Travel With OLLI to Cuba, Canada and Costa Rica.


Exciting news! OLLI at UCI is partnering with Premier World Discoveries to offer a trip to Cuba this Spring, as well as trips to Canada and Costa Rica in the Fall of 2016.

Join us at 1:30 PM on Thursday, February 11, in the Woodbridge classroom, to learn more about a trip to Cuba in April, and Canada and Costa Rica in the Fall. 

Each trip includes airfare, professional tour directors, most meals, motor coach transportation, hotels, transfers and baggage handling. If more than 10 OLLI members sign up for any one tour, transportation to and from Orange County to LAX will also be included.

April 13-20, 2016

DISCOVER CUBA - Osher Lifelong  Learning Institute - 13APR16 - SNA (2)-page-001
Highlights of the Cuba Trip
Enjoy an eight-day tour through vibrant and unique Cuba! Learn about the Plaza de la Revolucion, center of Cuban political life. Head to Manzas, also known as the Athens of Cuba. See the Sauto Theater, the San Carlos Cathedral, and visit with local artists.
Enjoy performances at the Matanzas School of Art nd Music. Tour the Colon Cemetery, the Nacional Hotel, and more. Price: $4999 per person double occupancy ($100 discount for cash), $600 single supplement. Click here to view full details of this exciting trip!

Fall Tours

Great Canadian Cities: September 21-29, 2016

Click GREAT CANADIAN CITIES – Osher Lifelong Learning Institute – 21SEP16 for full details.

Natural Wonders of Costa Rica: November 2-10, 2016

Click here for full details.


SC 211: FORENSICS: Science Solving Crimes. Class presentation available for viewing.

forensicsFORENSICS: Science Solving Crimes

Forensics is the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime. In this series we will show how our personally unique bacteria, trace amounts of chemical substances and materials, and evidence of elder abuse are collected, evaluated and explained scientifically in a legal context.  Actual cases will be discussed.

Tuesday, January 5: Bacterial Forensics. Forensic science involves analyzing information (evidence) to judge a criminal act in a court of law. Human microbiome is a term given to the multitude of bacteria and other microorganisms existing within and on every person from birth. It is possible everyone has a microbial fingerprint, and research is now being done, especially in the U.S., to determine the uniqueness and stability of the human microbiome.  Progress in microbial forensics will be presented.

Presenter: Vern Roohk, Ph.D., Physiology and Biochemistry, Postdoc in Bioengineering, sole proprietor of BioCor Scientific consulting in Biomedical Devices, and OLLO Science Committee member.

Tuesday, January 12: Toxicology and Forensics. Forensic toxicology is the application of the medical science of pharmacology to legal cases. Dr. Spiehler will provide insight into how certain intoxicants can be scientifically characterized, their effects on behavior, and the communication to the lay public and lawyers in a legal environment. Many cases could not be solved without it.  Dr. Spiehler will take us on a journey into the methods used to crack actual cases.

 Presenter: Vina Spiehler, Ph.D., is a toxicology expert familiar with the detection of pharmaceuticals, alcohol and drugs in blood, hair, saliva, sweat, and other substances. Dr. Spiehler is the principal scientist of Spiehler and Associates, Newport Beach. 

Class Presentation: What Is Forensic ToxicologyVRS

 Tuesday, January 19: Keeping Elders Safe with Forensics. The elderly can be mistreated by the very people entrusted with their care. Often the abused cannot adequately communicate the circumstances or may forget the incidents. It is possible by careful examination of physical evidence to reveal the abuse and put an end to it.  This class will be particularly helpful to those of us who have parents, friends, and relatives who may not be able to care for themselves.

 Presenter: Kerry Burnight, Ph.D., UCI Health Sciences Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, Program in Gerontology.

Class Presentation: Keeping Elders Safe with Forensics

Tuesday, January 26: Human Factors in Forensic Science. On TV, forensic scientists solve crimes with unerring accuracy. In reality, the National Academy of Sciences has criticized forensic scientists for failing to validate their methods, overstating their conclusions, and paying inadequate attention to the potential for bias and error. This class will examine these issues, paying particular attention to the role of human factors in the methods that crime laboratories use to evaluate physical evidence.  We will also discuss the difficulties of communicating findings and the steps that the government is taking to improve the scientific foundations and quality of forensic science.

Presenter: William Thompson, Ph.D., J.D., UCI School of Social Ecology, Department of Criminology, Law, and Society.

Class Presentation: Human Factors in Forensic Science 

NOTE:  A companion course, SC 216, OC Forensic Science Lab Tour, will be offered on January 29 with a limit of 20.

