While large language models trained on natural language have shown remarkable ability to perform advanced tasks, researchers are divided on whether LLMs truly understand language. In newly developed graduate and senior level undergraduate courses critical for neuroscience, students will engage with questions surrounding AI and ‘true’ intelligence.
This project will improve upon and develop a series of English courses on AI in the context of literature, writing and more, as well as a technical course (cross-listed with linguistics) on textual computing. Students will learn how AI was developed, consider ethical concerns and gain skills to use AI in practical ways. Courses to be redesigned, include the introductory course, English 280: Literature and AI.
This new course, Mathematical Concepts for Data Analysis, Math 328, will explore today’s leading data science problems, including the application of mathematics to AI. Students will engage with complex concepts through easy-to-understand AI examples, such as creating and training Deep Neural Networks on MATLAB software. The course will be part of the new interdisciplinary data analytics major in the College of Arts and Sciences and College of engineering and Computing.
This proposal seeks to revise an upper level undergraduate and graduate level course in Ecoinformatics, Biol 599. Students will gain a working knowledge of AI and how to use it ethically, with special emphasis on training large language models and machine learning in biology. Development will include new open-source material allowing other professors to reuse the material freely for other courses in the College of Arts & Sciences.
In a redesign of PHIL 323, Ethics in Science and Technology, this AI Ethics course will look at modern and future robots — from toasters to autonomous vehicles — to better understand how to solve social problems using technical solutions. Students will examine problematic computing algorithms and explore improvements, remaining aware of the technology’s potential bias and limitations.
As artificial intelligence evolves, the design industry must evolve to capitalize on its capabilities. Khalili will lead an enhancement of the existing course, ARTS 346, Process and Systems, to incorporate AI and machine learning into the curriculum. Students will learn about training models and machine learning to incorporate AI as a co-creator for design solutions.
Biology students will learn how to integrate generative artificial intelligence into their STEM studies. Students in a variety of BIOL courses (Biol 101, 302, 423, and 620) will learn how to use AI ethically and in a way that increases access and opportunity in those courses. For example, students will use emerging technology to create practice exam questions to use as study tools and to create visuals that will help demonstrate challenging topics.
With a renewed set of themes and case studies, this restructuring of PHIL 325, Engineering Ethics, will modernize a popular ethics course, allowing it to reflect ongoing changes in the engineering profession over the last decade. Students will research case studies that reflect the ethical challenges of AI in various engineering fields.
Lead: Kristin Lunz Trujillo, Department of Political Science
AI can create false or misleading political information that appears credible. With a national survey administered in 2024, this project will investigate how AI influences American political attitudes and behavior, and how this knowledge can be used as an educational intervention to help people recognize AI-generated content.
Lead: Chris Rorden, Department of Psychology
With the advent of AI, neuroscientists are developing new methods to identify complex patterns in brain imaging data. The project will integrate AI-based approaches into the Honors College course ABC’s of Neuroimaging (SCHC 402), and the Psychology course Image to Inference (PSYC 589 / 888). Students will train in these cutting-edge methods through research projects using data from USC’s 3T MRI and related studies.
Lead: Yuhao Kang, Department of Geography
People use maps every day for a wide variety of reasons — from navigation and travel to location-based services — but traditional maps pose a challenge for those with visual disabilities. In collaboration with the Student Disability Resource Center, Kang will use AI to develop a framework to turn visual geographic images into acoustic maps. Using sound-based cues, this transformative approach will provide an inclusive alternative to visual maps.
Co-leads: Conor Harrison and David Fuente (School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment; Department of Geography)
This new course will address energy and water equity, a critical issue stemming from the intertwined challenges of climate change and socioeconomic inequality. Students will conduct on-the-ground research to cultivate skills in problem solving, hone their analytical and quantitative abilities and develop effective written, visual and verbal communication.
Lead: Dustin Whitehead (Department of Theatre and Dance)
The Get on Set Initiative provides an opportunity for student filmmakers to gain real-world experience on a professional set, expanding their tools for breaking into the film industry. Additionally, this project will create economic opportunity for the state and university by bringing yearly film productions to South Carolina. This funding supplements an active grant from the South Carolina Film Commission.
Lead: Liz Countryman (Department of English)
Split P partners with local public schools to provide writing workshops for elementary students in English and Language Arts. Master of Fine Arts students receive stipends to teach fiction and poetry to young learners, enhancing the fellows’ educational experiences and giving children in the community the opportunity to explore creative writing and tell their own stories.
Lead: Mark Smith (Institute for Southern Studies)
The South Carolina Department of Archives and History houses probate records from the 18th and 19th century. The SHARE project will work with partners, locally to internationally, to digitize these important records and to lay the groundwork for future management of complex primary source materials in a digital framework. The project also aims to provide funding to assist first-generation and underrepresented students.
Lead: Joshua Meyer-Gutbrod (Department of Political Science)
This project provides greater access to internships for political science students, particularly first-generation, underrepresented and non-traditional students. It will help students find paid internships, support them through weekly class sessions for course credit and culminate with presenting at a job fair with networking opportunities.
Lead: Stephanie Milling (Department of Theatre and Dance)
The newly designed M.A. in Dance Studies will prepare students to teach dance in K-12 schools through two years of online courses with brief, in-person residencies. The 2023 McCausland Innovation Fund award will support development of three online, asynchronous courses included in this program: DANC 725: Arts Policy, Advocacy, and Funding, DANC 750: Critical Issues in Dance Pedagogy, and DANC 790: Research Methods in Dance.
