Thanassis Rikakis named new dean of USC Iovine and Younger Academy

Thanassis Rikakis, an educator and researcher who has devoted his career to removing obstacles among

Thanassis Rikakis, an educator and researcher who has devoted his career to removing obstacles among educational disciplines, has been selected as the new dean of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Youthful Academy.

Rikakis will come to USC from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State College, where he is a professor of bioengineering and executing arts. Rikakis, who has served as executive vice president and provost at Virginia Tech, is the university’s founding director of impressive transdisciplinary honors courses as properly as programs for adaptive lifelong discovering. He also has been a co-leader of the Interactive Rehabilitation Lab, which develops interactive computing plans and semi-automated evaluation methodologies to enable particular person clients rehabilitate at a clinic or at dwelling.

As a musician and engineer, Rikakis has improved convergent exploration and academic chances so that both college students and faculty can build mental muscle that positions them for discovery and innovation. He led convergent research and educational initiatives initially as the founder of Arizona Point out University’s College of Arts, Media and Engineering and later as a vice provost for structure, arts and technologies at Carnegie Mellon College.

“Throughout his vocation, Thanassis Rikakis has been passionate about connecting creative imagination and engineering — and observing the overlap among the various disciplines, from the arts to engineering,” USC President Carol L. Folt mentioned. “As a musician, engineer and educator, he erased traces separating tutorial disciplines via his spirit of reimagination. That spirit aligns immediately with the academy’s mission at the intersection of art, entrepreneurship, tech and conversation.”

Creating a space for people today who find out in different ways is going to be a big goal for education in the 21st century.

Thanassis Rikakis

A researcher in programs style, engineering and the arts, Rikakis has authored publications masking computing, wellbeing, instruction and design.

“Technology, structure and enterprise development are becoming integrated in new techniques at the Iovine and Young Academy,” mentioned Provost Charles Zukoski. “Dr. Rikakis has a eyesight for how these regions can be fused to produce unique instructional pathways essential to the good results of the academy and the future of higher education and learning.”

Started in 2013 with a present from Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young, the USC Iovine and Younger Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation turned the university’s newest qualified school in 2018. Its undergraduate courses target on artwork and style, organization, know-how and communications.

“I’m seriously thrilled to be coming to these a effectively-structured, forward-looking initiative,” Rikakis said, who will commence at USC on Aug. 23. “Creating a place for folks who find out differently is going to be a important intention for education in the 21st century, irrespective of whether at the university level or the large school amount. Those people people today can be catalysts for how we expand the knowledge vocabulary.”

New dean at USC Iovine and Younger Academy endorses progressive pursuits of information

The freshly named dean credits academy founders Jimmy Iovine and Andre Younger, as well as his predecessor Erica Muhl and USC, for developing a forward-wondering house like none other in greater education. Muhl — who served as the inaugural dean and founding govt director — shaped the academy’s curriculum, which combines interdisciplinary collaboration with fingers-on studying. College leaders also declared that Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg Faculty for Conversation and Journalism, will also serve as interim dean of the academy. Bay has led USC Annenberg as dean given that 2017.

“It’s amazing to be at a university that produced a group for polymaths so we really don’t have to be immigrants across silos,” Rikakis stated. “It’s remarkable that as early as 2013, USC and the founders stated: There’s a diverse way of approaching awareness, we can do this. Many thanks to that form of progressive openness, we’re uncovering areas of human intelligence that have been a little bit neglected, which will allow for us as a culture to do far better with collaboration, connecting diverse kinds of know-how and distinct sorts of folks.”

Born in Greece, Rikakis pursued an arts-targeted training in the United Kingdom prior to earning his undergraduate degree in tunes composition at Ithaca Higher education. He gained postgraduate levels in music composition at Columbia University, wherever he grew to become an adjunct assistant professor of music.

“Many of us who ended up in tunes in the ’80s and ’90s, as own computing and digital media started out escalating, were being uniquely positioned to humanize personal computer expertise and to then join that to schooling,” explained Rikakis, who served as affiliate director of Columbia’s Laptop Tunes Heart in the late 1990s. “Anybody who learns songs learns logical constructions, mathematical buildings and conversation constructions that can use to any field if you can determine out how to transfer that awareness.”

It is local community that sensitizes us to what is essential future, and we’re expressing that.

Thanassis Rikakis

In 2015, he joined Virginia Tech to focus on transdisciplinary studying and investigation, as very well as enlargement plans for the Virginia Tech Carilion Health Sciences and Technological know-how campus. He went on to found the Calhoun Honors Discovery program, developed by means of a key reward from the CEO of Boeing. The system is a cross-disciplinary collaboration initiative that merges business and academic knowledge and offers full-tuition scholarships to these approved. As director of the Calhoun Middle for Better Instructional Innovation, he produced methodologies and instruments to foster inclusive and adaptive lifelong discovering.

“Academia has realized important development in understanding through the focused solution of the disciplines. But the integration of unique disciplines, various approaches, is the place we’re heading to see several future breakthroughs in human intelligence,” Rikakis said. “Complex issue-resolving throughout numerous interacting proportions is something that desktops are not able to do properly due to the fact these procedures are not analytical or deterministic. They are genuinely very probabilistic choice spaces that need the [unique human ability] to synthesize big difference.”

Rikakis was drawn to USC in part because of its put at the center of 1 of the world’s most culturally vibrant towns. He performs piano, trumpet and recorders and has penned 30 compositions. Music is the connective tissue that binds the academic character of a person whose abilities reaches across lots of disciplines. He credits composer Olivier Messiaen, with whom Rikakis attended composition seminars many years in the past, with a philosophy of collective brilliance.

“One of the pupils at a seminar questioned, ‘How do we come to be initial creators?’ and Messiaen said, ‘There is no such matter as first creators. We are all gifted transmitters and receivers,’” Rikakis stated. “It improved my lifetime since you phase back again from this strategy of particular person genius. It is neighborhood that sensitizes us to what is wanted up coming, and we’re expressing that — transferring ahead and building a a lot more equitable, inclusive and sustainable society.”

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