Each year, USC programs and faculty research are highlighted in print, broadcast and online stories throughout the world. Highlights of recent news coverage are compiled by USC Media Relations.
USC in the News 4/28 to 4/30/2012
The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that stem cell scholar Andrew McMahon will leave Harvard University to direct the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, housed within the Keck School of USC. McMahon will chair the university's new department of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. "USC is strongly invested in moving research from bench to bedside," McMahon said. He added that stem cell research and the institute will be a major part of USC's $6 billion fundraising campaign over the next six years. Most of the team from McMahon's Harvard laboratory will come with him to USC, and he will also be hiring roughly 12 scientists for new positions.
The New York Times highlighted research by Jesse Graham of the USC Dornsife College and a colleague on how liberals and conservatives view each other's values. The story also highlighted research by USC doctoral researcher Ravi Iyer on how liberals and conservatives view fairness and justice, as well as Iyer's "Politics and Moral Psychology Blog."
Los Angeles Times featured Cecil "Chip" Murray of the USC Dornsife College and his role as a civic leader following the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest. "Everything in history is pulled by an economic engine," Murray said. "To pretend that you can be poor and depressed and poor and racially discriminated against without an explosion sooner or later — that is Disneyland." Murray is a senior fellow at USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture.
Time reported that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded a grant to "Walden," an online video game based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau, developed at the USC School of Cinematic Arts' Electronic Arts Game Innovation Lab. Tracey Fullerton of the School of Cinematic Arts said the game is really more of a primer for students who haven't yet read the book. "The game is not a replacement for direct experience, just as the book is not," Fullerton said. The news was also covered by Death and Taxes.
Gizmag featured research by Richard Brutchey of the USC Dornsife College and USC postdoctoral researcher David H. Webber, who found a way to produce stable liquid solar cells that can be printed on clear surfaces. The liquid nanocrystal solar cells are cheaper than single-crystal silicon wafer solar cells, but less efficient at producing energy. The new research discovered a synthetic ligand that stabilizes the nanocrystals and makes them more conductive. The new surface coating suggests there is potential to print the liquid solar cells on plastic instead of glass. "While the commercialization of this technology is still years away, we see a clear path forward toward integrating this into the next generation of solar cell technologies," Brutchey said. The research was also covered by Mumbai Mirror (India), Newsland (Russia), SlashGear and TG Daily.
Times of Malta (Malta) highlighted work by Jeremy Gibson of the USC School of Cinematic Arts using the Microsoft Kinect gaming system. Gibson said that he and his colleagues are teaching students to develop games for the Kinect. "It broadens the horizons of our students and gives them the ability to come up with really interesting ideas they can create games out of," he added.
The Huffington Post ran an op-ed by Manuel Pastor of the USC Dornsife College and California Rep. Karen Bass about the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles civil unrest. They wrote that one myth perpetuated in the media is that the unrest was driven primarily by race, when in reality poverty and economic distress played larger roles. "The L.A. story we know is about how people, regardless of race, reunited with a vision to rebuild the city we love," Pastor and Bass wrote.
Daily Breeze reported that the USC School of Cinematic Arts was named as a participant in the Sony Digital Media Academy, a collaboration between Sony Electronics and other institutions working with digital media. Joint research may focus on high-definition mobile media production, new storytelling methods, 3-D cinema and augmented reality. Each participating school developed proposals for digital media projects to take on in the next year.
Tuscaloosa News featured video by Andrew Curtis of the USC Dornsife College, who is researching communities damaged by a tornado in 2011. Curtis used car-mounted cameras to record how different areas damaged by the tornado are being rebuilt. He has also documented the rebuilding efforts of several communities in post-Katrina New Orleans. Curtis hopes cities can use this data to understand how to best help neighborhoods recover.
Business Insider featured a study by Travis Longcore of the USC Dornsife College and colleagues finding that 6.8 million birds are killed each year by collisions with radio towers. "This is a tragedy that does not have to be," Longcore said. The story was also covered by Press TV (Iran).
Gamasutra reported that Richard Lemarchand of game developer Naughty Dog will be joining the USC School of Cinematic Arts' Interactive Media Division. He will work on a series of experimental games as part of a research project. "In other words, I'll be surrounded by awesome people, talking craft and philosophy, and building strange new things!" Lemarchand said. He is known for working on the hit "Uncharted" game series. The news was also covered by Joystiq.
Business Insider ran a column by Ira Kalb of the USC Marshall School about Amazon's Kindle Fire. Kalb wrote that Amazon, as one of the "Gang of Four" in the new Internet economy, isn't actually focused on developing a tablet so much as driving users back to its store. The endgame for all the Gang of Four companies is to create "alternative forms of money and payment systems," he added
The New York Times quoted Edward Kleinbard of the USC Gould School about Apple using legal tax shelters.
The Washington Post quoted Glenn Melnick of the USC Price School about the health insurance industry.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy quoted Manuel Pastor of the USC Dornsife College about the 1992 civil unrest in Los Angeles.
MSNBC's "Morning Joe" interviewed David Agus of the Keck School of USC about his book "The End of Illness."
Fox & Hounds Daily quoted Dan Schnur of the USC Dornsife College about the Fair Political Practices Commission's plans to regulate political Web sites that accept payments from campaigns.
San Gabriel Valley Tribune quoted Sherry Bebitch Jeffe of the USC Price School about political attacks on a candidate's spouse.
News at a Glance
The Chronicle of Higher Education mentioned enhanced security measures taken by USC after the deaths of two students.
Los Angeles Times mentioned that the USC Trojan Marching Band played at the opening ceremony for the Expo Line this past Friday. The story was also covered by KPCC-FM, Forbes, a second Forbes story and CBS News Los Angeles affiliate KCBS-TV.
Los Angeles Times mentioned that Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi is a USC alumnus.
Los Angeles Times stated that USC supported the military in World War II with a program that collected black widow spiders, whose webs were used as crosshairs in submarine periscopes.
Voice of America noted that USC's international acceptance rates are much closer to its overall acceptance rates than is the case at public universities, and mentioned that USC has the most international students of any university in the country.
Conde Nast Traveler highlighted a collaboration between Universal and the USC Annenberg School on an in-flight American Airlines "film festival" celebrating the studio's 100th anniversary.
Science Daily covered research by Songtao Shi of the Ostrow School of USC outlining how autoimmune disorders can be controlled by infusions of mesenchymal stem cells. The study was also covered by Europa Press (Spain).
South Florida Sun-Sentinel covered a study by Diane Winston of the USC Annenberg School and a University of Akron colleague, finding a large gap in understanding between reporters and news consumers on the issue of religion.