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University of Southern California

USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study

“If there were a single word that might be the academy’s proclamation it would be discovery.”—Sidney Harman

Spring 2012 / Polymathic Pizza - Weird Science
Bugs: Can They Be Outwitted?


Wednesday, March 7 2012


Doheny Memorial Library, Room 241


Open to undergraduates


We are not alone on this planet.  Bugs are everywhere, butterflies and viruses alike.  What are bugs trying to teach us regarding mutation and survival?  Will we ever win the battle against deadly viruses? Or will bugs prove our undoing?

Jed Fuhrman

Jed Fuhrman

Jed Fuhrman is McCulloch-Crosby Chair in Marine Biology & professor of biology at USC.  He studies the roles of microorganisms in natural marine ecosystems and the cycling of matter in the ocean, from the microscopic scale to the global scale. His work has also moved beyond the lab to improve public health.  He measures human pathogenic viruses at recreational beaches as a potential health hazard, and works on innovative ways to make such measurements relatively easy and inexpensive.

Fall 2014 Series

Quadrant Series with Edwin McCann

The Academy for Polymathic Study guides its enquiries through four flexible pathways or Quadrants:  (1) critical and integrative thinking; (2) study of the polymaths; (3) the tapestry of knowledge; and (4) communication.

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Undergraduate Series:

Polymathic Pizza, Part I: On Being Human

What does being “human” really mean and can we ever plumb the depths of the complexity of our humanity? Is being “human” a social, spiritual, or biological reality –or perhaps some combination of all three? Throughout Fall 2014, we will consider what it means to be human, beginning with the personal and expanding outwards to the global implications of our “humanness.”

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Polymathic Workshops, Panels, and Special Events

In Fall 2014, the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study is partnering with leading global and academic institutions and scholars, holding workshops and symposia to explore topics and issues from a polymathic perspctive.   

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Graduate Series:

Objects of Knowledge IV

Conversations regarding objects of knowledge, visual and material worlds from a polymathic perspective.

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