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FALL 2007 FRESHMAN SEMINARS

The School of Biological Sciences also offers freshman seminars during spring quarter. For more information, please visit http://freshmanseminars.bio.uci.edu/.

Please note that students may take a maximum of three University Studies freshman seminars so long as subjects vary.

Claire Trevor School of the Arts
So You Want to Be a Star Don Hill Drama
Art of Collaboration and Consensus Decision Making Lisa Naugle Dance
School of Biological Sciences
Why People Believe Weird Things
Richard Symanski Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
College of Health Sciences
Educating Instead of Medicating in Public Health Zuzana Bic Public Health
Practical Nutrition for College Students Frances Jurnak Physiology &Biophysics
Sex, Race, and Health Sharon Stern Public Health
School of Humanities
Searching for Wisdom Ermanno Bencivenga Philosophy
Sex and the Ancient City Andromache Karanika Classics
Gadget Love: Mobility, Entertainment, Control Peter Krapp Film & Media Studies
How to Succeed in College by Really Trying Glenn Levine German
How to Read the News (for Dummies) Glen Mimura Film & Media Studies
Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
Future Impacts of Biological and Computer Sciences and Technologies Pierre Baldi Statistics
School of Physical Sciences
Nanotechnology - Past, Present and Future Philip Collins Physics
Mysteries of the Universe Asantha Cooray Physics
Science of Superheroes Michael Dennin Physics
How to Succeed as a Chemistry Major at UCI and Save the World William Evans Chemistry
Earthquake! Roger McWilliams Physics
Go Photon: Light and its Applications Eric Potma Chemistry
Chemistry in Film Gregory Weiss Chemistry
School of Social Ecology
The City in Film Rodolfo Torres Planning, Policy & Design
School of Social Sciences
The Evolution of Hearing: A Comparative Approach Bruce Berg Cognitive Sciences
A Seminar on Latino Diversity for First Year Students Raul Fernandez Chicano/Latino Studies
Race and Gender Discrimination in Jobs and Everyday Life Matt Huffman Sociology
Your Best Foot Forward Mary Louise Kean Psychology


CLAIRE TREVOR SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

So, You Want To Be A STAR?
Donald Hill
, Drama
Th 4-4:50 pm, Mesa Court Housing Complex, Community Center Classroom
Course Code 87570

NOTE: Professor Hill’s seminar will be held in the Mesa Court Housing in the Community Center Classroom. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Central Campus. For a map of Mesa Court, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/mc/map.asp.

Explore what kind of STAR you want to be in your life. Learn the art of goal setting, creating affirmations and finding a mentor. Discover how powerful you can become when you move beyond self-doubt.

Don Hill is the director of production and head of stage management for the Drama Department in the Claire Trevor School of the Arts. In a 33 year career that spans both coasts, Mr. Hill has worked professionally as an actor, director, producer and union negotiator. He brings to his class room real life experience and understanding of how the entertainment industry works.

Art of Collaboration and Consensus Decision Making
Lisa Naugle,
Dance
Tu 2-2:50 pm, MAB 317
Course Code 87565

Artistic collaboration requires successful communication where individuals work on steps and procedures that are small portions of a larger accomplishment. Brainstorming, creative thinking and problem solving make valuable skills and can be significant contributions to successful teamwork.

The course will feature a map of the territiory of collaborative activity including the instructor's creative projects over the past 10 years with dancers, musicians, visual and new media artists. We will also look at the work of prominent artistic couples and other pathbreaking experiments (groups) fostered by collaboration and partnership. Student will be given tasks, scenarios projects to encourage collaborations that serve to transform individual ideas into meaningful information and representations. Students will participate in various projects (small and large group) over several weeks through face to face and online communication. They will engage in critical and creative thinking as they work together toward deeper levels of artistic awareness and capabilities in problem solving. 

Lisa Naugle is Associate Professor in the Department of Dance. She holds a Ph.D and MFA in dance from New York University. Her research and publications explore the convergence of contemporary performance and new media technologies. Her work has been performed in London, Amsterdam, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Budapest,Prague, Brazil, Spain, Korea, China and Canada, as well as throughout the USA.

SCHOOL OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Why People Believe Weird Things
Richard Symanski, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
M 3-3:50 pm, Middle Earth Housing Complex, Gandalf's Classroom B
Course Code 87578

NOTE: Professor Symanski's seminar is being held in Middle Earth Housing. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Mesa Court or the School of the Arts. For a map of Middle Earth, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/ug/me/.

