Reminder: Annenberg Graduate Fellows Symposium

April 4, 2011

TOMORROW: Top USC graduate students present ongoing work in gaming, communications research, robotics and more

WHAT: More than 60 of USC’s top graduate students in digital media, communications and creative technologies will present interactive projects, short films and the results of thought-provoking research as part of the third annual Annenberg Graduate Fellows Symposium.

The student projects are funded by the USC Annenberg Graduate Fellowship Program, created in 2007 to attract highly recruited communications scholars and creative engineers to USC.

Among this year’s projects:

* Some have argued that the advent of digital games for young children has been detrimental to motor skills, which are better developed by  manipulating toys like blocks or puzzle pieces. A team of students from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the USC School of Cinematic Arts and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering are presenting a conceptual prototype that could revolutionize child’s play by “wrapping” 3D surfaces such as blocks or nesting dolls with touch screen skins.
* RoboGUIDE wants to hold your hand. With articulated knuckles, the full-size robot designed by USC Viterbi School of Engineering student Jonathan Kelly might someday guide visually impaired people by the hand through complicated environments, say, a maze of hospital corridors to the right screening room. With on-board cameras, RoboGUIDE could also respond to ongoing changes in that environment, such as a sudden influx of pedestrians, and provide information by recognizing faces or signs.
* What can game theory and its understanding of strategic conflicts teach us about journalism? A video project by Lisa Rau of the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism maps the motivations of those involved in news gathering and reporting, creating a model of decisions made by those who must insert themselves as observers into situations, and when they intervene.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 5, 2011

WHERE: Town and Gown, University of Southern California. For a map of campus, click here.

HOW: More than $4 million is set aside every year through the Annenberg Center Endowment for graduate student fellowships in the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

MORE:  Researchers will be at their presentation station for demonstrations and questions beginning at 1:30 p.m. Attendees can stop by any time during the hours of the event to view the exhibits. A reception and informal discussion will be held from 3:30 p.m until 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Meredith Drake Reitan, USC Annenberg Graduate Fellowship Program Administrator at For media parking, contact Suzanne Wu at

Media Contact: Meredith Drake Reitan at or Suzanne Wu at