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Arriving from a C.L.E. Moore instructorship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a year at Berkeley Quantitative, Sami Assaf became Gabilan Assistant Professor of Mathematics in Fall 2012. She specializes in algebraic combinatorics and combinatorial representation theory. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Sami Assaf

May 7, 2013

Sami Assaf sometimes uses a Rubik’s cube to demonstrate symmetry, among the most crucial ideas in mathematics. Twist the face of a Rubik’s cube and the cube keeps its symmetry — all sides are the mirror…

David Treuer, professor of English in the Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature program, joined the faculty in Fall 2011. A Pushcart Prize winner, he has written five books of fiction and nonfiction. He’s interested in Native American literature, the 20th-century novel, modernism and creative writing. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: David Treuer

May 7, 2013

Born to an Austrian Jewish father and American Indian mother, David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota. His siblings range from a brother who has straight, jet black hair and dark…

Eric Weintraub, a senior majoring in narrative studies in USC Dornsife, accepts his first place award for the creative writing category from Michael Quick, executive vice provost and professor of biological sciences. "La Laguna" explores the experiences of undocumented immigrants in the United States. Photo by Heather Cartagena.

Finding Their Muse

April 29, 2013

When Eric Weintraub's name was announced as first place winner for his short story “La Laguna” at USC’s 2013 Undergraduate Writers' Conference, he turned to the student next to him, “Did they just say…

Each week, Tina Koneazny of the Joint Educational Project (JEP)/USC ReadersPlus program and JEP tutors visit local elementary schools, where they read children a book and then practice yoga based on themes in the literature. Photos by Pamela J. Johnson.

Just Breathe

April 17, 2013

During recess, Sally pushed you. Your teacher gave you a frowny face on the spelling test and you must write “incredible” 100 times on the blackboard. On top of all that, your front tooth is loose. “OK…

Arriving as a global health major at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Otana Jakpor decided to add a major in biological sciences in USC Dornsife after taking a Problems Without Passports (PWP) biology course at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Photo by Erica Christianson.

Hard Work Meets Glamour

April 15, 2013

A Southern California native whose father is Nigerian, Otana Jakpor visited Nigeria for the first time last Christmas. In addition to spending time with cousins and extended family she didn’t before know existed, the…

USC Dornsife Dean Steve Kay (far right) gathers with USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett (from left), Sen. Al Franken, Hope Warschaw and Bruce Zuckerman. Photo by Jon Vidar.

Frankly Speaking

April 5, 2013

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) began his lecture at USC before a crowd of more than 500 with, “Today I’d like to talk about three Jews: A printing salesman, a rabbi and a professor. “This, mind you, is not a set…

An 1872 illustration depicts the seven African Americans who held seats in the 41st and 42nd United States Congress, a mere seven years after the abolition of slavery. The illustration is part of an African American history exhibit at Walt Disney's EPCOT, scripted by USC Dornsife lecturer and alumnus Anthony Sparks. Courtesy of the Kinsey Collection.

Narratives of Integrity

April 3, 2013

Did you know that in the post-Emancipation Reconstruction era — and only seven years after the abolition of slavery — seven African Americans had seats in the United States Congress? All were from formerly…

Professor Hanna Reisler of chemistry presents her keynote address at the recent WiSE Research Horizons symposium held in her honor. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Hanna Reisler Celebrated

April 2, 2013

Speaking at a recent symposium held in her honor, USC Dornsife’s Hanna Reisler recalled the early days of USC’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) program. At the time, women with tenured or tenure-track…

These two paintings reflecting appreciation for the complexities and similarities of our diverse natural world won second place in the "I Am USC Dornsife" contest for artist Brittany Lala, a neuroscience and biological sciences double major. Photo by Sonya Vanhoof.

Unlimited, Unbounded, Infinite

March 28, 2013

Growing up in Delaware, Rebecca Braun felt like “a lemon tree in a pot several sizes too small” — there was so much she wanted to see and do, but her world somehow seemed narrow. So she chose to attend USC…

Elena Pierpaoli, professor of physics and astronomy in USC Dornsife, and her team generate the most detailed map to date made of cosmic background radiation — the  oldest light in the universe. Photo by Roger Snider.

The Dawn of Time

March 25, 2013

The universe is 80 million years older and is expanding more slowly than previously believed, according to new findings that still appear to confirm the standard model of cosmology. The data was gathered by the European Space…