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

SC 205 – GAME THEORY: The Human Side of Science. Class presentation available.

Game Theory, a branch of applied mathematics, has applications not only to gambling, but also to economics, sociology, philosophy, military strategy, political science and biology. The brilliant Princeton mathematician John Nas was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for his contribution to this field of mathematics. In this course, we will explore how the concepts of Game Theory have been used in diverse fields. This presentation is an updated version of the 2009 class by the same name. It is part of a repeating series of seven courses by Howard Mirowitz, one of OLLI’s most followed lecturers.

Wednesday, October 7: The 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind – a memorably moving portrayal of the genius and madness of John Nash.

Wednesday, October 14: Introduction to Game Theory: The Prisoner’s Dilemma.

Class Presentation: Lecture 1 – Introduction to Game Theory

Wednesday, October 21: More complex games – Nash Equilibria and the emergence of cooperation.

Class Presentation: Lecture 2A – Nash Equilibria and the Emergence of Cooperation

Wednesday, October 28: Evolutionarily stable strategies – implications for biology and ecology.

Presenter: Howard Mirowitz, MBA,

Class Presentation: Lecture 3A – Evolutionarily Stable Strategies

is retired from the world of high tech business development and venture capital, and is now a full time amateur mathematician and musician, and a dedicated student of ancient texts. Last semester, he lectured to OLLI members on Added Dimensions.

Developer: Larry Wayne


Wednesdays, October 7, 14, 21 and 28

2:00 – 4:00 PM


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

SS 306: IDENTITY THEFT: How to Keep Your Personal Data Safe. Class presentation available.

You need to know how to keep secure the personal data on your credit cards, computer, tablet and/or smart phone. Our age group is a prime target for information theft from third parties. In the first session of this workshop a senior government executive with a career in information technology will tell us how her identity was stolen, the dramatic consequences, and how she identified the perpetrators. In session two, a law professor will describe your legal rights and remedies — including the shortcomings — and how to report theft to government agencies. In session three, a senior UCI official responsible for keeping information safe for UCI’s Law School and its students will offer advice to OLLI members on how to protect their own data. This will include steps to take before and after identity theft to minimize damage.

Presenters: Nora Valenzuela,

Program Manager, Riverside County Information Technology and an Executive Board Member of the World Affairs Council.

Class Presentation: Identity Theft – Losing My Identity

Katherine Porter, Professor of Law at UCI Law School, whose expertise includes bankruptcy, consumer protection law, mortgage foreclosure, credit and debit cards. She was selected as one of the Top 100 lawyers in California in 2012.

Class Presentation: Identity Theft – Your Legal Rights

Patty Furukawa, Assistant Dean, Information Services, UCI School of Law.

Class Presentation: Information Security

Developers: Ursula Cook and Jill Deal


Wednesdays, October 7, 14 and 21

9:00 – 11:00 AM

SS 302 – The History Behind the Headlines

In today’s news when an international crisis may be reduced to simplified sound bites we lose sight of what had happened previously that might help us understand what is happening now. This series counters that trend. It will feature presentations by UCI professors who specialize in the histories of different parts of the world. They will discuss how looking to the past is crucial to understanding the present—and preparing for the future.

These historians will tour The History Behind the Headlines with stops in Brazil, China, and France.


Tuesday, October 6: Jeff Wasserstrom, a frequent OLLI presenter, will address Hong Kong and its relationship to China. Jeff, a former chair of the Department of History, has been at UCI since 2006, and is author or editor of nine books and many articles.

Tuesday, October 20: Ian Coller, of the University of Latrobe, Australia, will join the UCI Department of History in Fall 2015. He will address France’s historical relationship to Islam. His book Arab France: Islam and the Making of Modern Europe 1798-1831 received the Hancock Award of the Australian Historical Association. He is currently working on an ARC funded project on Europe, Islam and Modernity: The French Revolution and the Muslim World 1789-1799.

Below is a link to an article by Dr. Ian Coller redefining French Values in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo.

Liberty, equality, fraternity: redefining ‘French’ values in the wake of Charlie Hebdo 

Tuesday, October 27: Steven Topik,

also a frequent OLLI presenter, has been in UCI’s Department of History since 1984. His research focuses on Brazilian and World history.  He is the author or editor of eight books. Prior to Irvine, he taught at a Brazilian university for three years.


Jonathan Weil


Tuesdays, October 6, 20 and 27

2:00 – 4:00 PM



Woodbridge Onken Classroom


SE 26 – Choosing, Cooking and Eating Fish: A guided tour by the pros. Photo collage available for viewing.

