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Online Engineering Journal
INTRODUCTION
Illumin, an online magazine published by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Engineering Writing Program, is now seeking article submissions. Illumin contains articles explaining the relevance of engineering practice to everyday, non-engineering activities and features multimedia graphics and illustrations.

Illumin’s audience will be those interested in such publications as Discover, Scientific American, or Popular Science as well as those who have an interest in science-related topics. This audience covers a broad demographic of ages and backgrounds, and includes those with and without technical knowledge.
Specifically, Illumin seeks articles that:
• Identify and discuss the influence of engineers
• Illuminate the engineering underlying daily experiences
• Identify recent events that have been or could have been influenced by engineers
• Keep readers’ attention and interest
• Translate technical information and concepts to non-engineers
• Offer rich, visual content and encourage multimedia features
• Include creative presentation of information
• Direct the reader to sites or books containing more information on that topic
Articles should find unique insights into engineering that would interest a wide range of readers. Submissions should avoid topics already published unless a new perspective is added.

ARTICLE TOPICS
The possible range of article topics is wide since Illumin seeks to connect engineering with other disciplines. Everything – from arts to sports, public policy to world hunger, fuel efficiency to space exploration, the environment to the future – is influenced by what engineers do. Articles should creatively explore this influence and offer detailed insight.
These articles have already been selected for publication. Illumin’s editors are seeking a wider variety of topics and approaches to articles. For example:
• Articles that use a current event as a starting point and go on to show engineering’s influence. Example: Hurricane Katrina revealed many engineering-related issues and problems. Articles could examine discipline-specific responses.
• Articles that explore the history of an engineering technology or figure. Examples: Articles could compare environmental engineering efforts 100 years ago with those today, especially considering the differing pollution sources. Or articles could profile a prominent engineer or applied scientist and how that individual’s work has affected society.
Article topics do not have to be confined to the author’s major. The only restriction is that the topics fulfill Illumin’s mission of explaining the everyday application of engineering.
Authors should avoid using brand names (Nike, Apple, etc.) if possible to avoid inadvertently or directly endorsing a product.
REQUIREMENTS
The articles should be at least 1500 -- 2000 words in length. In addition, authors should:
• Double-space and use 12-point font
• Submit one printed copy at semester’s end for the course portfolio process. Also submit online at http://Illumin.usc.edu/callforpapers/.
• Document the use of all sources using the IEEE Citation StyleDo a careful fact-check to ensure that articles contain correct information. (This is especially important since Illumin submissions are potentially read by a large number of people.)
• Provide contact information (name, phone number, email address) so editors can make contact in subsequent semesters. If you are a senior, please provide contact information that will allow the editors to email you after graduation.
• Include abstract.
• Include at least five visual aids, at least four of them original.
• Include bibliography (use at least 5 sources)
• Suggest multimedia applications.
• Suggest links to related sites readers might be interested in.
• Include a list of terms and definitions for inclusion in a glossary, if appropriate.
• Include a brief, two-line biography of the author.
All articles will be checked with databases to ensure no plagiarism has occurred. Students will be held responsible for any violations.


Illumin Presentation
You will present a short talk to the class about your Illumin article. Consider modelling your presentation like a TED talk.
Background: TED talks
TED is an organization whose mission it is to spread great ideas for improving our world. TED talks are given at large conferences, whose audience members include experts in technical and other fields, as well as members from the general public. TED talks range in subject from the arts to entertainment to technology and the sciences. They are usually dynamic, interesting, and geared to a general audience. For more information and links to the talks themselves, go to www.ted.com
Assignment
Prepare and deliver a 5.5-6 minute talk on the subject of your Illumin article. Like your article itself, the talk should be geared toward a general audience. Your talk needs to “transform” your technical information into information that is relevant and understandable to a general audience; in other words, you need to make clear to the audience why your subject is important, interesting and relevant. For an example of a TED talk that successfully does this, see Jessica Green, “Are We Filtering the Wrong Microbes?”
You should use PPT or other visual aids to make your talk easier to understand
and more memorable, but don’t make the PPT the center of your presentation. Use the tips we discussed in class: make the structure of your talk “explicit,” by recapping important points, have a standard structure: intro, body, close, and use transitions as you move through the talk. Plan your conclusion so you don’t end abruptly.

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