Freshman Seminar Program

Spring Quarter 2017 Enrollment Information

Freshman Seminars are open first to all freshman including first-year freshman with sophomore standing during the freshman enrollment period. Incoming freshmen 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 freshman 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 Bioengineering

Introduction to Bioinstrumentation
BENG 87 A00
Section ID: 905854
Omens, Jeff (
Location: PFBH 291
Thursday, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 4/27, 5/4, 5/11, 5/18, 5/25, 6/1, 6/8

This course will explore biomedical instrument design in a hands-on laboratory setting. The goals of the course are to design, test, and document a biopotential amplifier/recording system, specifically for recording and analyzing the human electrocardiogram (ECG) with a working prototype hardware/software system.

Division of Biological Sciences

Earth's Fragile Biosphere
BILD 87 A00
Section ID: 898929
Saier, Milton (
Location: BIO 1129
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar will address the consequences of human activity on the Earth's biosphere. Topics include species extinction, global warming, habitat destruction, individual responsibility to future generations, and human values/morals.
Running's Mystery and History
BILD 87 C00
Section ID: 905814
Hampton, Randolph (
Location: YORK 3010
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

One of the mysteries of exercise, and in particular running, is everyone thinks it is good for you, but no one is exactly sure why! Studies confirm this fact about running, but they disagree on the mechanism of the benefits. Several prominent biologists have even suggested that the best way to view human evolution is that we are honed and shaped to be the world's best distance runners. But there are nagging questions about this ideal view. Is there too much running? Is it addictive?
The Philosophy of Science and the Science of the Supernatural
BILD 87 B00
Section ID: 898930
Saier, Milton (
Location: BIO 1129
Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar will consider the philosophy of science and the science of faith. Topics to be included are: 1. The Creation Story 2. The Ptolemaic Universe 3. How to explain the supernatural 4. Copernicus and Galileo 5. Kepler's analyses 6. Sir Isaac Newton 7. Darwin and Evolution 8. Koch's Postulates 9. Mental illness 10. The Scientific Method.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Teaching Science: The Challenge
CHEM 87 A00
Section ID: 899585
Bussey, Thomas (
Location: NSB 3211
Tuesdays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Why do so many students seem unable or unwilling to learn science? Is this due to ineffective instruction, or are the difficulties inevitable? How can teaching make science intrinsically stimulating for all students? How can a teaching career be fulfilling and rewarding?

Department of Cognitive Science

Blogging about Cognitive Science
COGS 87 C00
Section ID: 901289
Coulson, Seana (
Location: YORK 4050A
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Learn about cognitive science and science communication at the same time! This seminar will introduce students to the world of science blogging via hands-on workshops on how to set up and promote your own blog. Besides the technical aspects of blogging, we will also cover writing. Each student will choose from a menu of cognitive science articles and craft a blog post on that topic. Over the course of the quarter, we will work together to make each post interesting and informative.
How Minds and Groups Make Religion and Superstition
COGS 87 A00
Section ID: 901287
Deak, Gedeon (
Location: CSB 180
Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.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.
Knowing: Brain, Mind and The Limits of Science
COGS 87 B00
Section ID: 901288
Pineda, Jaime (
Location: CSB 180
Fridays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Can we develop an objective science of subjective experience? Can we ever know, as Thomas Nagle asked, 'What is it like to be a bat?' This class will explore the neural mechanisms engaged in 'what is it like to be?' and the limitations inherent in that. We will then consider ways of extending current scientific thinking about what we can know.

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Errors and Failures: What went wrong?
CSE 87 B00
Section ID: 905855
Howden, William (
Location: EBU3B 3217
Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

What went wrong? Why did a 50 million dollar rocket blow up on its first launch? How did a surgical procedure result in accidental death? What causes errors and how can we avoid them? The course will take a case-oriented approach. Students will discuss both given examples and their own personal errors. Suggested solutions will be considered.
Neural Networks as Models of the Mind
CSE 87 A00
Section ID: 904800
Cottrell, Gary (
Location: EBU3B B260
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.

Education Studies

Learning How to Learn: The Science of Learning
EDS 87 A00
Section ID: 901743
Simon, Elizabeth (
Location: PCYNH 302
Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-8

Ever wondered what happens in your brain when you learn? In this course, you will apply evidence-based techniques to learn more effectively and efficiently. This course will be offered in a "flipped" model, with required videos to be watched before class and an "active learning" approach to help you personalize and practice skills in class.