SMS PIC 1Confused by terms like sustainable, local, farmed and line-caught? Interested in knowing why some of these terms may be critical to fish stocks and the future of fish as a food worldwide? Unsure about the evidence on the benefits of eating fish, including what kinds you should be eating? Would you like to eat more seafood, but don’t know how to select the freshest fish and the healthiest ways to cook it or what wines to pair with it? The crew at Santa Monica Seafood (SMS) in Costa Mesa and guest OC chefs will address all these topics and more! We will be served a multi-course lunch featuring seafood. Before lunch there will be presentations and, after lunch, demonstrations by SMS staff and local OC chefs using SMS’ seafood.

Presenters: Staff, Chefs and Guest Chefs of Santa Monica Seafood

AFishy Friday family-owned business since 1939, SMS is the largest seafood distributer in the Southwest United States. In addition to distribution to some of the finest chefs in the area, it is the first and only seafood company in the country to achieve the internationally recognized FSSC 22000 certification for its food safety systems. The company also operates retail stores and cafés in Costa Mesa, Santa Monica, and Santa Barbara.

SMS PIC 2NOTE: This is a self-drive event. Depending on the number of participants, the event will be held either in the SMS café, or under a tented area in the parking lot. As we get closer to the date, you will be provided with specifics as to menu and schedule. If you have any seafood allergies, these can be addressed at that time.

Picture Collage: Click here to view photos taken at this event.


Jill Deal and Patty Carmichael


Tuesday, October 6

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM

SC 204 – IT’S ELEMENTARY: Human Existence and the Chemical Elements – Part 2. Class presentation available.

Everything we experience, including our very existence, depends on the properties of 118 kinds of substances, the chemical elements. These classes are about the ways that the properties of specific elements enable humans to accomplish their purposes. In Part One of the series (Spring 2015), we discussed elements used to accomplish homicide and to achieve communication at a distance. Topics for Part Two might include elements used for cosmetics; Fourth of July pyrotechnics; constructing buildings or bridges; transmitting and storing value (money); creating illumination; generating and storing electrical energy; creating jewelry; storing and retrieving digital information; personal transportation; human, animal, or plant nutrition; treating disease; creating prosthetic replacements for humans ….in fact, for accomplishing any human purpose that the use of materials can achieve.

The topics for the Fall 2015 classes will be selected based on the preferences expressed by attendees of the Spring 2015 classes.

Presenter: John Bush, Ph.D. Chemistry, is an OLLI Science Committee member who has organized and presented a number of OLLI science classes.

Class Presentation: Batteries Elements


John Bush and James Boire


Fridays, October 2 and 9

1:30 – 3:30 PM


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

(SC 203) The World’s Greatest Geological Wonders – Part 3. Class presentations available.


These classes are based on Great Courses video lectures by geology Professor Michael Wysession. Experiencing the lectures on which these classes are based is rather like making a tour of picturesque places with a knowledgeable geologist as a companion. Each lecture provides an account of the human significance of the region, as well as a description of the geological phenomena that are responsible for the interesting features. The concepts of plate tectonics provide unifying explanations for much of the spectacular geology. There will be time for questions and discussion in each class session, led by members of the OLLI Science Committee.

Friday, October 2: Extreme Lakes (Kawah Ijen), Saltwater Lakes (Dead Sea), Salt Flats (Salar de Uyuni)

Class Presentations:

Friday, October 9: Geysers and Hot Springs (Yellowstone), Mid-ocean Ridge Islands (Iceland), Atolls (The Maldives)

Class Presentations:

Friday, October 16: Major Deserts (Namib/Kalahari), Desert Oases (Siwa), Geologic Mini-Wonders (a montage)

 Class Presentations:

Presenter: (via Great Courses DVD): Michael E. Wysession, Ph.D.,

Professor of Geophysics, Washington University, Saint Louis

Developers/Discussion Leaders:

John Bush and Gary Oberts and OLLI Science Committee members


Fridays, October 2, 9 and 16

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

AH 101 – Interpreting Ancient Coins. Class presentation available.


COIN2The dating of ancient societies and cultures relies on many factors and includes information from multiple sources. Noted art historian and author Jean Stern discussed the important role ancient coins play in this critical archeological process and explained how the dates and mint marks on Roman coins allow scientists to not only date the site and structures where they were discovered, but also help to reconstruct the trade patterns and social interactions of these ancient communities.

The presentation included coins from Mr. Stern’s extensive collection as well as slides of ancient coins from Greece, Rome, Asia Minor and other Mediterranean cultures. He highlighted and discussed the legends depicted on each coin and the coin’s unique artistic merit.

Presenter: Jean Stern

is the Executive Director of the Irvine Museum and a highly-recognized authority on California Impressionism. He has extensive experience as an author, curator, lecturer, and teacher, and has established a national reputation for the Irvine Museum through an acclaimed international series of books, exhibitions, lectures, articles and video documentaries.

Class Presentation: Interpreting Ancient Coins


Judy Strauss


Tuesday, September 29

10:00 AM – 12 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom


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