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First-year Seminar Program

Winter Quarter 2023 Enrollment Information

First-year Seminars are open first to all first-year students including first-year freshman with sophomore standing during the first-year student enrollment period. Incoming first-year students with sophomore standing should use the campus Course Pre-Authorization system to be cleared to enroll in a seminar and then use WebReg to enroll in seminars during your enrollment time.

Early enrollment is encouraged due to the small class size.

Visit the Schedule of Classes to see enrollments (select all departments and 87.) Use WebReg to enroll in seminars during your enrollment period.

Sophomores may enroll directly in first-year seminars by using WebReg after the freshman enrollment period and if seats are available.

Please use the campus Course Pre-Authorization system if you have an enrollment question.

Please use the Virtual Advising Center, VAC to contact the advisor of the department or program offering the seminar for all non-enrollment questions.

Department of Anthropology

Social Justice in South Asia
ANTH 87 A00
Section ID: 105458
Varma, Saiba (
Location: SSB 102
Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This course will explore contemporary struggles for social justice in South Asia, one of the world's most important geopolitical regions. We will examine unfolding crises, from the farmers' protests to struggles for gender justice to the protests around the new citizenship act, to the militarization of Kashmir, to understand what South Asian futures will look like. This course counts towards the newly created South Asian studies minor in Warren College.

Department of Asian American & Pacific Islander Studies Program

Introduction to Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies
AAPI 87 A00
Section ID: 96787
Espiritu, Yen (
Location: SSB 103
Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Students will be introduced to the critical concepts and practices of Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies, centering the study of race, power, and inequality in contemporary AAPI life. Key concepts include: diaspora, community building, intersectionality, worldmaking, demilitarization, and decolonization. Students will also learn the long history of student activism that resulted in the creation of the AAPI Studies Program at UCSD in 2020 and meet program faculty.

Division of Biological Sciences

Race, Racism, and Genetics
BILD 87 A00
Section ID: 105881
Meaders, Clara (  &
   McDonnell, Lisa ()
Location: BIO 1138
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

What does it mean that race is a socio-political construct and not a biological construct? In this seminar, each week we will explore a different topic related to race, racism, and genetics. A few topics we will cover include: identity, implicit bias and structural racism, racism and scientific history, why race and ancestry are different, human genetic variation, and health inequities.

Department of Classical Studies

Jesus in Word and Deed
CLAS 87 A00
Section ID: 96739
Herbst, Matthew (
Location: ERC 201
Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Jesus in Word and Deed: The life of Jesus of Nazareth has had a profound influence on world history over the past two millennia. Explanations and conceptions of Jesus have been essential to community formation and definition. These images have inspired artists, authors, and advocates across the globe, from past to present. Yet, these explanations and conceptions have also greatly differed. This seminar explores diverse (and competing) ways that Jesus has been explained and portrayed (in h

Department of Cognitive Science

How Minds & Cultures Make Religion & Superstition
COGS 87 A00
Section ID: 99997
Deak, Gedeon (
Location: CSB 180
Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Why do humans, individually and in groups, attribute natural events to supernatural agents? How does the human brain accept religious beliefs, even in the face of contradictory evidence? We will examine how cognitive, developmental, and cultural factors work together to cause humans to believe in the supernatural.

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Neural Networks as Models of the Mind
CSE 87 A00
Section ID: 102115
Cottrell, Garrison (
Location: EBU3B B220
Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

We investigate how neural networks can be used to model how we see, read, remember, and learn. We use simple demonstration programs that implement these models. We teach a neural network to recognize faces, facial expressions, and gender. We also get some insight into the latest trends in neural networks, Deep Learning.

Critical Gender Studies

Are Prisons Obsolete?
CGS 87 A00
Section ID: 102488
Hankins, Joseph (
Location: LGBT RC Conference Room
Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 2-9

Are Prisons Obsolete? In her book by the same title, Angela Davis argues that they are: that prisons, as a means of fostering healthy societies, fail. This seminar will examine the rise of prisons in the United States, their relationship with slavery and ongoing racial control, how they rely on sexual and gender violence, and the ways in which people resist the logic of incarceration and instead build other systems of social support that are making prisons obsolete.

Education Studies

Teaching AI Literacy with hands-on tools
EDS 87 A00
Section ID: 105509
Eguchi, Emi (
Location: RWAC 0521
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Seminar will meet 1/28 and 2/04.

Do you know what AI literacy is? Are you interested in learning what it is? Do you want to also figure out how to teach it to K-12 students? This seminar introduces AI literacy through hands-on experience and lets you experience how K-12 students can obtain AI literacy through fun activities while they explore how AI influences their lives and future. You will be, then, asked to figure out a fun way to teaching AI literacy by developing engaging and fun activities that allow K-12 students to exp

Film Studies

Banned Films
FILM 87 B00
Section ID: 103157
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar examines the relationship between law, politics and cinema and why governments have banned certain films throughout history. We will examine films such as This is Not a Film, Sweetness of Spirit, Battleship Potemkin, LAge dOr, The Bohemian Girl, Clockwork Orange, Goldfinger and others.
What Film Can Teach Us About Life
FILM 87 A00
Section ID: 103156
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar is about how film can reflect and change our lives. We will discuss movies such as: I Love you, Beth Cooper,American Beauty, Sliding doors, Seventh Seal, Happiness, La Dolce Vita, Taste of Cherry, Do the Right Thing, Christmas Story and others.