Eleanor Roosevelt College

Disability and the Struggle for Inclusion
ERC 87 A00
Section ID: 904801
Herbst, Matthew (
Location: ERCA 115
Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-9

What is disability? This seminar offers an overview of the topic, providing an historical perspective and an introduction to contemporary issues, including the legacy of exclusion and discrimination and the struggle for inclusion, equal rights, and opportunity.
Sacred Mountain (required field trip fee $95) - 15 student limit
ERC 87 B00
Section ID: 905874
Herbst, Matthew (
Location: ERCA 115
Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet week 1- 7 and field trip

This seminar explores mountains in religious and philosophical traditions, from divine encounters to poetic expressions and mountaintop musings of Thoreau and John Muir. This seminar includes a weekend experience in the mountains of Southern CA (field trip fee $95). Weekend trip is May 6-7.

Department of Ethnic Studies

Asian Americans and Mental Health
ETHN 87 A00
Section ID: 905856
Espiritu, Yen (

This course introduces students to the psychological experiences of Asian Americans, including historical, sociopolitical, and cultural influences that shape Asian American personality and mental health. Specific topics include racism, gender and sexuality, family and generational dynamics, PTSD, and culturally competent mental health treatment and service delivery.

Film Studies

Banned Films
FILM 87 D00
Section ID: 904806
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.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.
Cult Films of 1950s-2000s
FILM 87 A00
Section ID: 904803
Havis, Allan (
Location: GH 144
Mondays, 3:30 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Cursory look at enigmatic cult film classics from 1950 to today. Basic aesthetics and ideas of cult films will be celebrated. Films include PSYCHO, WICKERMAN, ROAD WARRIOR, BLADE RUNNER, REPO MAN, HEDWIG & THE ANGRY INCH, HAROLD & MAUDE.
Fantasy, Sci Fi, & Horror the Last 60 Years
FILM 87 B00
Section ID: 904804
Havis, Allan (
Location: GH 144
Mondays, 4:30 p.m. to 5:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

An entertaining and analytical survey from the 1950s to today of memorable and strange feature films including THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, PSYCHO, BARBARELLA, ROAD WARRIOR, BLADE RUNNER, REPO MAN, DARK CITY, and THE RING. Technical achievement, visual power, and personal nuance will be emphasized.
What Film can teach us about life
FILM 87 C00
Section ID: 904805
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.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

Global History of Drugs
HITO 87 B00
Section ID: 902448
Edington, Claire (
Location: HSS 6008
Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar introduces students to the history of drugs from a global perspective. Topics include the opium trade in Asia, the origins of international drug control, the war on drugs in the United States and Latin America and the rise of the pharmaceutical industry.
Ming China in Short Stories
HITO 87 C00
Section ID: 902449
Schneewind, Sarah (
Location: HSS 3086
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Reading 9 short stories from the Ming period (1368-1644), stories meant to be both amusing and moralizing, we will discuss what they reveal about Chinese society, government, religion, economy, and ideology. We will meet emperors, officials, and beggars; wives, prostitutes, and go-betweens; monks, nuns, and Daoist mystics; and gods and ghosts.
Why Do Europeans Love and Hate America?
HITO 87 A00
Section ID: 902447
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: HSS 6008
Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

"Americanization" and "McDonaldization" in Europe spark controversy and even violent protests. Many treat imports of American culture with disgust. Yet the US is also admired, even loved, and demand for American things remains strong. We will study key forms of and resistance to Americanization.

Department of Literature

Performing Stand-up Comedy
LTEN 87 A00
Section ID: 904810
Forbes, Camille (
Location: LIT 237
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-10

Students will study comics, review and create material, and finally, perform a 3-minute set of original material before an audience (size of audience to be determined).
Vampires in Literature and Film
LTWL 87 A00
Section ID: 904811
Lampert-Weissig, Lisa (
Location: LIT 455
Fridays, 11:00 p.m. to 11:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-8

We will examine the portrayal of vampires in a series of films ranging from Murnau's 1922 classic Nosferatu to the shows like True Blood and the Vampire Diaries. How has the representation of vampires changed over the years? Students will watch the films outside of class to prepare for our discussions. Visit for more information.

Department of Mathematics

Calculus and the Art of Bicycle Racing
MATH 87 A00
Section ID: 905859
Wulbert, Daniel (
Location: APM 7421
Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Topics Include: Power on climb, Counter steering vectors, Rotating mass, Track stands, Cornering lines. Students can choose topics ranging from arithmetic and trig calculations through to Taylor Series and Lagrange Multipliers.

