SC 214: Topics in Medicine


Four topics will be covered in this class including; Hypertension, Heart Failure, Antibiotic Resistance, and PTSD. UC Irvine Medical Center continues to support OLLI with several offerings this semester, including: Topics in Genetics, Topics on the Aging Mind, and this class, Topics in Medicine. Don’t miss our other medical related lectures this semester.

 Tuesday, May 9: The Current Hype on Hypertension

Dr. Wong will assess the importance of early diagnosis and intensive management options, recommend individualized pharmacological treatments and lifestyle changes, review the risk factors associated with cardiovascular, stroke and kidney failure, and examine the strategies to enhance patient treatment adherence.

Presenter: Nathan Wong, Ph.D. Professor and Director, Heart Disease Prevention Program, Division of Cardiology, UC Irvine.

Class Presentation: Current Hype on Hypertension May 2017

Tuesday, May 16: Heart Failure Diagnostic and Management

Ms. DeMichelis will define heart failure, describe expected clinical assessment findings for patients with heart failure, describe the nonpharmacological therapies for management of heart failure, and define expected outcomes for therapeutic management of patients with heart failure.

Presenter: Nathalie DeMichelis, RN, Cardiovascular Program Manager, UC Irvine Medical Center

Class Presentation:  Heart Failure 5-16-17

Tuesday, June 6: Antibiotic Resistance

It has become increasingly difficult to effectively treat infections as bacteria have evolved to become more resistant to available antibiotics. We will talk about some of the strategies being used to delay more widespread evolution of antibiotic resistance.

Presenter: Jerry Florman, Pharmacist.


Tuesday, June 6: PTSD

Although PTSD is a relatively new concept, societal and the medical community’s opinion of the causes and effects of trauma have evolved greatly. Historical and current treatment overview of PTSD will be presented.

Presenter: Yves Newmen, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist

Class Presentation: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Developer: Marj Besemer


Tuesdays, May 9 and 16, and June 6

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken



Applying the science of genetics to the care and treatment of older adults promises to revolutionize our quality of life and extend the human lifespan. This class will explore how genetics is connected to the aging process and how genetics-fueled precision medicine is beginning to be used prior to treatment, to reduce mortality and improve patient outcomes. This class will arm you with knowledge about a new set of tools, possibly leading to a better dialog with your everyday and critical care health providers.

Tuesday, April 25: New Frontiers in Genetics and Precision Medicine

Hosted by leaders from one of America’s fastest growing private biotechnology companies, this discussion will highlight the link between genetics and individualized care. By evaluating genetic variations along with clinical data, the speakers will provide insights about how a deeper understanding of individual characteristics is leading to better patient outcomes. In this discussion, attendees will get an inside perspective about how precision medicine is changing the lives of people across the country.

Presenters: Kirt Pfaff, Vice President of Commercial Operations, PROOVE, Brian Meshkin, Founder and CEO, PROOVE, May Hafez, MD, Manager Of Clinical Operations and Science Liaison, PROOVE.

Tuesday, May 2: The Place of Genetics in Aging

  • Gene environment interactions and aging.
  • Changes in genes and gene expression with aging
  • Connections between rare genetic disorders and age-related brain disorders.

Presenter: Moyra Smith, Ph.D. University College, London;  MD, University of Pretoria, South Africa; Professor Emeritus, Department of Pediatrics, UCI.

Class Presentation: Genetic Factors in Aging Version 2

The following are the books/authors Dr. Smith referenced in the class:

  • Lewis Thomas who has written several books with interesting essays.
  • Sherwin Nuland who wrote several books including, “The Art of Aging.”
  • Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology (Jan 10, 1995) by Stephen L. Wolfe
  • Introduction to Cell Biology (1st Edition) by John K Young

Class Video Lecture:

Developers: Yves Newmen and Marj Besemer


Tuesday, April 25

2:00 – 4:00 PM

Tuesday, May 2

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon

Topics in Science (SC 210). Class presentation available for viewing.

Click here to view the presentation from the April 17 class meeting: SC 210 TOPICS IN SCIENCE Tajima


From the perspective of physics professors and engineers, we will explore two very different topics that are of interest to inquiring minds: How religion and science can coexist, and the future of fusion energy. In our fusion class, we will learn about work being done in Orange County towards making virtually unlimited energy a reality.

Monday, April 10: Science and Religion

Science and religion are often viewed as pursuits that are in conflict with each other. But, at their heart, both are about asking deep questions into the nature of reality. In this presentation, we explore the big questions around reality, such as creation and the nature of free will, and present how approaches from science and faith intersect on these challenging issues.

Presenter: Professor Michael Dennin,

Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning, and Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education, UCI.

Monday, April 17: Approaches to Nuclear Fusion

Lecture 1: Nuclear Fusion Energy:

What is nuclear fusion and why the interest? Various routes to fusion: magnetic confinement, colliding beams, and inertial confinement.  What are the differences and who is involved?  What is the historical perspective?

Presenter: Martin Cooper, Ph.D., former Senior Technical Advisor, Department of Energy, including the Fusion Energy Division, and OLLI STEM committee member.

Lecture 2: Fusion with a Particle Accelerator:

UCI has been at the forefront of integrating the concept of fusion with a particle accelerator. This technology can produce an entity more stable with higher energy than just hot plasma.