Developer:  Phil Friedel


Tuesdays, January 5, 12, 19 and 26

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Location: Woodbridge Onken Classroom



SS 313 – AMERICAN PUBLIC EDUCATION: Can Schools Achieve Both Equality and Excellence? Class presentations available.

This class will explore the history and philosophy of public education, including the original intent and how public policy has impacted public schools today. We then will discuss student accountability, teacher accountability, and administrator accountability, and the controversy surrounding it. Finally, we will focus on the role and purpose of a school board and how politics influences decision-making.

January 7: History and Philosophy of Public Education; Teachers and Teaching as a Profession

Class Presentation: American Public Education – Session 1

Do schools attempt to achieve high standards to meet the needs of the community at large in order to produce an informed and capable citizenry, or merely push through the system?

 January 14: Curriculum and Standardized Testing

Class Presentation: SS 313 American Public Education – Session 2

Must teachers teach to the test at the expense of a deeper and richer classroom experience and student development? Is there a better way to assess student knowledge and understanding?

 January 21: Politics in Education and a School Board

To what degree are school boards accountable to the public? How much grassroots decision-making and control is involved in the educational process and how does it influence educational decision-making?

 Presenter: Adam Matthew Ormond

received his Ed.D. from UC Irvine and UCLA. He was lead faculty In Information Technology and Computer Science at National University, Costa Mesa for three years and a lecturer at the Orange County Department of Education for six years.

Developer: Jonathan Weil

Location: Woodbridge Onken Classroom


Thursdays, January 7, 14 and 21

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

SC 213 – BIOLOGY AT THE SMALLEST SCALES: The New Revolution of Biology and Nanotechnology. Class presentation available.

This class is a series of three lectures on how biological processes and diagnoses are being studied at molecular levels, and by nanotechnology.

Friday, January 8: A Physicist Looks at Cancer. We will give an overview of cancer and discuss what physics can bring to cancer biology. We will talk about the types of questions that physicists can ask such as “Why does a tumor grow where it does?”

Presenter: Clare Yu, Ph.D., UCI Physics and Astronomy

Friday, January 15: Listening to the Dancing of Life’s Molecular Machines.

Class Presentation: Biology at the Smallest Scales

The nanometer scale universe is a bizarre and counter-intuitive place.  We have invented a new tool to explore this space and dissect how the machines powering your cells work.

Presenter: Gregory Weiss, Ph.D., UCI Chemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biochemistry

 Friday, January 22: Medical Applications of Nanoelectronics. Nanoelectronics for medicine has been a subject of academic research for several decades, with many starts and stops along the path to practical development. Efforts to produce workable products will continue because of the possibilities for new and better medical tools.  We’ll cover recent commercial developments that have the medical community on board, and detail some of the technology of this generation of nanomedical efforts.

Presenter: Brett Goldsmith, Ph.D.,

CTO, Nanomedical Diagnostics

Developer: Dennis Silverman


Fridays, January 8, 15 and 22

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

SC 214 – Practical Health Science. Class presentations available for viewing.

PRACTICAL HEALTH SCIENCE: Our Body, Its Functions and Malfunctions – Part 1

This class is intended to help non-professionals understand the human body, the process of disease and its signs and symptoms, prevention, and the healing process.

The specific goals are:

  1. To show the body structure and function;
  2. To help understand correctly the body’s dysfunctions; and
  3. To empower proper health care through knowledge.

Dr. Moran’s presentation avoids technical terms and expressions, and is made easy to understand with the help of written material and slides that will be shared with the audience before the lectures. This class will address essential knowledge of the cell and organism, and cellular events that affect the functions of the body system. The first part will include cell functions, reaction to injury and general pathological processes such as inflammation, infections, body defenses, allergy, immunity, genetics and cancer. This will be followed by a discussion of the integrative systems such as the neurologic and the endocrine systems, and the blood. Part 2, to be presented next semester (Spring 2016), will continue with a review of the body systems: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, genital and reproductive, loco-motor and skin.

Presenter: Edgar M. Moran, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Medicine, UCI Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology, since 1978. He has taught classes, taken care of patients, and conducted research in many areas of cancer and certain blood disorders.

Class Presentations:

Practical Health Science – Lecture 1 – 01-08-16 

Practical Health Science – Lecture 2 – 01-15-16

Practical Health Science – Lecture 3 – 1-22-16

Practical Health Science Lecture 4 1-29-16


Developer:   Gary Oberts


Fridays, January 8, 15, 22 and 29 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Location: Woodbridge Onken Classroom


SC 212: BIOMEDICAL 3-D PRINTING. Class presentation available for viewing.

