LIGHT FANTASTIC The new issue of Illumin, the online USC Viterbi School magazine that illustrates the many ways engineering benefits our everyday lives, can be viewed at http://illumin.usc.edu/. The latest edition features stories on the history of the modern electrical outlet, microprocessors and night vision goggles. THE COMMISH Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has appointed USC Marshall School of Business professor Adlai Wertman as a commissioner of the Los Angeles Police and Fire Pension Fund, which oversees the $11.9 billion uniformed employee pension portfolio. Wertman is a professor of clinical management and organization at USC Marshall. He is the founding director of the Society and Business Lab, a center that strives to imbue students with a sense of corporate engagement and social responsibility. A renowned leader in social enterprise, Wertman is the former president and CEO of Chrysalis, the only Los Angeles nonprofit devoted solely to helping homeless individuals change their lives through employment. SEEING DOUBLE William Swartout, director of technology at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, received international recognition for his pioneering work, including efforts toward creating virtual humans that look and behave like real people. Swartout, a research professor of computer science at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, received the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence Robert S. Engelmore Memorial Lecture Award, one of the AI community’s top honors. He was recognized for his contributions throughout a career devoted to expanding the ways humans and computers communicate with each other and exploring what can be achieved through improved interactions. Swartout is the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation-funded effort to create life-sized virtual human museum guides who have the ability to express knowledge, thoughts, feelings and even memories. These digital docents will be speaking with visitors at the Museum of Science, Boston late this year. POETRY IN MOTION Karen Holden, senior writer at the USC Marshall School of Business and recent graduate of the Master of Liberal Studies program at USC College, will read poems from her manuscript How Love Comes Home: Los Angeles in Four Voices as part of the Long Beach Mid-City Studio Tour. She will read at 3 p.m. on Oct. 3 and Oct. 4 in the studio of artist Slater Barron at 2299 Oregon Ave., Long Beach. For more information and a map to the studio tour, visit http://www.midcitystudiotour.com/ or call (562) 427-5078. DAY TO KNIGHT Bob Knight, professor of gerontology and clinical psychology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology, received an award for the advancement of psychology and aging from the American Psychological Association Committee on Aging. Knight is recognized for developing the Pike’s Peak Model of Professional Geropsychology, which emerged under his leadership as a competency-based model for addressing the mental health needs of older adults. The tribute was presented during the summer at the American Psychological Association’s 117th annual convention in Toronto. IRON MEN Thomas D. Coates, professor of pediatrics and pathology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, and John C. Wood, associate professor of pediatrics at the Keck School, are recipients of the 13th H. Russell Smith Award for Innovation in Pediatric Biomedical Research. Coates and Wood were honored on July 14 for their innovative translational work in the understanding of physiologic and cellular consequences of iron overload in patients. MAKING A CASE In its recent “Five Best Books” feature, Wall Street Journal contributor John Quinn ranked University Professor Geoffrey Cowan’s The People v. Clarence Darrow as the No. 1 book of all time on the topic of trial lawyers. The book recounts the 1910 explosion at the Los Angeles Times, which killed 20 people. High-minded idealist Darrow, who defended the labor activists accused of the crime, was indicted for jury-tampering. The Trial of Jack Ruby, Gerry Spence: Gunning for Justice, Courting Justice and A Civil Action were the other books included in the article.
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