Freshman Seminar Program

Fall 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 Anthropology

Discover Anthropology
ANTH 87 B00
Section ID: 917782
Semendeferi, Ekaterini (
Location: SSB 105
Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

The seminar introduces students to the various disciplines within anthropology, library and laboratory resources, faculty research and mentoring opportunities in the department.
Global Beauty
ANTH 87 A00
Section ID: 917781
Kang, Byung (
Location: SSB 105
Thursdays, 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This first year seminar examines ideas around beauty, body modification, and social transformation with a focus on culture and power in the USA and East Asia. We will explore racialized practices such as skin lightening and darkening, cosmetic surgery of the eyes and nose, fatness, tattooing, hair styling, and the recent popularity of Korean beauty products.

Department of Bioengineering

Engineering the Heart
BENG 87 A00
Section ID:
Mc Culloch, Andrew (  &
   Omens, Jeff (
Location: PFBH 291
Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30

Explore the function of the remarkable human heart in health and disease as seen through the eyes of engineers. How do bioengineers at UCSD measure, analyze and model heart structure and function? What new insights into heart diseases and therapies for the ailing heart has bioengineering produced?
Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Bioengineering
BENG 87 B00
Section ID:
Schmid-Schoenbein, Geert (
Location: PFBH 291
Fridays, 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet 10/6, 10/13, 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8

Overview of recent developments in bioengineering nationwide, and in the State of California. Technological developments, recent conceptual approaches, and new topics in bioengineering. Advancement in professional practice in bioengineering with application to modern medical problems. Social implications of bioengineering advancements.

Division of Biological Sciences

Earth's Fragile Biosphere
BILD 87 A00
Section ID: 916110
Saier, Milton (
Location: BIO 1129
Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Nov 7, 14, 21, 28, Dec 5

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.
The Philosophy of Science and the Science of the Supernatural
BILD 87 B00
Section ID: 916111
Saier, Milton (
Location: BIO 1129
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Sept 28, Oct 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov 2, 9, 16, 30, Dec 7

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 Cognitive Science

How Minds and Groups Make Religion and Superstition
COGS 87 A00
Section ID: 916113
Deak, Gedeon (
Location: CSB 180
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-10

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: 916114
Pineda, Jaime (
Location: CSB 180
Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-10

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

Neural Networks as Models of the Mind
CSE 87 A00
Section ID: 916115
Cottrell, Gary (
Location: EBU3B B260
Wednesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-6

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

Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies
CGS 87 A00
Section ID: 916112
Serlin, David (
Location: LGBT RC Conference Room
Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet 10/11, 10/25, 11/8 & 11/22

This seminar will introduce students to important historical discussions and theoretical frameworks that have been central to the development of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) studies over the past three decades. Meeting Location: LGBT RC, Conference Room

Education Studies

Learning How to Learn: The Science of Learning
EDS 87 A00
Section ID: 916116
Simon, Elizabeth (

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: 916117
Herbst, Matthew (
Location: ERCA 201
Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

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.
God, Satan, and the Desert - $95 field trip fee required
ERC 87 B00
Section ID: 916118
Herbst, Matthew (
Location: ERCA 201
Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar offers an introduction to cultural and religious perspectives on the desert, which has been viewed as a cursed wasteland, but also as source of enlightenment. This course includes a weekend trip in the desert . Website:

Film Studies

Banned Films
FILM 87 A00
Section ID: 916120
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Wednesday, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 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.
What Film Could Teach Us About Life
FILM 87 B00
Section ID: 916121
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Wednesday, 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 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

Piracy in Popular Culture
HITO 87 C00
Section ID: 916126
Hanna, Mark (
Location: HSS 4025
Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Oct 9, 23, 30, and Nov 6 &13

The course explores the depiction of pirates and piracy in the United States in both literature and film following the Age of Sail in the late nineteenth century. We will trace the transformation of piracy from a real terror to American society to the subject of children's stories and dramatic comedies. We finish with a study of modern piracy.
Sun, Sea, Sand & Sex: What Do Tourism and Tourists Really Do?
HITO 87 A00
Section ID: 916124
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: HSS 6008
Fridays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Oct 6, 13, 20, 27, and Nov 3

Major issues and hot topics relating to the impact of tourism and tourists in the contemporary world, including environmental impacts, sex tourism, economic development and underdevelopment, "cultural imperialism," sustainability.
Why Do Europeans Love and Hate America?
HITO 87 B00
Section ID: 916125
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: HSS 6008
Fridays, 10:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet Oct 6, 13, 20, 27, and Nov 3

"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

Dystopia in Film and Literature
LTWL 87 B00
Section ID: 917744
Lampert-Weissig, Lisa (
Location: LIT 237
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-8

George Orwell’s dystopian classic, 1984, recently shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. What does this novel, written in 1949, have to say to us today? We will explore political, environmental, and technological dystopias in works such as Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, Butler’s The Parable of the Talents, Collins’ The Hunger Games, and the UK television series Black Mirror.
Television and American Identity
LTCS 87 A00
Section ID: 916127
Wesling, Megan (
Location: LIT 237
Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-5

This course examines aspects of how TV shapes our perceptions of the world we live in. We will focus on questions of race, gender, and sexuality in popular media and politics. Students will participate in selecting shows to analyze and discuss.
Zombies: An Unnatural History
LTWL 87 A00
Section ID: 916128
Lampert-Weissig, Lisa (
Location: LIT 237
Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 11:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-8

