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Recent WiSE News: 2009-2010

Member of  the USC WiSE community regularly make headlines for their research and achievements. Please visit the links below for recent news about the WiSE Program and WiSE-affiliated faculty, students and postdoctoral scholars.

July 2010

Making the Most with Yeast – Susan Forsburg

Microbes on the Menu – Astrid Schnetzer

Tweet as Can Be – Sarah Bottjer

Making Optical Switching More Practical for Telecom – Michelle Povinelli


June 2010

Viterbi School Project Focuses on a Grey Area in the Grey Matter

Two graduate students, Viviane Ghaderi and Sushmita Allam, win grant to explore the role non-neuron brain cells play in information processing. Success could have profound consequences for drug development.

Viterbi Grad Student Wins First Place in SPE Student Paper Contest. When the winners were announced at a recent Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) meeting in Anaheim, Ph.D. candidate Marjan Jamshidi, a young researcher at the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, pulled out her cell phone to share big news.

Space Probe Peers Into Dark Cosmos, Elena Pierpaoli Looks On


May 2010

LA Weekly’s LA Life section on May 20, 2010 features two USC WiSE Professors.

Maja Matarić: Who’s Your Robot?, and

Katrina Edwards: Mistress of the Dark World.

Valedictorian Liana Ching: Engineering a Good Life

Salutatorian Natasha Naik: Have Spanish, Will Travel

Meet Salutatorian Lisa Werth, a Grade-A Trojan

Closing the Gender Gap

USC College Ph.D. candidates Mihaela Ignatova of mathematics and Whitney Behr of earth sciences have earned 2010-11 USC Women in Science and Engineering Merit Fellowship awards.

WiSE Women of USC Featured in the latest USC College Magazine

Katrina Edwards; Susan Fosburg, Sarah Sabatinos, and Pao-Chen Li; Jia Grace Lu; and Sarah Bottjer are all featured in this special Science issue of the USC College Magazine.


April 2010

WiSE Fellows Present their Work at the 2010 12th Annual Undergraduate Symposium for Scholarly and Creative Work

USC Mellon Mentoring Awards

Congratulations to our own Andrea Armani and David D’Argenio of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering who both received Mellon Mentoring Awards for Faculty Mentoring Undergraduates!

Liana Ching, Chemical Engineering major, is graduating as 2010 valedictorian

Two WiSE Women are USC’s 2010 University Salutatorians

Congratulations to the two WiSE Undergraduates who are the USC University Salutatorians and will be honored at USC’s 127th Annual Commencement on May 14, 2010: Natasha Naik and Lisa Werth.


March 2010

“Looking at the Gender Gap”: Professor Alice Parker interviewed/ featured in The Institute, an IEEE publication, March 8, 2010

Spanish article in La Opinion about our own Professor Andrea Hodge

Entre átomos y moléculas: Latina sobresale en la nanotecnología: Andrea María Pulgarín Ochoa era una de esas raras estudiantes a quien le gustaban las matemáticas.

A Woman’s Place is at the Forefront of Research

Meet the team assembled by Professor Andrea Armani to create new optical devices and biosensors in Viterbi School of Engineering’s Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

WiSE Women Recognized at Eighth Annual Remarkable Women Awards

USC Sea Grant Director, Linda Duguay, Headed to China

Linda Duguay, director of the USC Sea Grant program, has been selected to participate in a National Science Foundation workshop in China to discuss a foundation-supported ocean science education project and its possible application to outreach efforts by Chinese scientists and educators.


February 2010

USC Professor Katrina Edwards Awarded $25 Million NSF Grant

Katrina J. Edwards, professor of biological sciences and Earth sciences at USC College, has been recommended for an award of a $25 million National Science Foundation grant to establish the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations, a new science and technology center.

USC Viterbi Professors Lead Underwater Research

Professor Urbashi Mitra, of the Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering, an authority on wireless communications, is the lead principal investigator [in an effort] to find an effective way to use a network of autonomous vehicles in dynamic environments, using advanced sensing technology. Her novel effort is the first to tackle such a myriad of challenges in an underwater environment.

Susan Montgomery, Professor of Mathematics in the USC College, selected to be 2011 Noether Lecturer. Professor Montgomery has been selected by the Association for Women in Mathematics to be the 2011 Noether Lecturer, honoring women who have made fundamental and sustained contributions to the mathematical sciences.

Andrea Hodge, Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, receives NSF CAREER Award.  The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Professor Hodge’s work: “Exploring Nanoscale Growth Twins for the Development of Grain Boundary Engineering at the Nanoscale,” garnered her the award.

Innovation in the Construction Management Classroom. Burcin Becerik-Gerber has captured the intricacies of a real-world building project in her semester-long course, “Building Information Modeling for Collaborative Construction Management.”

Good Listener, Great Mentor: Chemist Hanna Reisler of USC College earns the Provost’s Mentoring Award 2009. The annual award honors a faculty member demonstrating sustained success in mentoring USC faculty, postdocs, graduate students and undergraduates.


December 2009

Appointment of Professor Armani to the Fluor Early Career Chair in Engineering. The appointment recognizes Andrea’s exceptional distinction and promise as Assistant Professor in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.

The Fly Could Prove Fruitful for Good Health. USC College’s Michelle Arbeitman’s federal stimulus grant for neurobiology research in fruit flies will help scientists get closer to detecting genes that underlie social behavior. The work may lead to better understanding of neural diseases.


October 2009

Operations Research Expert Arrives from Berkeley. Dorit Simona Hochbaum: “A natural fit” with Viterbi School strengths. A world-renowned scholar with wide-ranging OR interests who has made major contributions to algorithm design and optimization will be the inaugural recipient of the Epstein Family Chair in the Daniel Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.


September 2009

Viterbi School’s ISI Part of FutureGrid Test Bed. Ewa Deelman of the Information Sciences Institute and her group will participate in an ambitious NSF effort to develop and test novel approaches to parallel, grid, and cloud computing. By October 2009, faculty researchers at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering have won $23.6 million in funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including $1.6 million to Ewa Deelman for a new interface supporting grid computing.

WiSE 10th Anniversary Celebration and Speaker Series. In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the USC Women in Science & Engineering Program, WiSE has partnered with departments in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences to highlight the many excellent women scientists and engineers visiting the USC campus this year. A broad range of disciplinary lectures featuring distinguished speakers will take place throughout the Fall and Spring semesters, with additional opportunities for faculty, students, and the university community to talk informally with guests about their training and professional development.

Viterbi Assistant Professor, Michelle Povinelli, Wins Both ARO Young Investigator and NSF CAREER Awards


August 2009

Viterbi Assistant Professors Andrea Armani and Ellis Meng are named to the “Top 35 Young Innovators” by Technology Review Magazine

The WiSE Women of Science For the past decade, USC’s Women in Science and Engineering program has been working to make academic research and scholarship more hospitable to women scientists. The reason is simple: In today’s global economic competition, American research universities need all the brainpower they can get.