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USC Dornsife Magazine News

Historian Deborah Harkness breathes life into the mysteries of the past by embroidering fiction onto gaps in the historical record. At the centerpiece of her <em>All Souls Trilogy</em> of books is the perplexing, real-life manuscript Ashmole 782, originally donated to the Bodleian Library at Oxford University in 1858. Photo by John Livzey.

The Dark of Harkness

May 7, 2013

Deborah Harkness believes the pages of centuries-old manuscripts are enchanted. Like clues to a mystery, they hold the key to unraveling the chronology, ambitions, failures and successes of those who lived before us. And…

Features inside the new Dornsife Neuroscience Pavilion give researchers the space to investigate the human mind with the highest quality equipment available, and then walk across the lobby and catch a concert, poetry recital or lecture in Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall. Photo by John Livzey.

Castle in the Clouds

May 7, 2013

What if the components of architecture — walls, windows, ceilings and everything in-between — were used to construct the human mind? How might the physical space integrate the mind’s two perspectives: the…

Magnetic Attraction

Magnetic Attraction

May 7, 2013

“Danger! This magnet is always on!” reads a sign on the door to the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine. A list of what not to bring or do near the apparatus warns against pacemakers, metal…

Hire Purpose

May 7, 2013

These nine intellectual innovators are some of our newest professors and assistant professors. They selected USC Dornsife for the freedom it provides them to think creatively and explore unchartered territory. Take Jacob…

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…

Assistant Professor of Sociology Jennifer Hook arrived in Fall 2012. A Fulbright scholar, Hook coauthored Gendered Tradeoffs: Family, Social Policy and Economic Inequality in 21 Countries (Russell Sage, 2011). She focuses on how social contexts, particularly social policies and work opportunities, impact individuals and families. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Jennifer Hook

May 7, 2013

Jennifer Hook decided to compare fatherhood in various countries after reading a study that found fathers in Norway spend about the same amount of time with their children as do fathers in the United States. The study…

An assistant professor of linguistics since Fall 2011, Khalil Iskarous spent a decade as a research scientist at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Conn. A Fulbright scholar, Iskarous was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt. While in middle school, he and his family moved to New York. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Khalil Iskarous

May 7, 2013

The strongest muscle in the human body, the tongue is our sole muscle connected only on one end. Like an octopus arm, the tongue contains no skeletal support and uses its many muscle groups to contract, lengthen, bend and…

Founder of the Biological Imaging Center at Caltech, Scott Fraser joined the faculty in Summer 2012. The USC Provost Professor of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, and director of science initiatives has a joint appointment at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Scott Fraser

May 7, 2013

Tiny brown eggs dotted with what looks like speckles of liquid dark chocolate rest atop nests, while fuzzy, baby quails chirp and waddle inside the glass incubator. Hanging above a laser-scanning confocal microscope, a poster…

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…

Kate Flint is Provost Professor of English and Art History, and chair of art history. She arrived Fall 2011 from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and before that taught at Oxford and Bristol universities in England, from which she hails. Illustration by Bill Sanderson.

Hire Purpose: Kate Flint

May 7, 2013

You wake up in the morning, make toast then tweet about it. Later, you tell your followers about standing in line at Starbucks and feeding the cat. Kate Flint is interested in the concept of the everyday and ordinary. What is…