Have you even wondered why some people believe in ghosts or Alien Presence or consult their horoscope regularly? Where do such beliefs come from? Are they harmless? This course explores reasons for contemporary belief in paranormal phenomena and aliens, as well as historical belief in witches. Other topics include fringe science and psuedo-science and how to evaluate claims that a field of study is scientific. The goals of the course are to increase awareness of human susceptibility to weird beliefs and to provide students with skills for becoming more skeptical thinkers.

Richard Symanski is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is the author of six books, including two on conservation issues in the United States and Australia. He teaches courses in introductory biology, conservation, and upper-division writing.

COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES

Educating Instead of Medicating in Public Health
Zuzana Bic,
Public Health
F 10-10:50 am, SSL 119
Course Code 87560

Description:  The goal of the seminar is to learn how to think healthy and increase the level of health literacy. Students will enjoy reading and discussing health topics that address many issues in which they are interested in or are involved with.  This  seminar will transition students from passive, memorization-type learning, to an active, analytical and critical learning style with practical application for personal and public health.

Zuzana Bic, Dr.P.H., MUDr. Lecturer PSOE Public Health Program, College of Health Sciences http://www.hometown.aol.com/zbic http://www.seweb.uci.edu/faculty/zbic/

Practical Nutrition for College Students
Frances Jurnak, Physiology and Biophysics
Tu 1-1:50 pm, Middle Earth Housing Complex, Gandalf's Classroom B
Course Code 87562

NOTE: Professor Jurnak's seminar is being held in Middle Earth Housing. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Mesa Court or the School of the Arts. For a map of Middle Earth, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/ug/me/.

Course will focus on the scientific basis for genetic individuality, metabolic role of vitamins and minerals, diet fads, exercise and muscle building fads, improvement in mental acuity, avoidance of contagious diseases, methods to mitigate the negative effects of alcohol on the body, staying younger longer, and lowering the risk for cancer.

Frances Jurnak is a Professor of Physiology and Biophysics in the College of Medicine. Her research specialty is structural and functional biochemistry, with strong personal interest in nutritional biochemistry. Dr. Jurnak has taught nutrition for one year and has given numerous seminars on the topics presented in class.

Sex, Race and Health
Sharon Stern,
Public Health
Tu 10-10:50 am, SSL 152
Course Code 87566

Have you ever wondered why Asians get flushed faces after drinking alcohol, why Blacks have more hypertension, why girls get drunk and addicted to nicotine faster than males, why Blacks and Middle Easterners have higher incidences of anemias, why Caucasians can digest milk sugar better than Blacks or Asians, why dark skin color predominates near the equator?  You will explore how these health conditions are related to sex and race and survival in a discussion, multi-discipline oriented,

Dr. Stern earned a PhD in biology and has taught in the Department of Environmental Health, Science, and Policy in Social Ecology for the last 17 years before moving to Public Health.  She enjoys teaching and students, and has won many teaching awards at UCI.

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES

Searching for Wisdom
Ermanno Bencivenga, Philosophy
Tu 12-12:50 pm, HOB2 233
Course Code 87558

Socrates was the first great philosopher of the Western tradition. He published nothing, but spent his adult life having philosophical conversations with his fellow citizens and challenging their wisdom. Eventually, he was tried and executed for disturbing the peace. In this seminar, we will discuss his troubling philosophical practice.

Professor Bencivenga has been at UCI since 1979. He is the author of 32 books and over 70 scholarly articles. He is the winner of five teaching awards and is the founding editor of an international philosophy journal and of a book series.

Sex and the Ancient City
Andromache Karanika, 
Classics  
F 11-11:50 am, Mesa Court Housing Complex, Community Center Classroom
Course Code 87572

NOTE: Professor Karanika’s seminar will be held in the Mesa Court Housing in the Community Center Classroom. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Central Campus. For a map of Mesa Court, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/mc/map.asp.
   
This seminar will focus on the social construction and conceptualization of sexuality in the city states of ancient Greece. In an interdisciplinary approach, we will analyze a selection of ancient Greek texts, ranging from poetry to philosophy, and will decode images from ancient vases.

Dr. Karnika, an Assistant Professor, received her Ph.D in Classics at Princeton University. She has written articles on Athena's cult in classical Greece, on ecstatic healing practices in  antiquity, on the poetics of work songs, and on pastoral poetry. She has also co- authored a textbook for learning Modern Greek.  She is currently working on two book  projects on oral poetry and women's folk songs in antiquity as well as articles on ancient  lamentation, orphism, children's games in antiquity, the poetry of Erinna and Sappho.  During 2002-4 she served as a Humanities Fellow at Stanford University.

