph.D.s in psychology at USC Dornsife. Photos courtesy of Marat Zanov and Dawn McDaniel.

Virtually Cured

July 31, 2014

Veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often experience a cluster of symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares, emotional numbness and hyperarousal, which results in difficulty sleeping, angry…

“This has opened up communication and people are becoming more interested in working with results from our Mt. Wilson data study,” said Ph.D. physics and astronomy student Stephen Pinkerton, first place winner of poster contest in national contest, standing at the Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains near Pasadena. Photo by Steven J. Hale.

Pinkerton Wins Poster Contest

July 29, 2014

Physics and astronomy Ph.D. student Stephen Pinkerton has won first place in the 2014 American Astronomical Society Solar Physics Division Student (AAS-SPD) Poster Contest. Pinkerton’s award-winning poster described his…

Simons Foundation grant recipient Shang-Hua Teng, Seeley G. Mudd Professor of Computer Science at USC Viterbi School of Engineering, holds a joint appointment at the Department of Mathematics at USC Dornsife. Photo courtesy of USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Teng Named Simons Investigator

July 25, 2014

Shang-Hua Teng will be a member of this year’s class of Simons Investigators, according to the Simons Foundation. He is one of the two outstanding computer scientists chosen nationwide. The five-year, $500,000 grants…

<em>Changyuraptor yangi</em> is considered the biggest of the four-winged dinosaurs. Illustration by S. Abramowicz/courtesy of the Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum.

The Case for Flying Dinosaurs

July 24, 2014

A newly discovered raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers adds to growing evidence that dinosaurs flew before birds did. An international team of scientists from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles…

Students in the International Geobiology Course enjoy an afternoon of field study as a break from intense analytical work at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Photos by Letty Avila.

Where Earth and Life Sciences Merge

July 24, 2014

Ooids are sediment grains generally composed of calcium carbonate formed on the sea floor. They fascinate geologists because they have appeared throughout the planet’s evolutionary history. Traditionally, earth…

USC Dornsife’s doctoral candidate Matthew Mendez (left) and Christian Grose, associate professor of political science, said they were shocked to find a nearly 20 percentage point gap among legislators who support voter ID laws based on the name of the ethnicity of the constituent. Photo by Susan Bell.

Identifying Bias

July 17, 2014

Groundbreaking research by USC Dornsife’s Christian Grose, associate professor of political science, and doctoral candidate Matthew Mendez has shown that lawmakers who support voter ID laws are more likely to show racial…