Topics in Science (SC 208): Class presentations available.

SC 208                       TOPICS IN SCIENCE

This class is a collection of presentations on science topics that are of interest to the general public. It is presented in plain English for all to understand.

Tuesday, December 6, (10–11 AM): The Meaning of Gravitational Waves.

Detecting gravitational waves is a new astronomy, which will reveal amazing events like merging black holes. It also tests Einstein’s Theory of Gravity in the super-strong gravity region, where space warping becomes its own source of gravity. Educational videos will be used to illustrate gravity waves, detectors, and wave sources.

Tuesday, December 6 (11 AM–12 PM): How We Elected Our New President – the Math of the Primaries. We will review the math behind the Republican and Democratic primaries, and how they differ.  How is the fact that we are a Republic of States and not a democracy reflected in our primaries and our general election?  The discussion is based on the math of the primaries from the blog,  The caucuses will be contrasted with our state primaries.  We will also discuss the Citizen United ruling.

Presenter: Dennis Silverman, Ph.D., Retired UCI Physics Professor and OLLI STEM Committee Member

Class Presentation: The Math Inside the Election of 2016

Tuesday, December 13: Autonomous Vehicles aka Self-Driving Cars.

The future of self-driving vehicles is almost here! When can we expect to stop driving and instead enjoy the benefits of self-driving cars? This two-hour introduction will describe ongoing efforts to create autonomous vehicles, including progress-to-date and how these future accident-free automobiles will work.  Topics will include the components required to see and sense the road ahead and react to changing road conditions, and the huge burden to make the software responsive to a wide-range of driving situations. A number of concerns related to privacy, responsibility, and regulatory acceptance will also be discussed.

Presenter: Martin Cooper, Ph.D.,

Consultant, research and development management and commercialization of industrial technologies.  Dr. Cooper has presented several courses for OLLI.

Class Presentation: Autonomous Cars


Marc Nussbaum, Martin Cooper, Fred Pelliciotti


Tuesdays, December 6 and 13

10:00 AM – 12 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken

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