SC 201: Where Are We, Really? Parallel Universes – Fact or Fiction. Class presentations available for viewing.


The Human Side of Science

Have you ever fantasized that somewhere out there might lurk another you, another earth, or even another universe?  This course looks at how parallel worlds have appeared in religion, philosophy, and literature since ancient times, and how modern science suggests that parallel universes may be hidden within the equations of quantum physics, the Big Bang, and string theory.

Wednesday, September 14:  A film, Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives, examines the life and work of Hugh Everett III, originator of the controversial Many-Worlds interpretation of quantum physics.

Class Presentation: Introduction

Wednesday, September 21:  We trace speculations about parallel worlds in religion, philosophy, and fantasy, from ancient Hindu scripture and the Koran to the latest science fiction and Hollywood blockbusters.

Class Presentation: lecture-2-the-plurality-of-worlds-in-philosophy-and-fiction

Wednesday, September 28:  Modern discoveries in cosmology and advanced theoretical physics imply the existence of multiple universes.   We review these theories and the evidence for and against them.

Class Presentation: lecture-3-the-many-worlds-of-quantum-physics

Wednesday, October 5:  We focus on some of the strange phenomena of quantum physics and will examine Hugh Everett III’s 1957 relative-state description of these phenomena – the Many-Worlds interpretation – reviewing how Everett’s model relates to modern developments in quantum computing.                                   

Presenter: Howard Mirowitz, MBA is retired from the world of high-tech business development and venture capital and is now an amateur mathematician and student of ancient texts.This will be the sixth course that Howard has presented for the OLLI STEM Committee.


Larry Wayne


Wednesdays, September 14, 21, 28 and October 5

2:00 – 4:00 PM


The Irvine Station-Onken

We moved! Click the red and white ‘We’ve Moved’ picture to visit our move web site.

Use the train station clock tower and our new OLLI at UCI signage to locate us at 15207 Barranca Parkway, Irvine, CA (corner of Ada). Free parking is available in the Irvine Train Station parking lot.


Just installed – our new OLLI at UCI sign.


Click the WE HAVE MOVED sign to view our move web site.

We have moved stamp

We have moved grunge rubber stamp on white background, vector illustration

OLLI’s New Location and Upcoming Move – A Big Topic at the OLLI Annual Meeting

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Marc Nussbaum, OLLI Move Director, gave a presentation on our upcoming move, our new location, provided diagrams and photos of our new building, larger classroom, and our new conference room and office. Click Annual meeting 2016 for blog to open Marc’s presentation.

Volunteers Recognized and Thanked at the OLLI Annual Meeting.

thank_you_volunteersDid you know that just about 150 volunteers keep OLLI running? These include a course scheduler; a course statistical recorder; a librarian; a technical support person; a special events treasurer; and a newsletter editor. We have curriculum editors; University Club Forum Coordinators; committee chairs and committee members; a Summer Lite coordinator; an OLLI Extra coordinator; Board members; class and special event facilitators; fundraising, community outreach and membership volunteers; and even a donation appreciation writer; a travel planner; office support volunteers; letter folding and stuffing volunteers; new member and open house volunteers. That’s a lot of jobs and a lot of volunteer hours.  Special recognition and appreciation was given to these volunteers for the thousands of hours they donate to OLLI. Click OLLI Volunteer Scroll List 2016 to view a list of these exceptional volunteers.

SC 213: The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse. Class presentation available for viewing.

THE 2017 TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE: Why It Happens, Causes of Observed Phenomena, and How to View It

Class Presentation for all meeting dates: eclipse_online compressed v1_0

solarOn Monday August 21, 2017, the universe will reveal itself in an epic show more astonishing than anything ever devised by the magic of Hollywood or Disney. A total solar eclipse is nothing like a partial solar eclipse—totality reveals the Sun’s corona reaching far out into space. This will be the first such US event in 38 years and it may be the last chance to see one in this country during your lifetime.