Gadget Love: Mobility, Entertainment, Control
Peter Krapp,
 Film and Media Studies
M 2-2:50 pm, Mesa Court Housing Complex, Community Center Classroom
Course Code 87574

NOTE: Professor Krapp’s seminar will be held in the Mesa Court Housing in the Community Center Classroom. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Central Campus. For a map of Mesa Court, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/mc/map.asp.

Gadgets demonstrate our intensified relation to technology. Miniaturization, portability, personalization, and multi-functionality characterize the convergence of the media apparatus. By the same token, critics of gadget love talk about isolation, fetishism, and distraction.

Peter Krapp is Associate Professor of Film & Media Studies and Director of the PhD Program in Visual Studies. His interests include media history, critical theory, and cultural  memory. He offers classes on digital culture, film title design, computer games, archives, and secrecy.

How to Read the News (For Dummies)
Glen Mimura,
Film and Media Studies
W 2-2:50 pm, Mesa Court Housing Complex, Community Center Classroom
Course Code 87575

NOTE: Professor Mimura’s seminar will be held in the Mesa Court Housing in the Community Center Classroom. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Central Campus. For a map of Mesa Court, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/mc/map.asp.

Do you want to be a more informed citizen of the world -- yet wonder why the news  is more bewildering than enlightening?  Want to learn how to follow world affairs,  local news, fashion, sports, politics and entertainment in ways that are genuinely informative, empowering and even fun?  This seminar will ask: WHY is the news so often mind-numbing, repetitive and cynical?  WHO does the news think I am?  In response, the seminar will introduce strategies for reading news media between the  

Professor Mimura's research examines the dynamic relations between media, social  movements and popular culture.  His areas of interest and teaching include race and film;  media, nationalism and globalization; cultural studies of race and sexuality; and popular  culture studies.

How to Succeed in College by Really Trying
Glenn Levine, German
W 1-1:50 pm, KH 400D
Course Code 87553

You’ve gotten into UCI (congratulations!), and now you sit attentively in seminars and lectures designed to mediate copious amounts of information on diverse topics. These courses should help you learn to read and think about texts, research and write papers, process scientific information, conduct experiments, make public  presentations, etc.: all components of a well-rounded education. But sometimes the  “big picture” never comes into focus, and a lot of what is learned remains a blur, just a

Glenn Levine is an Associate Professor of German. He is a linguist with publications and research projects in bilingualism, adult second-language acquisition, critical pedagogy, and Yiddish. As the father of four children ranging from kindergarten to college age, he has a keen personal interest in critically examining all aspects of education in the U.S.

DONALD BREN SCHOOL OF INFORMATION AND COMPUTER SCIENCES

Future Impacts of Biological and Computer Sciences and Technologies

Pierre Baldi, Statistics
W 1:00-1:50pm, Middle Earth Housing Complex, Gandalf's Classroom B
Course Code 87551

NOTE: Professor Baldi's seminar is being held in Middle Earth Housing. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Mesa Court or the School of the Arts. For a map of Middle Earth, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/ug/me/.

This seminar will examine some of the current trends in biological and computer sciences and technologies and extrapolate them into the future. Specific topics will be selected depending on student interest. Examples of possible topics of discussion: (a) artifical intelligence; (b) the Internet; (c) embryonic stem cells; (d) human cloning; (e) assisted reproduction; (f) genetic engineering; (g) synthetic biology; (h) nanotechnology; (i) bioethics.

Pierre Baldi is a professor in the School of Information and Computer Sciences, in the Department of Biological Chemistry (College of Medicine), and the founder and director of the UCI Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics. Dr. Baldi received his PhD in Mathematics from the California Institute of Technology in 1986. Dr. Baldi main areas of research are computational biology, bionformatics, data mining, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. He is the author of over 100 scientific articles and several books. Beyond his scientific interests, Dr. Baldi has long-standing interests in more philosophical issues related to bioethics and what it means to be human in light of the current technological revolution in biology and computers, as exemplified by the Human Genome Project and the Internet. He is the author of a trade book on these topics: The Shattered Self--The End of Natural Evolution (MIT Press).

