USC in the News

USC In the News 2/22/2018

KPCC-FM's "Loh Down on Science" featured 2014 research by Joseph Nunes of the USC Marshall School on what separates a single from topping the Billboard Hot 100 and those that do not make it high on the charts. According to Nunes, the keys to a hit song are backing vocals and unique instrumentation – less than three or more than five instruments – that features synthesizer and guitar. There are exceptions, but every non-hit lacked background vocals.

Engadget highlighted research by the USC Center for Body Computing that field tested new activity-tracking prescription glasses. During the trial, USC researchers found that participants preferred having the fitness tracker embedded in their eyewear, rather than in a separate wearable device. The study also showed that motivational prompts and the social aspects of the app encouraged more frequent use.

CBC Radio (Canada) interviewed Steven Ross of the USC Dornsife College about his new book, "Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots Against Hollywood and America." Ross' story highlights efforts by Hollywood studios to surreptitiously fight against the rise of Nazism. "They were upset with a group of Nazis and fascists wielding hate against Jewish Americans, Catholic Americans, black Americans. ... What they understood is that in these hyphenated identities, everything that came before the hyphen was an adjective, and that the only thing that mattered was the noun. That they were Americans," Ross said.

IANS highlighted research by Bryan Wilder, Milind Tambe and Sze-chuan Suen about an algorithm they developed to help policymakers prevent the spread of infectious disease. The researchers found that by tracking the normal spread of disease and using the most of limited resources to educate the public, the artificial intelligence system may help reduce the spread of ruberculosis in India. "We can make a big difference, and even save lives, just by being a little bit smarter about how we use resources and share health information with the public," Wilder said.

Reuters quoted David Armstrong of the Keck School of Medicine about the risk of a heart pacemaker being subject to hacking.

Reuters quoted Sarmad Safeghi of the Keck School of Medicine of USC on a study that found some side effects of prostate surgery were not less likely if the patient had robotic surgery.

KPCC-FM's "Take Two" interviewed Diane Winston of the USC Annenberg School's Knight Program on Media and Religion on how the late evangelist Billy Graham rose to prominence in Los Angeles.

KPCC-FM's "Take Two" interviewed Karen North of the USC Annenberg School on how to spot whether a Twitter user is an automated bot or a real person.

Voice of America quoted Ron Avi Astor of the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School on different strategies to help prevent future mass killings in schools.

Los Angeles Sentinel quoted Jody Armour of the USC Gould School about the need to reduce gun violence overall, not just in mass shooting scenarios.

The Washington Times quoted Henry Jenkins of the USC Annenberg School about the rise of youth activism.

Los Angeles Times mentioned USC's Bovard Auditorium will host the Los Angeles Times' Book Prize ceremony on April 20, 2018 (second story here).

Los Angeles Times, Wired and Forbes cited research by Stacy Smith of the USC Annenberg School's Inclusion Initiative and colleagues on the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the entertainment industry.

Los Angeles Times also mentioned Lon Kurashige of the USC Dornsife College in a story about a new class on internment of minorities by the United States government during WWII. The original USC ITN entry featured Susan Kamei and quoted Philip Ethington of the USC Dornsife College.

USA Today cited two studies by Emilio Ferrara of the USC Viterbi School's Information Sciences Institute on the percentage of Twitter accounts managed by bots and a new study that found conservatives retweeted Russian trolls about 31 times more often than liberals and 36 times more tweets.

Mashable noted the USC Institute for Creative Technologies is working with UCLA researchers to develop Textpert Empathetic Virtual Interface (T.E.V.I), an artificially intelligent therapist.

Fast Company noted Amazon funded an Alexa fellowship at the USC Viterbi School's Information Sciences Institute.

Forbes published a Quora answer that quoted Helga Van Herle of the Keck School of Medicine of USC on the possible health benefits of caffeine. The article also cited research by V. Wendy Setiawan of the Keck School of Medicine of USC about the possible correlation between caffeine intake and longevity.

BigThink cited research by Safiya Umoja Noble of the USC Annenberg School on how race, gender and class biases inform technical design.

EdSource cite research by Julie Marsh of the USC Rossier School about democratic engagement in education finance and accountability.

Maxim cited comments by Mary Andres of the USC Rossier School about whether the frequency of sexual intercourse impacts a couple's happiness.