Co-leads: Judith Kalb and Lara Ducate (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
A few new, online courses will help students develop knowledge and skills related to global cultures. FORL 360: Introduction to Intercultural Communication will give students an introduction to the connection between language and culture and prepare them to communicate well with people with different cultural backgrounds. SPAN 280: Spanish Language in Society will allow students to learn about the language's role in cultures around the world. CHIN 315: China’s Monkey King will explore Chinese literature and film.
Co-leads: Leah Lindsey and Catherine Wiskes (Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
These courses prepare students to communicate in basic Spanish and explore the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world, while meeting Carolina Core requirements. The faculty will redevelop the online delivery of these courses and provide improved instructor training, creating an enhanced experience for the many USC students who take these courses online.
Lead: Dawn Campbell (Department of Women’s and Gender Studies)
The women’s and gender studies major gives students a deep understanding of women and other underrepresented groups through research and community involvement. In addition to gaining skills that translate well into future employment or graduate studies, WGST students learn to think critically, communicate effectively, solve problems and interpret human experiences with empathy and insight. The online program, to be launched in fall 2024, will embody the same major course requirements and learning outcomes as the traditional B.A. program, while contributing to equitable access to higher education.
The McCausland Visiting Scholars Fund will bring several scholars to campus in the 2023-2024 academic year.
The Department of Psychology will host David MacKinnon, Regents and Foundation Professor of Psychology from Arizona State University, for public talks, workshops, and consultations with faculty and graduate student researchers. Amanda Fairchild is the faculty host.
The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies will host Monica McLemore, a professor from the University of Washington Department of Child, Family and Population Health, for a talk, seminar and classes about health equity. The talks will be part of the department’s 50th anniversary celebration. Emily Mann is the faculty host.
The Department of Sociology will host two scholars from the University of Tokyo ― Dimitri Vanoverbeke, chair in sociology of law, and Jason Karlin, chair of the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, for talks and guest lectures about law and culture in Japan. Mathieu Deflem is the faculty host.
Tracks I-III Awards
These projects are designed to enhance the student experience and, promote interdisciplinary teaching and research and build partnerships in the community.
Lead: Minuette Floyd (School of Visual Art and Design)
Lead: Kelly Goldberg (Anthropology); Lana Burgess (Graduate Director, McKissick Museum)
Lead: Beth Krizek (Biological Sciences); Charles Andy Schumpert (Biological Sciences)
Lead: William Strosnider (Baruch Institute)
Lead: Marius Valdes (School of Visual Art and Design)
Lead: August W. Fountain III (Chemistry and Biochemistry)
Lead: Valinda Littlefield (History), Brent Morris (ISRE at USC-Beaufort)
Lead: Katherine Ryker (Geoscience Education Research), Sean Yee (Mathematics Education Research)
Track IV: Online Course Development Awards
Online offerings will be developed for the following courses, allowing greater flexibility in teaching and learning while improving students' online learning experiences.
Leads: Rodney Taylor and Kendall Deas and Team Member: Kimberly Simmons (African American Studies)
Lead: Qiana Whitted (English Language and Literature and African American Studies)
Lead: Kimberly Simmons (Anthropology and African American Studies)
Lead: Rebecca Stern (English Language and Literature)
Lead: Tara Remington and Team Members: Jerry Mitchell and Grayson Morgan (Geography)
Lead: Grayson Morgan and Team Members: Jerry Mitchell and Tara Remington (Geography)
Lead: Derek O'Leary and Team Member: Colin Wilder (History)
Lead: Saskia Coenen-Snyder and Team Members: James Risk (History)
Lead: Neil Levens and Team Members: Sam McQuillin and Amanda Davis (Psychology)
Lead: Amit Almor and Team Members: Dawson Peterson (Ph.D. student, Linguistics) and Sarah Wilson (Ph.D. student, Linguistics)
Lead: Erin Roberts and Team Member: Graduate Student Assistant (Religious Studies)
Lead: Stephanie Mitchem and Team Member: Graduate Student Assistant (Religious Studies)
Lead: Stephanie Milling
The Master of Dance Studies program is a first-of-its-kind undertaking that will provide graduate-level dance study with the goal to address the increasing need for teachers in K-12 dance education.
Lead: Hanne van der Iest
The Summer of Sociology will be a highly-collaborative, accelerated minor program that allows students to earn the minor in a single summer.
Lead: Hanne van der Iest and Team Members: Andrea Henderson (Faculty Expert), Atticus Wolfe (Graduate Assistant), Victoria Money (Graduate Assistant), Valerie Barron (Graduate Assistant), and Morgan Koziol (Graduate Assistant) (Sociology)
Lead: Hanne van der Iest and Team Members: Matthew Brashears (Faculty Expert), Nicholas Heiserman (Graduate Assistant), and Nick Harder (Graduate Assistant) (Sociology)
Lead: Hanne van der Iest and Team Members: Jaclyn Wong (Faculty Expert), Meg Routh (Graduate Assistant), and Samantha Moser (Graduate Assistant) (Sociology)
Lead: Pat Gehrke (Speech Communication, English Language and Literature)