SCHOOL OF PHYSICAL SCIENCES

Mysteries of the Universe
Asantha Cooray, Physics
M 4:00-4:50pm, FRH 4135
Course Code 87568

The seminar will explore current developments in astronomy and cosmology. We will survey scientific breakthroughs and ideas that shape the modern view of the Universe from the beginning (Big Bang) to the present day. While cosmologists seem to understand many things in the Universe (like stars and galaxies), there are postulated things that they can hardly see (dark matter) or have any clue about (dark energy). We will investigate why such "dark" things are hypothesized and what scientists are doing to learn more about them by following astronomy articles from daily newspapers, magazines, and NASA publications.

Assistant Professor Cooray received his bachelor's degrees in Physics and Mathematics from MIT in 1997, his Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from U. of Chicago in 2001, and has been a UCI faculty member since 2005. His current research attempts to understand how the Universe got to be the way it is. He is also interested in understanding the inner workings of the "Big Bang" event, and if there are signatures from the event that we can see and detect today. He was recently awarded a CAREER  Award from the National Science Foundation to continue research in cosmology. His website is http://www.cooray.org.

Science of Superheroes
Michael Dennin, Physics
Tu 11:00-11:50am, FRH 2111
Course Code 87580

Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars? Would a “gamma ray” accident turn you into the Hulk? What is a “spidey-sense”? And just who did think of all these superheroes and their powers? In this seminar, we discuss the science (or lack of science) behind many of the most famous superheroes. Even more amazing, we will discuss what kind of superheroes might be imagined using our current scientific understanding.

Michael Dennin has been a Physics Professor here at UCI for roughly 10 years. His research interests include understanding how foam and sand flow and how proteins interact with cell membranes. Professor Dennin has given a number of talks to undergraduates on the Physics of Superman, and this seminar provides the opportunity to expand to other superheroes! Last years class was featured in the LA Times and an interview with Prof. Dennin was included as a part of a TV documentary on the Science of Superman and the Science of Spiderman.

Earthquake!
Roger McWilliams, Physics
M 10-10:50 am, FRH B012
Course Code 87555

For those with a shaky understanding, this seminar will study earthquake causes, magnitudes, and how they propagate in the earth and sea. Maybe there will be a some real examples during the quarter. No math background needed, it's not your fault.

Professor McWilliams has taught quarter-long introductions to earthquakes several times. This fun introduction will be one magnitude easier. Professor McWilliams is an experimental physicist who has enjoyed sharing with students for 25 years the joys of learning about Nature and discovering new facets of it.

Go Photon: Light and its Applications
Eric Potma, Chemistry
F 10-10:50 am, PSCB 220
Course Code 87576

Photons, waves, radiation; what is light exactly? In this seminar we will dissect the deeper meaning of light, and zoom in on enigmatic applications of light such as lasers and quantum computing.

Born and raised in the flat plains of the Netherlands, Eric Potma studied chemistry at the University of Groningen. He obtained his PhD degree in chemical physics from the same university before he moved on to Harvard University for a postdoctoral fellowship. His research included the development of laser light sources and nonlinear optical microscopes. Still fascinated by the mysteries of photons, Potma accepted a position at UCI where he is continuing his efforts to construct laser scanning microscopes for chemical imaging of tissues. He has taught quantum mechanics and freshman chemistry at UCI.

Chemistry in Film
Gregory Weiss, Chemistry
F 2-3:50 pm, PSCB 240
Course Code 87567

As befits a field termed the “Central Science,” chemistry plays a key role in many movies. This class explores the scientific basis for Hollywood’s flights of chemical fancy. Though many movies deviate considerably from reality, film can provide a forum for exploring the intersection of cultural, scientific and political issues. Movies and background reading will form the basis for discussions about select movies with chemistry themes and plot twists.

A graduate of the University of California, Professor Weiss received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University. His research explores the interface between chemistry and biology.

How to Succeed as a Chemistry Major at UCI and Save the World
William Evans,
Chemistry
Tu 3-3:50 pm, FRH 3034
Course Code 87569

The seminar will explore the best ways to obtain a chemical education at UCI and discuss how chemistry, as the central science, not only provides the basis for essentials of life like food, shelter, and clothing, but how it must be developed quickly  in the future to avoid increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the environmental consequences.

UCI recruited William Evans from the University of Chicago in 1982.  He joined the faculty  as an Associate Professor and became Professor in 1983.  He was a Camille and Henry  Dreyfus Teacher Scholar, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellow, the Reilly  Lecturer at Notre Dame, the Fishel Lecturer at Vanderbilt, and a Frontiers in Chemical  Research Lecturer at Texas A&M University.  He was the Chair of the Gordon Research  Conference on Inorganic Chemistry in 1993.  He received the UCI Outstanding  Contributions to Undergraduate Education Award in Physical Sciences in 2002, the  

Nanotechnology - Past, Present and Future
Philip Collins, Physics
M 1-1:50 pm, FRH 2111
Course Code 87561

Nanotechnology is the art of building useful things at the atomic scale - electronics, machines, robots, etc – most of which we don’t yet know how to do.  We’ll discuss nanotechnology from multiple points of view, including its potential for the future, the current state of the art, and its possible risks and dangers.  We’ll also look at what’s available on campus for interested students who want to learn more or get involved.

