University of Southern California

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Alan Willner of the University of Southern California reveals how twisting light could drastically increase data transmission speeds.


Alan Willner is a professor of electrical engineering and the Steven and Kathryn Sample Chair in Engineering at the University of Southern California. His research is focused on high-speed optical fiber communication systems, with emphasis on optical amplification and wavelength-division-multiplexed technologies and networks. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Columbia University.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Michael Habib of the University of Southern California reveals why rarely-used behaviors can determine an animal’s evolutionary success. 


Michael Habib is an assistant professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. As a paleontologist, he explores the relationships between animal structure and motion with a particular focus on collective behaviors such as swarming.

Dr. Michael Habib – Novel Behavior and Evolution

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Sarah Feakins of the University of Southern California explores the role environmental factors played in the origin of bipedalism. 


Dr. Feakins is an assistant professor of Earth sciences at the University of Southern California’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Her research uses biogeochemical analytical approaches to answer questions about climatic and ecological change. Her current projects include compound-specific carbon isotopic reconstruction of paleovegetation. She holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Lisa Aziz-Zadeh of the University of Southern California explains how the brain behaves differently while observing someone we dislike.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Jan Amend of the University of Southern California explains efforts to understand microbes that live deep below the surface of the earth.


Jan Amend is a professor of earth sciences and biological sciences at the University of Southern California. His lab carries out research in microbial geochemistry with particular interests in shallow-sea hydrothermal systems and the deep subsurface biosphere.

About Dr. Amend

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Craig Stanford of the University of Southern California explores the variety of threats the world’s great apes face from modern humans.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Daniel Lidar of the University of Southern California explains why diamonds may be the key to quantum computing.

Daniel Lidar is a professor of chemistry and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California. His research is focused on various aspects of quantum information theory, including quantum algorithms, the theory of open quantum systems, quantum phase transitions and entanglement. He holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. David Bottjer reveals how past periods of global warming caused mass extinctions and how similar patterns are appearing in the oceans today.