USC has established a Research Collaboration Fund, allowing scholars from different disciplines to collaborate in a wide range of projects.“Most other universities are more prescriptive — they dictate what will be done. This is more of a ‘grounds up’ approach: individuals come up with best ideas and we support the best ones,” said Randolph Hall, vice president of research.Although other universities have interdisciplinary research, USC is unique in having a program where faculty-submitted proposals compete for funding, Hall said.“We let anyone from the faculty apply for funding and choose the best ones,” he said.Over the next three years, five research communities will receive funding for workshops, seminars and retreats. The individual research projects are funded through other means, while the Research Collaboration Fund provides a community to improve the quality of research.After three years, communities can re-apply for continued funding.The five proposals chosen were: game theory and human behavior, the USC Water Institute, digital humanities publishing, the political economy of the Pacific Rim and brain health during development and aging in urban environments.Four other projects are receiving one-year seed grants.The idea for the research fund started last fall in the academic senate, and the research office began asking for proposals in February. The funding comes from the general university research fund in the provost’s office.The game theory and human behavior community, led by computer science professor Milind Tambe and psychology professor Richard John, will focus on applying game theory and other mathematical approaches like it to the social sciences.The professors originally collaborated while working on a security system for airports that is currently used at the Los Angeles International Airport.“As a computer scientist I have been trained to think about optimizing computer algorithms,” Tambe said. “It takes some time to understand the different priorities, but it is very interesting.”The group has already had a research retreat for professors in the community, plans on having a game theory week in the spring with labs and open houses, and wants to introduce game theory and to K-12 classrooms, Tambe said.Rong Yang, a second-year doctoral student studying computer science, said she enjoyed doing research in the community.“In other research, it was just designing algorithms, and the way you verify the algorithms is with a computer simulation. It’s much easier because you can control all the parts,” Yang said.Cinema professor Tara McPherson co-leads the digital humanities community. She said that her group hopes to help develop ways for scholars in the humanities to present their research in ways that integrate multimedia technology.“Scholars spend a lot of time going through archives and analyzing them. Many archives are online. We can imagine a way that scholars can publish research in the archive and about the archive,” McPherson said. “[This] generation is very familiar with things like YouTube and Flickr. We like to imagine what would happen if a generation of scholars incorporated media like that into their research and publishing.”She said that there are about 18 people in the community, and that they hope to help scholars publish works for the 21st century.The communities are diverse, but all function as ways for faculty and students to share research across disciplines in a frictionless, natural way.“I would like to see collaborative research that would not otherwise occur, that engages students and faculty in a creative way to address society’s biggest challenges,” Hall said.
Andy Enfield photographed by Brian Chin | Daily TrojanMen’s basketball recruit J’Raan Brooks announced his decision to decommit from USC and reopen his commitment on Twitter last Friday afternoon. “Due to unforeseen circumstances stemming from the recent news that has come to light in regards to the Trojan basketball program — I have decided to reopen my commitment to examine other available options,” Brooks said in his tweet. “While USC is still very much a possibility, the uncertainty of their situation has led me to believe I should reassess my own.” Brooks, a 6-foot-8 forward from Seattle, becomes the first of head coach Andy Enfield’s three 2018 recruits to decommit from the program just three weeks after news broke of an FBI investigation of assistant coach Tony Bland and multiple other Power Five basketball schools.While Brooks is staying away from USC for the time being, the Trojans are still an option for the four-star recruit in the future — if Enfield and the rest of his staff escape NCAA sanctions.“I have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Enfield, the rest of the staff, the school and fans of the program,” Brooks said. “However, I need to make sure what I do is best for my future, and ensure I am making an informed decision, while seeing how this process transpires.”Brooks has been quiet regarding potential schools of interest since his announcement last weekend. Washington, a school just three miles north of where Brooks played high school ball at Garfield High, is in the hunt for Brooks, along with Pac-12 rivals Cal, Stanford and Washington State.The rest of the 2018 class, four-star recruits Taeshon Cherry and Kevin Porter, remain committed to USC for the time being despite the allegations surrounding Bland, the Trojans’ head basketball recruiter.Cherry, a 6-foot-8 forward from San Diego’s Saint Augustine High, decided to come to USC due to his close relationship with Bland.“I have a good relationship with Tony and Enfield,” Cherry said in an interview withScout.com. “Their style of play really fits my style of play, and it’s a perfect fit for me.” Cherry is listed as ESPN’s 22nd-best player in the 2018 class and announced his commitment just days after Brooks.Fellow Seattle resident Porter, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard from local Rainier Beach, remains committed to USC despite offers from UCLA, Memphis and Washington, among others.For now, Enfield brings back most of his 2016-17 roster, along with three top 2017 recruits in Charles O’Bannon, Jr., Victor Uyaelunmo and Jordan Usher. But questions still remain for the Trojans come 2018 and beyond. Along with senior guards Jordan McLaughlin, Kurt Karis and Elijah Stewart, starting junior forwards Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu are expected to leave school early to try their luck in next year’s NBA Draft.With starting jobs up for grabs in 2018, USC could potentially land another recruit in Brooks’ place if he decides to forgo Enfield’s offer. Of ESPN’s top 100 recruits for 2018, just three have signed letters of intent. Along with local five-star center Bol Bol, USC is still in the hunt for No. 1 overall prospect R.J. Barrett and four-star prospects Elijah Weaver, Khavon Moore and Kamaka Hepa. Considering both Bol and Barrett have fielded offers from top-flight programs like Kentucky and Arizona, USC would be more likely to land Weaver, Moore and Hepa if Brooks elects to sign with another team.If those targets aren’t interested, Enfield and company could potentially save that scholarship for a top player in the loaded 2019 class. While top overall recruit James Wiseman is likely to stay put in the southeast,11th-ranked shooting guard Cassius Stanley from Sierra Canyon or 16th-ranked forward Onyeka Okongwu from Chino Hills could be drifting toward USC. Regardless of undecided recruits in 2018 and 2019, USC awaits the verdicts in the FBI investigations with fingers crossed. The Trojans open their season at home against Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 10.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisAlpena- If you told Patty and Tom Render that they would be preparing most of their meals without a source of meat, they’d probably look at you puzzled.“Meatless cooking can be healthy,” laughed the Vietnam Veteran who enjoys his meat and potatoes.As part of National Nutrition Month, the Alpena VA has been offering healthy cooking class to help veterans prepare small meals that can last a week. Dishes like a lentil and cauliflower chili can be packed away for a few days, easy to reheat. Combine it with a corn meal and you have a chili pie to increase flavor but still eat a nutritious, hearty meal.Melissa Tolan-Halleck is the VA Dietitian and has been teaching classes and presenting on healthy meal prep for the vets. Groups of three or four veterans and even their wives would get together to learn tips and tricks to staying healthy and losing those unwanted pounds.“It’s helpful, the knowledge… what to stay away from and what to choose, making the right choices,” said Patty Render.Today, veterans could drop in to taste samples and pick up recipes on different vegetable-centered dishes. Tolan-Halleck focuses on budget friendly meals incorporating a variety of spices. The hope is that veterans can take these lessons and incorporate them into everyday life. With more interest from the Veteran community in Alpena, the Render’s look forward to more classes based around living a healthy lifestyle.“It’s a good beginning, a good solid beginning.”AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisContinue ReadingPrevious Hillman Community Schools Plan to Start School Before Labor DayNext Field Trip Takes You To A Dance Class In Alpena!