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Science/Technology
Pokemon language brain processing
Justice Smith as Tim Goodman, Ryan Reynolds as Detective Pikachu and Kathryn Newton as Lucy Stevens in ”Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” released just as USC researchers study how “pokemonikers” reflect how the human mind handles language.(Photo/Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

What can Pokémon character names teach us about language?

With Pikachu back on the big screen, USC researchers are taking a serious look at the linguistics of the Pokémon universe to better grasp how the brain processes language.

HealthScience/Technology
Intelligent workstations
An artificial intelligence-driven workstation designed by USC experts will learn and adjust to worker preferences and patterns with the goal of improving overall well-being. (Illustration/Carl Wiens)

How intelligent workstations will use AI to improve health and happiness

Do you want to be warm or cold? Is it time to stand rather than sit? An interdisciplinary team — made up of designers and USC professors — is using AI to create tech-savvy desks with health and well-being in mind.

ArtsScience/Technology
USC researchers how do people beatbox
Beatboxing originated in 1970s New York, coinciding with the genesis of hip-hop: The high cost of rhythm machines, or “beatboxes,“ led musicians to start creating their own rhythms with what was freely available –– their mouths. (Illustration/Dennis Lan)

Unpacking the mysteries of beatboxing: Linguists and engineers team up

Beatboxers expertly manipulate their vocal tracts to make sounds unknown in any language. Through the use of cutting-edge MRIs, USC researchers plan to find out how they do it.

Science/Technology
USC Sloan Fellow sustainable energy research
Chemist Smaranda Marinescu, left, studies methods of storing energy from sunlight and other renewable sources. She recently received a prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. (USC Photo/Rhonda Hillbery)

Childhood love of chemistry leads to large-scale energy research and coveted Sloan Fellowship

After being inspired by science as a child in Romania, Smaranda Marinescu draws inspiration from nature to develop efficient and inexpensive catalysts for harnessing energy from renewable sources.

Policy/LawScience/Technology
Using technology to fight genocide: Myanmar
Andrew Marx and his team used smallsat imagery to analyze minority Rohingya villages in Myanmar such as the one burned in 2017, top, while neighboring Rakhine villages, below, were left intact. (Image/Courtesy of Andrew Marx)

Scientists use satellite technology to detect and ultimately prevent genocide

At USC Dornsife’s Spatial Sciences Institute, Andrew Marx uses satellites and data such as crowdsourced mapping to analyze and inform human migration and refugee policy.