About the Academy

The USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study offers a series of conversational encounters intended to intensify polymathic (integrated interdisciplinary) awareness.  Conversations and other forms of presentation will include faculty, junior faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduates.  These discussions are anchored in and structured by the Four Quadrants of Polymathic Inquiry: critical and integrative thinking, study of the great polymaths, tapestry, and communication.

Upcoming Events

Aug 28 2021
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Nov 26 2021

Polymathic Book Club ~ A Handful of Earth, A Handful of Sky: The World of Octavia E. Butler

When: 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Where: Sidney Center (previously known as the Harman Academy); Doheny Memorial Library, room 241
Event Type: Special Events and Series
Sep 27 2021

Computational Art

When: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Where: Ahmanson Lab | Leavey Library, 3rd floor (LVL 301)
Event Type: Workshop
Sep 27 2021

Emergent Technology Series - VR Web Development, Part 1

When: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: Ahmanson Lab | Leavey Library, 3rd floor (LVL 301)
Event Type: Workshop

Get Involved

  • Catalina Retreat

    A three-day student initiated and designed workshop held at the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island. A student cohort in collaboration with invited faculty engage a topic from multiple, polymathic modes and perspectives.
    Catalina Retreat
  • Image of a workshop

    Our Makerspace

    Through workshops on design, digital authoring, physical computing and other creative endeavors, students at the Ahmanson Lab explore the value of making to polymathic inquiry with a roster of faculty, artists, and designers.
    The Ahmanson Lab
  • Buildings in Los Angeles: text reads Los Angeles: a Polymathic Inquiry.

    Our Course

    In this course, professors William Deverell and Karin Huebner, and distinguished Los Angeles experts guide students through a two-part, yearlong polymathic inquiry into Los Angeles as fact and imaginative creation.
    Los Angeles: A Polymathic Inquiry
  • Closeup of pizza with cheese, tomatoes and sauce.'

    Polymathic Pizzas

    Every semester the Academy hosts a series of informal yet directed undergraduate encounters with invited faculty who demonstrate polymathic approaches to their scholarship and teaching. Pizza and soda are always provided.
    Polymathic Pizzas

Project Spotlight

  • Image of Distant Destinations Project

    Distant Destinations

    Students in this Collaboratory worked with Kenneth E. Phillips from USC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and Curator for Aerospace Science at the California Science Center as well as the Center’s Curation and Exhibit Development Team to research and design an interactive, multiplayer museum exhibit on the challenges of human-piloted deep space missions.
    View Project
  • Image of Chinatown Neighborhood Project

    Chinatown(s) Neighborhood

    Chinatown(s) Neighborhood brings together a series of essays researched and written by students in CORE 450 Los Angeles: A Polymathic Inquiry, using primary materials from the Los Angeles Public Library, the Huntington Library, and the USC Digital Library.
    View Project