Andrea Armani
Dr Andrea Armani
Assoc Professor, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA
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Andrea Armani grew up in Memphis, TN. From there, she moved to Chicago, where she received her BA in physics from the University of Chicago (2001) and her PhD in applied physics with a minor in biology from the California Institute of Technology (2007). After spending a couple additional years at Caltech for her post-doc in biology and chemical engineering, she started her current position as the Fluor Early Career Chair of Engineering and an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California. Her research group, which includes undergraduate students, PhD students and post-docs, develops new types of optical devices (like lasers) and uses them to study how biological systems work. This research is very interdisciplinary and requires students to draw on all fields of science and engineering. Prof. Armani has received several awards and has been recognized by numerous agencies, including the ONR Young Investigator Award, Technology Review Top 35 Innovators under 35, USC Mellon Mentoring Award for Undergraduate Mentoring, NIH New Innovator Award, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, Popular Science's Brilliant 10, World Economic Forum's Young Scientist Award, World Economic Forum's Young Global Leader, STS Forum Future Leader, and the Hanna Reisler Award for Mentoring. She spends her free time with her husband, her two dogs and her cat, and enjoys running in the Los Angeles area.
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PhD in Applied Physics, California Institute of Technology; BA in Physics, University of Chicago
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to serve as science fair judge or other temporary volunteer at a local school.
  • I am willing to host a field trip to my place of employment.
Latest Questions
  • Mercy, San Jose,CA

    Added Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 4:22 PM

    I'm currently a 2nd year college student at San Jose State University. I'm in the electrical engineering program but I don't think I enjoy this major. At first, I thought I didn't want to do electrical engineering because I was struggling in Calculus and programming. I have now realized that I don't want to do electrical engineering but I do want to pursue a major in the engineering field. My question is, how do you find the right engineering major without wasting time. And if someone ...
    Answers 1
    Andrea Armani, University of Southern California
    Answered Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 4:22 PM
    Thank you for asking an excellent question that I’m confident many other engineering students also struggle with.  It actually touches on a few different topics – many of which are the focus of a larger national debate about how undergraduates are ...
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  • Dustin , Little Rock

    Added Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    I work full time as a electrician to pay the bills but I want to go to school for an electrical engineering degree but the college I was thinking about going to (Pulaski Technical College) a local cheapish community college, doesn't seem to offer any engineering program of study so does that mean that I will not be able to go to this school and work towards a electrical engineering degree? also I am interested in electronics and kinda dabble with robotic kits and circuit boards as a hobby what ...
    Answers 1
    Andrea Armani, University of Southern California
    Answered Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10:00 PM
    Hi Dustin,
    Fabulous question!  Unfortunately, yes, you will not be able to become an electrical engineer if the college/university does not offer that degree program.  However, that does not preclude you from taking classes at a local community ...
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  • Mayra , Oregon

    Added Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Hi, I am really interested in this career of electrical engineering. I am wondering if this career is alright to take in a trade school. I would get my associate's first from ITT Tech and then I've researched it that it's better to have a bachelor's in this field. So I would get that also at ITT tech. Also, is this field better to take online or in class? Because I now nothing of it and I plan on putting my full effort into dedicating myself to it, but I need to work a full time job so ...
    Answers 1
    Andrea Armani, University of Southern California
    Answered Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 4:39 PM
    This is a really good question, and it highlights a larger issue which needs to be discussed at a national level.  Namely - what role can online courses play in post-high school education, without decreasing the quality of the education.  For example, a ...
    Read More
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