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Faculty Research News

Late psychology professor J.P. Guilford believed that through cultivating traits such as creativity and analytical reasoning, students could learn to be smarter. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

Late professor’s revolutionary model of intelligence valued creativity, critical thinking

March 15, 2016

For those of us who flounder while trying to calculate a tip or parallel park — but flourish when asked to write a poem or analyze a painting — we have Joy Paul “J.P.” Guilford to thank for validating…

A microscopic image shows the type of phytoplankton and bacteria observed by USC researchers during a study of algal blooms. Photo courtesy of David Needham and Jed Fuhrman.

Microorganisms battle it out within algal blooms

March 8, 2016

An unseen war raging among the ocean’s tiniest organisms has significant implications for understanding the ocean’s role in climate change, according to a new study. USC Dornsife researchers David Needham and Jed…

Functional MRI scanners provide maps of signals in the brain, but scientists know these maps may be slightly inaccurate. Photo by Janne Moren.

Rare eye condition gives scientists a chance to improve brain scan studies

March 3, 2016

There is an elephant in the room each time scientists conduct a brain scan study. Functional MRI scans provide colorful maps of signals in the brain, but scientists know these maps may be slightly inaccurate. That’s…

Richard Brutchey of chemistry and his colleagues have created a parallel reactor to improve the manufacture of nanoparticles. Image courtesy of Richard Brutchey.

Researchers find way to produce nanomaterials on a larger scale

March 1, 2016

Nanoparticles — tiny particles 100,000 times smaller than the width of a strand of hair — can be found in everything from drug delivery formulations to pollution controls on cars to high-definition TV sets. With…

Ange-Marie Hancock of political science, gender studies and sociology has written a new book on intersectionality, which looks at the relationship between power and race, gender, class and sexuality.

To better understand how society works, take a closer look at the intersections

February 26, 2016

The United States, though led by an African American president, has witnessed the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. In Scandinavia, largely a progressive, socially oriented and egalitarian region, violence against women…

John Tower and his colleagues found that treating flies with a steroid hormone decreased egg production in females while increasing longevity. Photo by Gus Ruelas.

Some aging treatments have opposite effects on males and females

February 19, 2016

What helps her live longer might be harmful to him, according to a new study that may shed light on how and why organisms age. Analyzing years of previous research on dietary and pharmaceutical tests on flies and mice,…

East L.A. shopkeeper and Christian Syrian immigrant Mansur Nahra (seated), serving as best man at the 1929 wedding of his employee, Isidoro. Photo courtesy of Vera Tamoush.

Middle East expert finds Syrian Americans comprise a rich multiplicity of identities

February 18, 2016

When Sarah Gualtieri interviewed Vera Tamoush, the daughter of Syrian Christian immigrants to Los Angeles, Tamoush described her father, Mansur Nahra, as Mexican. How, asked Gualtieri, associate professor of American…

Blue indicates the location of the tiny locus coeruleus within the brainstem. Photo from Shutterstock.com.

Researchers pinpoint brain region as ‘ground zero’ of Alzheimer’s disease

February 17, 2016

A critical but vulnerable region in the brain appears to be the first place affected by late onset Alzheimer’s disease and may be more important for maintaining cognitive function in later life than previously…

Robert Douglas pictured at his office on the University Park campus in 1982. Photo courtesy of USC University Archives.

In Memoriam: Robert Douglas, 78

February 10, 2016

Robert Guy Douglas, Professor Emeritus of Earth Sciences, has died. He was 78. Douglas died at home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Jan. 26 after a long battle with cancer. Dean of natural sciences and mathematics at USC…

California State Poet Laureate and USC Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture Dana Gioia offers tips for writing a meaningful love poem to your Valentine.

How to give a Valentine’s Day gift from your heart, not your wallet.

February 9, 2016

Amid the barrage of chintzy jewelry and mawkish greeting cards we face every February, it’s easy to lose sight of the overall purpose of Valentine’s Day — expressing love. While material items have transient…