Why is imagining a zombie apocalypse so compelling? Is the recent craze just mindless fun or are there political and social subtexts? We'll examine the origins of the zombie, early films from the 1940s, George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Walking Dead and World War Z. More information at

Department of Mathematics

Calculus and the Art of Bicycle Racing
MATH 87 B00
Section ID: 919402
Wulbert, Daniel (
Location: APM 7421
Monday, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet each week of the quarter

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.
Math in the Movies
MATH 87 A00
Section ID: 916129
Bunch, James (
Location: APM 6402
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet 10/4, 10/11, 10/18, 10/25

Does studying math lead to mental instability and madness, or to social awkwardness and nerdiness? We will view four films and discuss the portrayal of math and mathematicians in them.
Teaching Math: The Challenge
MATH 87 C00
Section ID: 921116
Harel, Guershon (
Location: APM 6402
Wednesday, 1:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Oct. 4, 11, 18., 25

Why do so many students seem unable or unwilling to learn mathematics? Which of the difficulties students have in mathematics are due to ineffective instruction and which are inevitable? How can teaching make mathematics stimulating for all students? How can a teaching career be fulfilling?

Department of Music

Anatomy of the Groove
MUS 87 A00
Section ID: 916130
Dresser, Mark (
Location: CPMC 145
Thursdays, 5:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1,2,3,4

The groove is a multi-dimensional musical device, a propulsive rhythmic feel or sense of swing that is found internationally. The course will examine these different musical and social perspectives through listening, reading, discussing, collecting, and creating grooves. No previous musical knowledge is required.

Department of Philosophy

A Lost Work of Greek Philosophy
PHIL 87 B00
Section ID: 916132
Johnson, Monte (
Location: HSS 8025
Mondays, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet 8 weeks, starting on week 1 (oct 2)

We will read (in translation) my reconstruction of a lost work of Greek philosophy: Aristotle's Exhortation to Philosophy. Topics for discussion include: Why get an education? How do science and value relate? Is pleasure more valuable than justice or wisdom? What is the ultimate purpose of human existence?
Reacting to the Past: Revolution in France, 1791
PHIL 87 A00
Section ID: 916131
Lamey, Andy (
Location: York 4050b
Thursdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Every week except Thanksgiving week.

Reacting to the Past ( is a historical role-playing game. Students acting in character make speeches, hatch plots and form alliances to achieve shared goals such as passing a bill in a simulated assembly. Our setting is 1791 Paris.

Department of Physics

From Quarks to Cosmos
PHYS 87 B00
Section ID: 921648
Fuller, George (
Location: SERF 383
Mondays, 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 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: 917871
Grinstein, Benjamin (
Location: MYR-A 4623
Mondays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 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.
Thinking Like a Physicist
PHYS 87 C00
Section ID:
Murphy, Thomas (
Location: MYR-A 2623
Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar views the world around us through a quantitative lens, fearlessly estimating and approximating our way to a big-picture understanding of our physical world. Topics include the energy challenge, everyday life phenomena, personal physical performance, and more.

Department of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

An Introduction to Volcanoes
SIO 87 B00
Section ID: 916134
Cook, Geoffrey (
Location: York 3030
Mondays, 3:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-6

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.
Drugs from the Sea, Fact or Fantasy?
SIO 87 C00
Section ID: 916135
Gerwick, William (
Location: Pharmaceutical Sciences 1186
Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Week 0-10

This seminar and discussion course will present the most interesting cases wherein the chemical compounds of marine life, including such agents as venoms and other toxins, have contributed to useful pharmaceutical agents. Future prospects of the field will discussed, and the contribution of Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UCSD campus will be highlighted.
Weather in San Diego
SIO 87 A00
Section ID: 916133
Norris, Joel (
Location: York 3030
Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-10

This seminar will discuss types of weather in the San Diego region, their causes, and how to read weather maps and satellite images. Topics include Santa Ana winds, marine layer clouds, winter rain, summer thunderstorms, high wave events, and others.

Department of Sociology

Globalization and the Exploitation of Children
SOCI 87 A00
Section ID: 919339
Evans, Ivan (
Location: ERCA 201
Thursdays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 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

Speak Up: My Authentic Voice
TDGE 87 A00
Section ID: 917745
Barnes, Eva (
Location: GH 320
Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-4

Your voice is your power. This seminar will help you discover and build your speaking voice. Learn to unlock your voice and speak with freedom, clarity, conviction, and power. Build your Professional Voice. Fluency in English is a requirement of this seminar.

Thurgood Marshall College

Principles of Clarity
TMC 87 A00
Section ID: 921512
Dobkins, Karen (
Location: CCC COMM
Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 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

Visualization of macromolecules and their interactions with drugs in 3D
WARR 87 A00
Section ID: 918899
Radic, Zoran (
Location: Pharmaceutical Sciences 1120
Tuesday, 4:00 p.m. to 5:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet 10/03, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, and 10/31

Where to find and how to visualize structures of biologicaly important macromolecules, proteins and nucleic acids. Computer visualization of their interactions with small molecules. Creating slide-show presentations with incorporated molecular structures. Presenting visualized structures in stereoscopic 3D.

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