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Plasticity sustainable video game
Students from the USC School of Cinematic Arts teamed up with USC Dornsife’s Environmental Studies program to create Plasticity, which encourages players to make more sustainable choices. (Image/Courtesy of Aimee Zhang)

By asking players to revitalize a dying Earth, this video game aims to raise environmental awareness

A USC Dornsife environmental studies professor and two USC student game designers believe that their game Plasticity could inspire people to take sustainable action.

Science/Technology
AI animals how we define humanity
USC Dornsife anthropologist Tok Thompson believes that an evolving understanding of the world around us could lead to a new definition of the term “humanity.” (Image/iStock)

As our understanding of intelligence evolves, is it time to redefine ‘humanity’?

A USC Dornsife anthropologist says that the increasing acumen of artificial intelligence — along with new knowledge of plant and animal behavior — are challenging how we perceive the concept of being human.

Science/Technology
new USC computer science building
The new Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg Human-Centered Computation Building will emphasize open spaces for collaboration and interaction among students, researchers, faculty members and visitors. (Rendering/Harley Ellis Devereaux)

Gift from Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg helps establish new building for computer science at USC

Support from ophthalmologist Allen Ginsburg and his wife, Charlotte, will help the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s computer and data science programs continue their dramatic growth.

Science/Technology
paleoclimatology data predict future climate
Researchers from the Information Sciences Institute and USC Dornsife have created a novel platform to standardize paleoclimatology data. (Photo/Cassidy Joyes)

Earth scientists and AI researchers join forces to better predict our climate future

Paleoclimatology data — which contains the details of our climate history — can be messy. That’s why USC’s scientists and AI experts have teamed up on a new platform to standardize it for research, analysis and prognostication.

Science/Technology
Juan Pablo de los Rios Rio Grande pollution
Juan Pablo de los Rios is a chemistry graduate student in Professor Megan Fieser's lab, which is focused on tackling the plastics polluting our oceans. (USC Photo/Mike Glier)

Polluted river sparks first-gen student’s dreams of environmental change

Juan Pablo de los Rios grew up on both the Mexican and American sides of the Rio Grande, which became a dumping ground for toxic waste. As a chemistry grad student at USC Dornsife, he hopes to one day clean that river and others like it.

Science/Technology
Duet student startup refugee giving
The team that built Duet identified refugee families who were willing to share their stories, worked with a small network of family-owned stores willing to sign up, and coded and developed the app. (Photo/Courtesy of Spence Blood)

In a season of giving, this student startup is transforming how we think about philanthropy

Duet — a student-built microphilanthropy startup — looks to connect donors with refugees and their family-owned stores in a more personalized and dignified way.