This class explains the science behind the phenomena observed during an eclipse and also covers everything needed to plan a trip to the umbral shadow—including where to go, what to bring and how to photograph it. You’ll be prepared to organize your own trip and to teach your grandchildren the science.

Friday, May 6: What it is like to see totality. Understanding the Sun and Moon.

Friday, May 13: What causes an eclipse? The phenomena revealed by totality.

Friday May 20: Observing the total solar eclipse.

Presenter/Developer: Marc Nussbaum. Since photographing three totals, Marc has been on a mission to get others to see one. He wrote the book Total Solar Eclipse 2017: Your Guide to the Next US Eclipse, upon which this course is based. In addition to chairing the OLLI STEM Committee, Marc runs a small electronics business, Audible Rush. He served as CEO of Lantronix and SVP Engineering, and CTO and co-founder of Western Digital’s hard drive business. He holds a BS in Physics from the State University of NY, Oswego.


Fridays, May 6, 13 & 20

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom

Happiness 101 (SS 316)

SS 316                                  HAPPINESS 101

Pursuing Happiness in Challenging Times

Called the ultimate currency, happiness is of growing interest in education, philosophy, social sciences and the helping professions. More than a simple concept, happiness is a complex value with significant cultural, religious, ethnic, social, and interpersonal dimensions.

This class will explore the concept of happiness in all its cultural and social diversity: (1) from ancient times to the 21st Century; (2) from indigenous cultures in the developing world to contemporary scholars in technologically advanced countries; and (3) from secular and religious perspectives. Class enrollees will discuss their own definitions and paths to happiness.

The following questions will form the outline for class discussions:

  • What are the roles of age, gender, marriage, religion, and state of health in achieving happiness?
  • What are the roles of income, wealth, education and social status in achieving happiness?
  • Are prosperity and happiness the same thing?
  • What attitudes, thoughts, and general behaviors enhance personal happiness?
  • Why is it that some people never achieve happiness?
  • How can we be happy when there is so much tragedy, misfortune and suffering in the world?

NOTE: Limited to 25 registered participants.

Presenter/Developer: Mel Roth, MSW, is the former CEO of the Jewish Family Service of Orange County. He received his BA Degree in Philosophy from the University of Arizona and his Masters’ in Social Work Degree from San Diego State.   He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Hebrew Union College.


Wednesdays, May 4, 11 and 18

Class presentation: Happiness 101 OLLI (SS 316)

10:00 AM -12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom


Al Fuller                      949-854-8809

Our Aging Brains (SC 214)

SC 214                                   OUR AGING BRAINS


Click here to view the presentation: Our Aging Brains SC 214

In 2013, Dr. Tonia Vojtkofsky presented a class about how to help preserve our cognition through learning and brain exercises. This semester we will delve into the neurology of our brains as we age. What is driving the changes many of us experience since we were much younger? Comprehensive research and testing at UCI has been generating significant insights into the neurological differences and processes taking place as we age, especially with our memory functions. Bring your thinking caps and be prepared for a trip to some of the brain’s interior secrets.

Presenter: Craig Stark, Ph.D., UCI Professor of Cognitive Psychology; Director, Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

Developers:  Phil Friedel and Ed Garr


Monday, May 9   10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Location:      Woodbridge Onken classroom.


Yves Newmen            949-280-2624

Iris Timmons 949-333-2143


SC 210: TOPICS IN MEDICINE FOR OLDER ADULTS. Class presentation available.

The Program in Geriatrics at UC Irvine Medical Center (UCIMC) continues its series on health-related topics for older adults. Topics have been selected to provide timely information that is of interest for the OLLI membership. Lectures will be presented by UC Irvine geriatricians and experts from the UCIMC.

