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Faculty Research News

In his new book, <em>Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation </em> (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Jacques Hymans, associate professor of international relations in USC Dornsife, suggests that repressive, authoritarian regimes often undermine their own nuclear programs with the same heavy-handed management they use to control their countries. Photo courtesy of Jacques Hymans.

Can Iran Achieve Its Nuclear Ambitions?

July 20, 2012

Sanctions, sabotage, diplomacy and even the threat of military action — the United Nations Security Council countries seem to be emptying their toolbox when it comes to containing Iranian nuclear ambitions. But nuclear…

<em>Elsewhere, California</em>, a debut novel written by USC Dornsife’s Dana Johnson, examines assimilation, class and the complications of African American identity. Dana Johnson photo by Ben Pack.

Finding One’s Self in L.A.

July 19, 2012

As USC Dornsife’s Dana Johnson strolled through Echo Park, taking in the downtown Los Angeles skyline and Palm tree-lined lake, the characters, setting and plot of her first novel took shape. Johnson often hiked several…

Lee Crystal (MLS '12) shakes hands with Jim Kincaid (right), Aerol Arnold Chair in English and Professor of English, and chair of the MLS Faculty Board in USC Dornsife, after Crystal presented his research at the international symposium. Nita Kincaid looks on. Photo by Emily Loynachan.

USC Dornsife’s Master of Liberal Studies Program Hosts International Symposium

July 16, 2012

Under an umbrella in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center courtyard, students from USC Dornsife’s Master of Liberal Studies (MLS) program traded spirited ideas about Friedrich Nietzsche’s “God is Dead”…

Steve Kay, incoming dean of USC Dornsife, is one of the world’s top experts on genes and circadian rhythms. He has published more than 200 papers and has been cited in <em>Science</em> magazine's “Breakthroughs of the Year” three times since 1997. Photo by Emily Cavalcanti.

Resetting Your Biological Clock

July 12, 2012

Led by Steve Kay, incoming dean of the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a chemical that offers a completely new and promising direction for the development of drugs…

David St. John is the author of 10 collections of poetry, the newest is <em>The Auroras</em> (HarperCollins, 2012). Here, St. John of USC Dornsife stands in front of his home in Venice, Calif. Photo by Roger Snider.

The Goddess of the Dawn

July 3, 2012

In the poem, “The Aurora of the New Mind,” the narrator fluffs up the pillows then won’t let the reader get comfortable. There had been rain throughout the province Cypress & umbrella pines in a palsy of…

Dion Dickman studies synapse development, function and plasticity. The New Scholar Award in Aging will fund his research into the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity in the nervous system during the aging process. Photo by Michelle Salzman.

Dion Dickman Wins Award to Fund Research on Neurobiology of Aging

July 3, 2012

Dion Dickman, assistant professor of biological sciences in USC Dornsife, has received a 2012 New Scholar Award in Aging from the Ellison Medical Foundation. Over the next four years, the $400,000 award will fund…

Members of the Los Angeles Indian community at a celebration at USC on June 23 in honor of a new faculty chair in Hindu studies. Photo by Donald E. Miller.

New Hindu Studies Chair

June 25, 2012

The USC School of Religion will establish the first chair of Hindu studies in the United States funded by the Indian-American community. The $3.24 million gift from the Dharma Civilization Foundation to the School of…

This artist's rendition created from a photograph of Antarctica shows what Antarctica possibly looked like during the middle Miocene epoch, based on pollen fossil data. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Dr. Philip Bart, LSU

Antarctica Warmer 20 Million Years Ago

June 18, 2012

Ancient Antarctica was warmer and wetter than previously suspected, enough to support vegetation along its edges, according to a new study led by USC Dornsife’s Sarah Feakins. By examining the remnants of plant leaf wax…

From left, USC data analyst Shawn Irish and USC Dornsife undergraduate researchers Matthew Orr, Eric Hotchkiss, and Travis de Ronde stand with mirrors atop the 60-foot solar tower on Mt. Wilson. Photo by Jie Gu.

Black Pearls of the Sun

June 13, 2012

Atop Mt. Wilson overlooking Pasadena, dozens of stargazers peered through telescopes at a celestial wonder. A few people donned T-shirts declaring “I Witnessed the Transit of Venus.”  To mark the event that…

Quantum computers use quantum bits, or qubits, which can encode a one and a zero at the same time. Photo courtesy of D-Wave Systems Inc.

Quantum Computers Could Help Search Engines Keep Up With the Internet’s Growth

June 12, 2012

Most people don’t think twice about how Internet search engines work. You type in a word or phrase, hit enter and poof — a list of Web pages pops up, organized by relevance. Behind the scenes, a lot of math goes…