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

Nov 28 2023

Technology as Religion

When: 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Where: Ahmanson Lab | Leavey Library, 3rd floor (LVL 301)
Event Type: Conversations
Nov 29 2023

Community of the Curious ~ A Roundtable Pizza

When: 5:00 PM - 6:03 PM
Where: Harman Academy
Event Type: Polymathic Pizza

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
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    The Ahmanson Lab

    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
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    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

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    Historic Bunker Hill 3D Experience

    A research-driven 3D reconstruction of Bunker Hill from the late 1930s and early 1940s. Included in the reconstruction (as of May 2022) are 3D models of 172 buildings, terrain, and street features for twelve contiguous blocks of the historic neighborhood.
    View Project
  • Text & Terrain

    The Path Ahead

    An immersive 3D/VR experience that turns the subtext of ideology into literal text that has the power to shape the natural and built environment. The project was designed and built by Ahmanson Lab staff, students in our California Text + Terrain: Visualizing Ideology and Environment, and directed by creative technologist Erik Loyer.
    View Project