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Faculty Research News

USC College alumnus Paul Frommer created a language for the film <em>Avatar</em>. Photo by Max S. Gerber

The Science of Language (Na'vi, That Is)

April 26, 2010

"Stars are fascinating," Paul Frommer enthused. "I recall many a New York night when as a child I stood out in a vacant lot bundled up against the cold, holding a star map and a flashlight covered in red cellophane [red light…

Jia Grace Lu, associate professor of physics in USC College. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Building the Nano World

April 26, 2010

We can assume by its prefix that a nanometer is small — very small, in fact. One nanometer is equal to one billionth of a meter. In comparison, a single human hair is about 50,000 nanometers wide, and a nanowire diameter…

Richard Roberts holds a joint appointment in the College’s Department of Chemistry and USC Viterbi’s Monk Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Finding the Right Mix

April 26, 2010

A tiny drop of blood. One day that may be all a device needs to screen for hundreds of cancer markers and viral infections. Richard Roberts partners with electrical engineers to help create such cutting-edge diagnostic…

Mark Thompson, professor of chemistry and materials science in USC College. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Seizing the Day(light)

April 26, 2010

Using the sun’s energy to improve our quality of life is not a new idea. A relatively more recent development, however, is converting solar radiation into electricity. From calculators to satellites, solar cells can be…

Dave Caron, professor of biological sciences in USC College. Photo credit Max S. Gerber.

Exploring the In-Between

April 26, 2010

He’s been to the bottom of the ocean on the Alvin submarine and spent nearly three years of accumulated time on cruise expeditions. Yet, Dave Caron still has a visit to the Space Station to tick off on his life…

Katrina Edwards, professor of biological sciences and earth sciences in USC College, is leading a team to explore the subseafloor biosphere as a result of the establishment of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI). Photo credit Phil Channing.

The Power and Promise of the Ocean

April 26, 2010

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” These were the remarkable words spoken by President…

EPR-ENDOR E580 console and magnet (left) and new NMR 600 MHz magnet (right).

Chemistry Off the Charts

April 26, 2010

Great scientists make great science happen. But clearly they need cutting-edge facilities for ground-breaking scientific research. And that’s what is happening in USC College’s Department of Chemistry. The vision…

University Professor Leo Braudy of English and Scott Soames, professor of philosophy, are now fellows of the esteemed American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Photos credit Phil Channing.

Braudy, Soames Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 21, 2010

University Professor Leo Braudy of English and Scott Soames, professor of philosophy, have been named fellows of the 230-year-old American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the world's most prestigious honorary…

Abe Lowenthal, the Robert F. Erburu Professor of Ethics, Globalization and Development and professor of international relations in USC College, will receive the World Trade Week 2010 Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award. Photo credit Alexandra Bissonnette.

Abe Lowenthal Wins 2010 Stanley T. Olafson Award

April 19, 2010

Abe Lowenthal, a renowned expert on United States foreign policy, has been chosen to receive the World Trade Week 2010 Stanley T. Olafson Bronze Plaque Award to recognize his accomplishments in international trade. Presented…

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign: A Clash Between Reality and Fantasy

April 14, 2010

Commanding, evocative and unmistakable. With nine white steel and concrete letters standing 30 feet wide and 45 feet tall, the Hollywood Sign is one of the most recognized symbols in the world. The sign is also the subject of…