Department of History

Chinese History Through Film
HITO 87 A00
Section ID: 97148
Pickowicz, Paul (
Location: MCC 221
Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

What surprising aspects of modern Chinese social and cultural history can we learn by exploring documentary and feature films produced in the hundred years from 1920 to 2020? This seminar will introduce students to key films housed in the excellent Geisel Library Chinese film collection.
Pandemics, Panics, and Plagues: Human Responses to Inhuman Catastrophes
HITO 87 B00
Section ID: 97149
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: RWAC 0846
Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

An exploration of the role that pandemic and epidemic illness has played in human history, focusing on the different ways in which people have responded to their fears, their mortality, their uncertainty about the causes of contagion, and their disastrous losses. We will study contemporaneous accounts from the distant and recent past, coupled with historical analyses and fictional depictions, to understand the struggle to survive, control, and recover from the onslaught of deadly infections.
What Is Socialism? (And What Isn't)
HITO 87 C00
Section ID: 97150
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: RWAC 0846
Fridays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Socialism has recently become a very hot topic in American politics -- something that people are fighting for and fighting against. Conservatives, libertarians, and others on the political "right" continue their long tradition of rejecting as "socialism" a wide range of policies they do not like. But many progressives and others on the "left," inspired by Bernie Sanders and like-minded activists, have recently started to embrace this label (after running away from it in the past).

Department of Physics

Introduction to LaTeX: typeset your own science/engineering papers
PHYS 87 A00
Section ID: 98800
Grinstein, Benjamin (

LaTeX is the standard mark-up language for professional typesetting of scientific and engineering documents (from papers to books). This is a hands on seminar, covering from LaTeX and editor installation to producing a document with tables, figures and equations. Students have a choice to work on their laptops or use computers in the computer lab.

Department of Psychology

The Science of Self-Regulated Learning
PSYC 87 A00
Section ID: 99087
Pilegard, Celeste (
Location: MCGIL 1350
Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

College students are advised to spend two hours studying outside of class per week for every unit of enrollment. What are you supposed to do with that time? When starting college, every student has to navigate how to learn effectively in a context that requires more independence than ever before. You’ll learn what science tells us about effective and efficient study strategies, implement evidence-based principles to help optimize your learning potential, and discuss what universities can do to better support students' independent learning.

Department of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Treasures of the Earth: Minerals, Crystals, and Gems
SIO 87 A00
Section ID: 99171
Cook, Geoffrey (
Location: VAUGN 147
Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Spectacular specimens and multimedia presentations will introduce students to nature's geologic treasures. Using the mineral kingdom as a platform, students will learn about the fascinating processes and products of the Earth and will gain awareness of their societal importance.
Underwater photography as a tool for science communication
SIO 87 B00
Section ID: 99172
Aburto Oropeza, Marco (
Location: VAUGN 100
Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This course will introduce you to a wide variety of topics related with how photography is used as a tool for marine sciences research, but also as a tool for science communication projects. There will be a review of the history of equipment, but also discussions of successful projects that are using this technology around the world.

Sixth College

Sing Your Song: Movie Musicals & American Popular Culture
CAT 87 A00
Section ID: 97027
Bronstein, Phoebe (
Location: CTL 0178
Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

From Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (1930s) to School Daze (1988), Bride and Prejudice (2004), and the upcoming Hamilton movie, live-action movie musicals have long held an important space in American popular culture. Their songs have topped pop charts and they have been huge box office successes, even as the genre itself has evolved and developed. This discussion-based seminar will explore the history of the genre, its adaptation over the last century of filmmaking, and its lasting impact in America.

Department of Sociology

Seeing the Invisible: How Gender and Sexuality Shape Opportunity
SOCI 87 A00
Section ID:
Blair-Loy, Mary (
Location: SSB 101
Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Today does everyone in the U.S. have a similar chance to create the life they want? This seminar explores social scientific research on how schools and workplaces continue to provide different opportunities to people based on their gender and sexual identity and how we can make changes to those patterns.

Department of Theatre & Dance

Cultivating the Creative Mind
TDGE 87 A00
Section ID: 104770
Rubinstein, Kim (
Location: GH 144
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Strengthen neural pathways that lead to creative thinking and output in any field of endeavor. Combining neuroscience with theatre principles and practices, this course will both study cutting-edge research on the creative brain and practice ways to optimize its output, inspiring innovations that may help us survive as a species and a planet.