Toshi Tajima, Professor (see the presentation above)

Norman Rostoker Chair

Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCI, and Chief Science Officer, Tri-Alpha Energy


Dennis Silverman


Mondays, April 10 and 17

10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon


The Irvine Station-Onken






SC 209: GEOLOGY OF NATIONAL PARKS: Part 2. Western Mountains, Colorado Plateau. Class presentation(s) available.

Join us for the second of a multi-semester series of classes addressing the geology of the National Parks (NPs), focusing this semester on the remainder of the Western Mountain group, and portions of the Colorado Plateau not previously covered in recent geology classes.

Each National Geographic DVD lecture will provide an account of the human significance of the region, as well as a description of the geological phenomena that are responsible for its interesting features. There will be time for questions and discussion in each class session, led by members of the OLLI STEM Committee.

View Class Presentations: Continue reading

SC 206: The Impacts of Climate Change. Part 3 – Extreme Events. Class presentations available.

As our planet warms, humankind must discover solutions to global ecological problems before it is too late. We are being impacted by changing temperatures on land and in the ocean, changes in sea level and acidity, increasingly frequent extreme weather events, biological extinctions, and more. Please join OLLI for the third in a series of classes on the impacts that a changing climate is driving. During this semester’s sessions we will focus on extreme events.  Specific research assessments for mega-storms, increased large storm frequency, flooding, drought, wildfires, cold and heat waves, erosion and mudslides and infrastructure impact will be addressed.

Click Continue Reading to view class presentations.

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SC 205: Big Data. Class presentation available.

It is estimated that 90 percent of all the world’s data has been generated in the last two years. This data can be either used or abused. In this course, we will discover how we can extract useful information from this digital fire-hose. The term Big Data describes the tasks of storing, processing, and analyzing extremely large amounts of data previously unavailable, ignored, or unable to be processed by older technologies.  Big Data is distinguished not only by its huge volume, but also by the concurrent presence of disparate data types and much faster data capture rates.  We will review how Big Data is collected, stored, analyzed and searched, and explore its implications in fields ranging from manufacturing to Constitutional rights and national security.

Continue reading

Happiness 101. Class presentation available.

This class will explore the concept of happiness from the perspectives of ancient philosophers, world religions, indigenous cultures and contemporary psychologists and philosophers. Happiness is a complex value with cultural, religious, ethnic, social, and interpersonal dimensions. Class enrollees will discuss their own definitions of 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?
  • What values, thoughts, and general behaviors enhance personal happiness?
  • Can a person who has experienced many adversities be happy?
  • Do the political and economic conditions in a country affect its citizens’ sense of happiness?

On the premise that the achievement of happiness is a combination of chance, random circumstances, and deliberate personal choices, class participants will identify how they can enhance their happiness. Continue reading

SC 204 – The Internet of Things. Class presentation available.

By 2020, it is expected that 30 billion devices will be connected to each other through the Internet. That’s an average of five connected devices for every person on the planet. Your body will be monitored 24/7; advertisers and the government will know exactly where you are every second of the day. This “Internet of Things” or “IoT” is happening now and will transform your life as our devices become truly “smart.”

First, we will hear about commercial applications from Lantronix, a local company pioneering in early IoT. Then we will visit researchers at UCI’s California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). For the past decade, Calit2 has been developing IoT applications to improve our lives.

Wednesday, March 1: Lantronix: An IoT Real Life Application
Presenter: Daryl Miller, VP of Engineering, Lantronix

Class Presentation: UCI2017-IOT-NoVideos

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SC 203: The Pentarius Deep Dive Project and the Future of Technology. View class presentations and class video lectures.

Presenter: Chris Welsh is a real estate entrepreneur, technology investor and advisor, and explorer. Born and raised in Newport Beach, Chris is an instrument aircraft, seaplane, glider and helicopter pilot, and licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captain. His tech advisor positions include companies in material science, online resources, and apps. He is also an advisor to two investment syndicates.

Wednesday, March 1: The Pentarius Project – Raw Ocean Exploration

The Pentarius Submarine is designed to dive to 36,000 feet – it can reach anywhere in the ocean. From initial missions to document chemical munitions dumpsites, to chasing giant squid and exploring the deepest trenches, Pentarius has an ambitious schedule of dives ahead. In the first class, the project’s developer and pilot, Chris Welsh, will talk about each of these topics, the knowledge gained and ramifications of the effort, and the technology of the submarine that makes it all possible.

Continue reading

SC 212 – The Addictive Brain. Class presentations available for viewing.

Eighty million Americans can be considered addicts. Each of us probably knows someone who has been affected, or we may have been addicts ourselves (for example, with cigarettes or coffee). The convergence of psychology and neuroscience has led to a new understanding of the specific changes in the brain that are associated with addiction. These lectures will describe the changes that chemicals or behaviors have been shown to induce in the brain that result in the hallmarks of addiction: abuse, dependence and craving.

January 3: The basics of addiction, the neuroscience of reward, chronic drug use and the reward system

January 10: The genetics of addiction, how drugs affect the brain, cravings for coffee and cigarettes

January 17: Alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine

January 24: Opioids, street drugs and prescription medications

January 31: Gambling, junk food, pornography, and video games

Class Presentations:






Presenter: (Via Great Courses DVD):

Thad A. Polk, Ph.D., Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Michigan

Developer/ Discussion Leader:

John B. Bush, Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley. John is an OLLI STEM Committee member and has taught many popular OLLI classes.


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