Philip Collins is a faculty member in the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.  His research focuses on unusual nanomaterials for next-generation electronics at the molecular scale.  He has helped to launch a startup company on this topic and has performed research at IBM, UC Berkeley, and MIT.

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL ECOLOGY

The City in Film
Rodolfo Torres,
Planning, Policy and Design
M 6-7:50 pm, SSL 162
Course Code 87579
    
This course explores themes in urban studies through the medium of film. Optimistic and pessimistic portrayals of cities and city living are presented in classic and modern films. Six seminar meetings of approximately two hours in length.

Rodolfo D. Torres was born and raised in East Los Angeles. Professor Torres is author of several books on US politics and social policy. He is currently on the faculty in the Deparment of Planning, Policy & Design.  

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

The Evolution of Hearing
Bruce Berg, Cognitive Sciences
W 4-4:50 pm, SSL 117
Course Code 87559

A discussion about the evolution of hearing is framed by a comparative approach which considers both the diversity and commonalities of hearing systems - from the lateral lines of fish to the astounding information processing capabilites of mammals. Special emphasis is given to species specializations such as dolphin and bat sonar, mechanisms of hearing in insects, and the relation between hearing sensitivities and ecological niche.

Professor Berg earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University, in 1987. His is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cognitive Sciences at UCI and has twenty years of basic research in Hearing.

Race and Gender Discrimination in Jobs and Everyday Life
Matt Huffman, Sociology
W 11-11:50 am, Middle Earth Housing Complex, Gandalf's Classroom B
Course Code 87571

NOTE: Professor Huffman's seminar is being held in Middle Earth Housing. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Mesa Court or the School of the Arts. For a map of Middle Earth, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/ug/me/.

This seminar addresses the sources and consequences of race and gender discrimination in the United States. In addition to paid employment, we will discuss other "everyday life" contexts shaped by race and gender, such as buying a car or getting a loan. We will also discuss how social scientists approach the study of discrimination more generally.

Matt Huffman is an Associate Professor of Sociology. His research focuses on race and gender inequality across jobs, organizations, and labor markets. He has testified about sex discrimination as an expert witness in OC Superior Court.

Your Best Foot Forward
Mary Louise Kean, Psychology
W 12-12:50 pm, Middle Earth Housing Complex, Whispering Wood/Woodhall Study Room
Course Code 87573

NOTE: Professor Kean's seminar is being held in Middle Earth Housing. Please be aware that your travel time will be greater than 10 minutes if you are coming from Mesa Court or the School of the Arts. For a map of Middle Earth, please go to http://www.housing.uci.edu/ug/me/.

Everyone wants to make a good impression on others. A critical element to doing that is to have good manners - knowing how to write a proper thank you note to family vs. business associates vs. friends, knowing how to properly address people, knowing what fork to use at a dinner party. These are the type of topics which will be the focus of this course.

Mary Louise Kean grew up in an era where all women typically wore hats and gloves - not just the Queen of England. She has been a student of etiquette since childhood. She finds joy in good manners, humor in many conventions, and feels life is just much easier if people treat each other with respect and consideration. She politely teaches Psychology 9A and other courses. Her research is on bilingualism.

A Seminar on Latino Diversity for First Year Students
Raul Fernandez,
Chicano/Latino Studies
W 11-11:50 am, CRCC 102
Course Code 87552

Latinos in the United States are a very diverse group. They come from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Argentina and other countries. When Latinos migrate to the United States they bring very different, and very exciting,  music styles and dances: mariachi, banda, jarocho, cumbia, merengue, salsa, timba,  punta, vallenato, terapia, marinera, etc. Looking at these musical styles illustrates  Latino diversity and provides an entry way to study migration, US-Latin American  

Professor Fernandez completed his secondary education in Cuba, received his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1966 and his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 1971. He has been in the faculty at UC Irvine since 1969. His research is focused on economic and cultural transactions between the U.S. and Latin America. Fernandez has authored five books including Latin Jazz: The Perfect Combination, Chronicle Books and Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
Freshman Seminar Program
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