Department of Music

Computational Creativity
MUS 87 A00
Section ID: 905860
Dubnov, Shlomo (
Location: CPMC 145
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 6-10

Computational creativity is a multidisciplinary research area that combines aspects of artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, philosophy, and the arts to construct machines that are capable of novelty that is relevant to problem solving or creative tasks. In the seminar we will explore the concepts of creativity and its computational applications for text, music, games and the arts.
Music & Environmentalism in Taiwan
MUS 87 B00
Section ID: 905861
Guy, Nancy (
Location: CPMC 145
Tuesday, 3:00 P to 4:50 P
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-4

What can we learn about human attitudes towards the environment through song? This course overviews how ecological concerns and attitudes have been voiced in popular music in Taiwan from the 1980s through to the present.

Department of Physics

From Quarks to Cosmos
PHYS 87 B00
Section ID: 905862
Fuller, George (
Location: SERF 329
Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

A fascinating interplay of the very small and the very large has governed the evolution of the universe. The stuff we are made of was cooked in the early universe and in the hellish interiors of massive stars. The lion's share of the matter and energy in the universe is in unknown forms that must have bizarre properties.
Introduction to LaTeX: typeset your own science/engineering papers
PHYS 87 A00
Section ID: 900539
Grinstein, Benjamin (
Location: MYR-A 4623
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-10

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.

Revelle College

Scientific Communication and Professionalism
REV 87 A00
Section ID: 905863
Lipomi, Darren (

This seminar covers effective communication in a scientific environment. In particular writing strategies, slide design, public speaking, the scientific elevator pitch, writing emails, and working with classmates, professors, and collaborators will be addressed using readings and discussions of cases.

Department of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

An Introduction to Volcanoes
SIO 87 B00
Section ID: 905864
Cook, Geoffrey (
Location: York 3030
Mondays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-5

Students will be introduced to the fascinating world of volcanoes using a combination of hands-on activities, analogue demonstrations, and a wide variety of multimedia including videos, photos, and computer simulations.
Rocks that Rock! An exploration of exciting, unique and otherwise fascinating Earth materials
SIO 87 A00
Section ID: 904812
Cook, Geoffrey (
Location: York 3030
Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-5

Students will learn about rocks, the rock cycle, and the myriad of Earth materials that make up the planet and solar system. Exciting hand-specimens and multimedia presentations will enhance and augment the presentation.

Department of Sociology

Globalization and the Exploitation of Children
SOCI 87 B00
Section ID: 905865
Ivan, Evans (
Location: ERC 2nd Floor Conference Room
Thursdays, 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet Week 1-5

This course examines the plight of children in different parts of the world. An examination of slavery, child soldiers, sex trafficking and the rampant sexualization of childhood raises questions about the treatment of children in both developing and developed countries.

Department of Theatre & Dance

Dance Movement Exploration
TDGE 87 A00
Section ID: 901573
Rincon, Patricia (
Location: GH 320
Wednesday, 2:00 P to 3:50 P
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-4

An introduction to dance movement and understanding your body; a contemporary approach to dancing and its many genres as an expressive medium and form of communication. No dance training necessary. Prerequisites: none
Voice for the Stage
TDGE 87 B00
Section ID: 905866
Meyer, Ursula (
Location: GH 170
Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 2-6

A practical seminar in warm-up technique, vocal health, and how to deal with questions of tone, breath, specific vocal tensions, placement, range, projection, and articulation in the actor's process. Some work with individual vocal challenges and text.

Thurgood Marshall College

Principles of Clarity
TMC 87 B00
Section ID: 907335
Dobkins, Karen (
Location: CSB 003
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This is a course in positive psychology and mindfulness. It teaches how to be clear in our needs and choices, communicate those needs effectively and clearly to others, and accept full responsibility for the outcome. It combines a short lecture with workshop style exercises.

Warren College

Space Physiology and Exploration (meeting location is at the School of Medicine)
WARR 87 B00
Section ID: 905867
Hargens, Alan (
Location: MET 204
Mondays, 10:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-10

Space Physiology and Exploration will include physiologic adaptations to gravity and adaptations to the microgravity of spaceflight for cardiovascular, bone, muscle and other physiologic systems. Countermeasures to maintain health of astronauts will include radiation protection and various forms of artificial gravity such as centrifugation. Meeting Location: Medical Education and Telemedicine (MET) Building here on the School of Medicine campus in La Jolla.

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