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Undergraduate Research News

The 190,000-square-foot USC Michelson Center will stand in the southwest quadrant of the University Park campus, home to most of the science and engineering buildings.

$50 Million Gift Funds Convergent Bioscience

January 13, 2014

Gary K. Michelson, retired orthopaedic spinal surgeon whose groundbreaking work generated more than 955 issued or pending patents worldwide, has donated $50 million to USC to fund the USC Michelson Center for Convergent…

During presentations at the California Science Center, USC Dornsife students found simple ways to demonstrate complex concepts such as propulsion in a space shuttle like the Atlantis liftoff in 2010 shown here.

Dissolving Away Confusion

January 9, 2014

USC Dornsife senior Vahak Bairamian dropped an Alka-Seltzer tablet into a small plastic container filled with water and closed the lid. The container was encased in a long, vertical tube. The audience at the California…

In a recent ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, Councillor Oisín Quinn, Lord Mayor of Dublin, presents USC Dornsife’s Moeka Komachi with the Highly Commended Undergraduate Award for her paper recommending ways to improve education for dyslexic students in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of the Undergraduate Awards.

Improving the Human Experience

January 7, 2014

Moeka Komachi has been interested in the way the mind works since her high school days in Hong Kong. As a teenager, she began her inquiry when she selected psychology as her concentration for an International Baccalaureate…

The Global Ethics Fellows Conference hosted by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs brings together students from around the world to discuss global ethical challenges. Here, attendees participate in a roundtable discussion as part of the program held in New York Nov. 5 to 8. Photo by Amanda Schmitt.

Advocates for Ethics

December 19, 2013

When an earthquake and tsunami occurred in Futaba, Japan, in March 2011, there was a horrible ripple effect. Not only was the small coastal town devastated by the natural disaster, but the nearby Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear…

USC Dornsife senior and budding entrepreneur Sanjay Rajpoot is launching a company devoted to taking hydroponics mainstream with the goal of helping to end world hunger. Photo by Matt Stone.

Hydroponics Grows Up

December 19, 2013

Six years ago, then-16-year-old high school student Sanjay Rajpoot was channel surfing at his parents’ Santa Barbara, Calif., home when a documentary caught his attention. It was about hydroponics — the practice of…

Sophomore William Orr in his “Law, Politics and Public Policy” course, which will go toward his major, the new interdisciplinary Law, History and Culture degree. A partnership between USC Dornsife and USC Gould School of Law, the major investigates justice, and the interplay of law, history and culture. Photos by Matt Meindl.

Law With Social Impact

December 12, 2013

“Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice, and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.” These insightful words, spoken…

In Cairo, Egypt, USC Dornsife undergraduates studying religion and democracy braved temperatures of nearly 120 degrees Fahrenheit to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza. They are shown here at stone blocks of the pyramid's base. Photo by Steven Weier.

Major Gift to Support Scholarships

December 10, 2013

A new $20 million gift from anonymous donors will endow student support at USC Dornsife, the USC School of Social Work and the USC Marshall School of Business. This is one of the largest individual gifts for student support in…

In celebration of International GIS Day, Sarah Ellis and Haijing Lin, both undergraduates at USC Dornsife's Spatial Studies Institute (SSI), launch a weather balloon with an infrared GoPro camera attached to demonstrate aerial mapping technology. Photo by Matt Meindl.

A Bird’s Eye View

December 4, 2013

The passing troupe of blue-uniformed grade school children on a visit to University Park campus nudged each other and pointed at the sky as, 250 feet up in the air, a large white weather balloon sailed over Alumni Park. On…

A 22-year-old Greta Garbo poses with a USC track coach on campus in 1926. Photo courtesy of Charles Epting.

Bet You Didn’t Know

November 13, 2013

Remember in The Graduate, when a desperate Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman) sped to “northern California” in his beat-up Alfa Romeo Spider to find Elaine? USC stood in for the University of California,…

Tiffany Pereira ’11 is a research associate at the San Diego Zoo’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center located in the Mohave Desert in Nevada. She graduated from USC Dornsife with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and a minor in fine arts from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts. Illustration by Niklas Asker.

The Environmentalists: Tiffany Pereira

November 12, 2013

Why do you love working in conservation? We take in desert tortoises, a threatened species, and rehabilitate them, raising public awareness while conducting research. After tortoises are released for relocation, they are…