Thursday, April 7: Living Long and Living Well: Lessons from the 90+ Study

Presenter: Szofia Bullain, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, UCI

Class Presentation: Aging and Dementia-Lessons from The 90 Study

Thursday, April 14: Cardiac Function and Care

Presenter: Richard Kelly, MD, JD, MPH, UC Irvine School of Medicine

Thursday, April 21: Too Many Pills

Presenter: Tatyana Gurvich, Geriatric Pharmacist, UC Irvine Senior Health Center, UCIMC

Developer: Marj Besemer

Dates / Time:    

Thursdays, April 7, 14 and 21

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


Woodbridge Onken Classroom


SC 209 – I’LL TAKE THAT BET! Balancing Risk and Benefit: The Human Side of Science. Class presentations available for viewing.

How often do you consider the odds when you are playing poker, taking out insurance, making investments, or choosing among alternative medical treatments? Do you make an important decision because it just feels right?  Methods for balancing risk against benefit have evolved over the centuries, ranging from intuition to very sophisticated mathematical systems. In this course, we will examine the history of how these probability-based methods developed, how they work, and how they can be applied to problems that we encounter in our lives

Wednesday, April 6: A film from the BBC series Horizons, Making Money the Easy Way, about how a team of MIT students applied mathematical principles to win in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, April 13: Uncertainty, risk and probability – fundamental definitions and concepts.

Class Presentation: Lecture 1A – Fundamental Definitions and Concepts

Wednesday, April 20: The history of risk from ancient Greece and Rome, and the contributions of Fermat, Pascal, Bernoulli and Gauss up through the 19th century.

Class Presentation: Lecture 2A – The History of Risk from Ancient Greece and Rome through the 19th Century

Wednesday, April 27: 20th century decision theory – structures for making risky decisions; how to value and use perfect and imperfect information in decision-making.

Class Presentation: Lecture 3A – 20th Century Decision Theory

Wednesday, May 4: Risk on Wall Street – how risk is managed (or not!) in the world of investments; modern portfolio theory.

Class Presentation: Lecture 4A – Risk on Wall Street

Presenter: Howard Mirowitz, MBA, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, is retired from the world of high tech business development and venture capital, and is now a community volunteer and amateur mathematician and musician. He has also taught courses in new product development at the UCI Merage School of Business and is a favorite on mathematics and scientific topics for OLLI.

Developers: John Bush and Larry Wayne


Wednesdays, April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4

2:00 – 4:00 PM



Woodbridge Onken Classroom


NEW MATERIALS (SC 208). Class presentations available.

SC 208                       NEW MATERIALS: Creating options for our future

As the pop singer Madonna reminds us, we live in a material world. Creating, shaping and applying materials that fill recognized needs and serve new desires arguably has driven the evolution of our culture from the Stone Age to the Steel Age. For example, the application of extremely pure silicon to create a transistor in 1954 can be said to be the major development that led to the Silicon Age we live in.  Similarly, the creation of a new chemical compound, a dyestuff, by German chemists in 1932 led to the antibiotic revolution in medicine.  If a current emphasis on environmentally compatible materials and processes proves to be fruitful, we may be heading into the Green Age.

In this class, we will survey some contemporary examples of the ways that newly created materials, new ways to shape materials, and new ways to apply materials may influence our lives.

Tuesday, April 5: Structural materials — buildings and vehicles; energy generation and distribution; and storage materials. Click here for the presentation: NEW MATERIALS ONE

 Tuesday, April 12: Electronic and optical materials — computers, communications, and sensors. Click here for the presentation: NEW MATERIALS TWO

 Tuesday, April 19: Biomaterials — producing materials using biological processes; using new materials in medicine. Click here for the presentation: NEW MATERIALS THREE

Presenter/Developer: John Bush, Ph.D.

Prior to retirement, John taught chemistry, and performed and managed research in industry. He is an OLLI STEM Committee member and has organized and presented a number of OLLI science classes.


Tuesdays, April 5, 12 and 19, 1:30 – 3:30 PM


Phyllis Scheffler      949-589-6706

Marj Besemer            949-589-9085