Skip to main content

Faculty Research News

A tsunami caused by the San Andreas? Nope. Image from <em>San Andreas</em> courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Experts: Quake Movie a Bit Shaky

June 2, 2015

The new disaster flick San Andreas takes a harsh look at what might happen if the largest earthquake in history struck the West Coast: crumbling skyscrapers, a towering tsunami and gaping gashes in the ground. But could it…

Freeway collapses were among the damage from the 1994 Northridge quake, caused by a previously unknown fault. Photo courtesy of FEMA, by Robert Eplett.

Little-known Faults

June 1, 2015

Beneath Los Angeles rise peaks of staggering height — an unnamed mountain range standing nearly 2 miles tall. Though they rival the San Gabriels in stature, you can’t see them: They’re hidden beneath…

Illustration by Bryan Christie Design for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Layer By Layer

June 1, 2015

Part meticulous study, part eloquent homage, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man is considered not only a seminal work of art, but the very embodiment of the boundary-breaking, outward-looking curiosity of the Renaissance…

China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television limits the number of foreign films shown each year in the country to 34. Fourteen of these must be either IMAX or 3-D. Illustrations by Justin Renteria for <em>USC Dornsife Magazine</em>.

Wild for Movies

June 1, 2015

Marketing rule No. 1: When trying to make a buck, don’t alienate one of your largest audiences. Case in point, in 2012, when MGM planned a remake of the 1984 Cold War film Red Dawn, in which a midwestern town is invaded…

Photos courtesy of The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Wonder of the West

June 1, 2015

A sepia Los Angeles carnival image reveals an early 20th-century settlement on the brink of metamorphosis into a cityscape. Country store nostalgia still takes center stage, but encroaching urbanization and ubiquitous utility…

The jet stream over North America. Photo courtesy of NASA.gov.

5 Factors Affecting California’s Drought

May 27, 2015

What conditions and factors prompted our drought? Why has it persisted? Why are we running out of water? Five experts — from USC Dornsife, USC Viterbi School of Engineering and USC Price School of Public Policy —…

Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Physics Howard Taylor teaching at USC in the mid-1970s. Photos courtesy of Leeza Taylor Reisig.

In Memoriam: Howard Taylor, 79

May 22, 2015

Howard Taylor, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and Physics at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 79. Taylor died at home in Los Angeles surrounded by his wife and family on May 17. “Howard Taylor was a brilliant…

Dictionary.com recently added dozens of new words to its database, including “slacktivism,” “lifehack” and “agender.”

Spread the Word

May 12, 2015

Edward Finegan, professor emeritus of linguistics and law, recently spoke with a medical doctor who teaches at the University of Georgia. In the course of their discussion, Finegan brought up the word “agender,”…

By shifting time metrics, we can motivate ourselves to accomplish goals. Photo by John Livzey.

Reining in Procrastination

May 6, 2015

Procrastination is the thief of time that derails New Year’s resolutions and delays saving for college or retirement, but researchers have found a way to collar it. The trick? Think of the future as now. “The…

Lynn Matteson served as an associate professor of art history from 1980 to 2003. Photo by Lynn P. Kirst.

In Memoriam: Lynn Matteson, 75

May 1, 2015

Lynn Matteson, professor emeritus of art history at USC Dornsife, has died. He was 75. Matteson died peacefully on April 21 in Santa Barbara, California, 17 years after receiving a successful liver transplant. An expert in…