As an additive manufacturing process, 3-D printing (3DP) originated in the 1980s. Since then 3DP applications have undergone amazing diversification, especially in the last few years, from the printing of concrete houses in China in a few hours to the printing of a misfiring plastic gun in a TV drama series and the ensuing legal issues.  The FDA is presently concerned, but optimistic, about the regulation of 3DP medical devices in the U.S., especially implantable devices.  In a variety of biomedical applications, 3DP can and does intersect with the fields of robotics, tissue engineering, and nanotechnology.  This course will introduce the concept of 3DP, explain the equipment and controlling software, and compare the capabilities of this technology with those of traditional machining processes.  Printed medical devices made from metal, plastic, and living tissue will be described which offer to personalize health care for patients as well as provide visual instructional aid for its practitioners.   Demonstrations of 3-D printing will accompany the lecture.


Vern Roohk, Ph.D.,

Physiology and Biochemistry, Postdoc in Bioengineering, sole proprietor BioCor Scientific consulting in biomedical devices, and OLLI Science Committee member.

Nicolas Chomenko, B.S.,

Physics, with specialties in hardware and software engineering. Research Director for a company providing perfusion services to hospitals and trauma centers.  Current work involves 3D printing with applications to tissue engineering.

Class Presentation: Biomedical 3-D Printing

 Developer: Vern Roohk, OLLI Science Committee member


Thursday, January 7

1:30 – 3:30 PM



Woodbridge Onken Classroom

SC 215 Geology of Orange County: Evolution Of A Landscape: Class presentation available.

SC  215                Geology of Orange County: Evolution Of A Landscape

Note: This class was offered in Spring 2012. John Bush, Course Developer, requested that we post this to our blog.

Even a simple glance around Orange County reveals that we live in the midst of a fascinating geologic setting. Join us for a two-part explanation of how our most dramatic geologic landscapes were created and continue to evolve.

  • March 19 – Origin of Peninsular California: The Mountains from San Diego to Orange County
  • March 26 – Evolution of the Southern California Coastal Region

Information will be presented on where best to visit (on your own) key OC locations to view the subject matter covered in class. Input will be solicited from attendees on the possibility of the class instructor and developers being available at various designated sites and times to assist with interpretation.

Class Presentation:

UCI talk Geology of SoCal Coastal Areas 3 26 12

 Presenter:    Amy Stinson, Department of Geology, Irvine Valley College.

Amy has M.S. and B.S. degrees in geology from SDSU. She has been teaching geology at IVC for the past 15 years. Prior to that, she was a geologist for Amoco Exploration (now B.P.). She has led field classes throughout California and has an intimate knowledge of OC geology in particular. 

Developers:       Gary Oberts and John Bush


UCI talk Geology of SoCal Coastal Areas 3 26 12

SC 209: Topics in Science. Class presentation available.

This class is a collection of one-hour presentations on science topics that are of interest to the general public, intended to be in plain English and easily understood.

Monday, November 2:  The Obesity Epidemic

The brain plays an integral role in determining our diets, whether they are healthful or filled with empty calories.  Poor diets have much to do with the expanding obesity epidemic seen many places in the world, including the U.S.  Pitfalls of an unhealthy diet and recommendations for turning it into a healthy one will be covered.

Class Presentation: The Obesity Epidemic

Healthcare by Smartphone

Smartphones have altered our lives and medicalized smartphones are next. The result will be an increasingly powerful tool that will reduce the use of doctors, cut costs and speed the pace of care. We will be able to diagnose ear infections, track heart rhythms, find genetic markers, and even monitor mental health. The information will go directly to your doctor’s office. You will probably still be able to see your physician but the relationship may be radically altered.

Presenter:  Jerry Florman, retired pharmacist and OLLI Science Committee member.

Presenter:  Ed Garr, M.D., is a retired orthopedic specialist and OLLI Science Committee member.

Monday, November 9: Microbiology in Forensics

Knowledge of the human microbiome and forensic science are now merging into the new discipline of bacterial forensics. A TV drama recently portrayed the analysis of microbes on a keyboard transferred from a suspect’s skin as evidence of criminal activity. Research on insect activity in the soil at crime sites has been used in forensic analysis.  From a systems dynamics point of view, information gleaned from a bacterial population is potentially much richer. Does everyone have a microbial fingerprint?

