Working Groups 2020-2021

Each Working Group is comprised of a small team of highly motivated students who work together on an interdisciplinary technology-oriented project over the course of the academic year. Projects, at the center of Working Groups, are conceived, designed, and directed by USC students using resources at the Ahmanson Lab and leveraging staff expertise. In keeping with the mission of the Ahmanson Lab, Working Groups aim to engage with technology critically, asking important questions or examining vital social issues while building out their respective projects.

Working Groups are given access to the Ahmanson Lab space for their work and meetings, to our staff, and to our technology and equipment. Select Working Groups are also given a small budget to purchase additional technology, materials, or resources.

The following working groups are being held during the 2020-2021 academic year. In light of campus closure, Working Groups are conducted remotely, and are admitted on a rolling basis. Reach out to Samir Ghosh, samirgho@usc.edu, for more information on how to get involved.

Working Groups 2020-2021

Mousai Neurotechnologies

Building off of the previous year's Working Groups that created an open EEG lab, published a bioethics paper, and secured funding from Visions and Voices, this group is creating technologies to stream, process, and visualize brain data in order to expore bioethics and brain-computer interfaces. To exhibit the research and work, this group created Mousai Neurotechnologies, a speculative fictional company that is creating interactive experiences that enable the public to participate in lively discussions on the ethical, legal, and social implications of emerging brain technologies. The first project will be a cross-platform streaming app for OpenBCI EEG data that empowers users to create and partake in multi-brain experiences—from thought-controlled games to generative art visualizations. This app will be unveiled during Livewire: A Stimulating Night of Neurotechnology, an upcoming USC Visions and Voices event, on March 5th, 2021.


 

Deep Maps of Culture and Place

This project seeks to combine technologies for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), digital humanities, and 3D web apps -- exploring the relationships between physical landscapes and cultural discourse, especially folklore. In other words, how do stories about a place influence our experience of that physical space?

We will endeavor to integrate a folklore corpus with a 3D map of the landscape. Our explorations will begin with the landscape and stories of Hawai'i, though we also hope to discover ways of working that can be used for other humanistic GIS projects. Reach out to Caleb Winebrenner for more information or to get involved winebren@usc.edu