Presenter:  Vern Roohk, Ph.D.,

Physiology and Biochemistry, UC Davis.  Vern is an OLLI Science Committee member and a biomedical consultant specializing in medical device evaluation.

Detecting Gravitational Radiation from the Beginning of the Universe

Professor Abazajian will update us on new results to detect polarized light from the cosmic microwave background that contains evidence of quantum fluctuations in matter density from before the Big Bang. The fluctuations produce gravitational radiation that polarize the light, and were the source for the condensations of matter into today’s galaxies, galaxy clusters, and walls of cosmic matter.

Presenter:  Kevork Abazajian, Ph.D., UCI Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Class Presentation: Detecting Gravitational Radiation From the Beginning of the Universe

Developer: Gary Oberts


Mondays, November 2 and 9

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

SC 206 – Breakthroughs in Science (2014) : Class presentations available.

BREAKTHROUGHS PICEach year December’s Science magazine, the leading journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), goes out on a limb and describes what the editors believe are the major scientific breakthroughs of the past year. In this class we will describe those that the editors selected, the potential significance that qualifies them as breakthroughs, and what their status is almost a year later. In 2014, the editors also offered a list of breakdowns of the year, and their friendly competitor, the journal Nature, provided a list of people of the year.

This is the list of breakthroughs for 2014:

  • Landing on a comet
  • The birth of birds
  • Young blood fixes old
  • Robots that cooperate
  • Chips that mimic the brain
  • Europe’s cave art has a rival
  • Cells that might cure diabetes
  • Manipulating memories
  • Rise of the CubeSat
  • Giving life a bigger genetic alphabet

Friday, October 16: Breakthroughs of the year

Class Presentation: Breakthroughs 2014

Friday, October 23:  Breakdowns of the year and notable people of the year

Class Presentation: Breakthroughs 2014-Part 2

Presenter/Developer: John Bush, Ph.D.,

Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley. John is an OLLI Science Committee member and has taught many popular OLLI classes.

Dates/Time: Fridays October 16 and 23

1:30 – 3:30 PM


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

AH 112: Icons of Spain in Music, Literature and Art

Monday, October 12: Music with a Passion. The lives and compositions of Isaac Albeniz, Manuel De Falla, Enrique Granados, Joaquin Rodrigo, Francisco Tarrega and Pablo de Sarasate will be explored and presented with lecture and video clips. We will also enjoy a video presentation of Andre Segovia and Pablo Casals.

Presenter: Meredith Cheston, an individual with a passion for music and a UCI retiree who has developed and presented many courses in Arts and Humanities for OLLI over the years.

Monday, October 19: Out to Conquer Mills and Other Monsters: Cervantes’s Don Quixote. This lecture will provide a comprehensive view of Miguel de Cervantes’s major work, Don Quixote de la Mancha, in order to provide a literary and cultural context that will help us understand the universal appeal of the two main characters of the novel, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. We will also focus on some of the more famous episodes in order to understand its status as one of the funniest books ever written.

As requested, the following are good Spanish translations of Don Quixote:

  1. Edition translated by Edith Grossman, published by Harper Perennial. This edition is recent and was positively reviewed when it came out.
  2. Editions by Oxford Classics and by Penguin should be reliable. However, the size of the letter and the pages may be a challenge for the eyes.

Both have introductions by recognized scholars in the profession.

3. The Norton Edition, with translation by Burton Raffel, is a good edition because it includes several essays on Don Quixote at the end.

Presenter: Luis Laviles

is Associate Professor and Chair, UCI Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He published a book on Baroque writer Baltasar Gracián, a number of articles, and is presently finishing a book entitled Visual Games: Space in the Literary Culture of the Spanish Golden Age.

 Monday, October 26: Gaudi and Sorolla: The Artistic Spirit of Spain will focus on two Spanish artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One was Antoni Gaudi, a Catalan architect of the Modernista Movement, a style influenced by nature. The other, a painter, the Master of Light, Joaquin Sorolla. Gaudi is the architect of the famous Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Sorolla is known for his naturalistic portraits, beach scenes and a series of panels celebrating the life and customs of the different regions of Spain.

Presenter: Jackie Powell

has taught art history and appreciation at Golden West College and CSU, Fullerton. She has led study abroad programs in Italy and Spain and contributed her knowledge of art history to OLLI classes and the Bowers Museum for years.

Developer: Meredith Cheston


Mondays, October 12 and 19

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Monday, October 26

1:00 – 3:00 PM



Woodbridge Onken Classroom


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 171 other followers