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First-year Seminar Program

Spring Quarter 2024 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 Bioengineering

Introduction to Bioinstrumentation
BENG 87 C00
Section ID: 494754
Omens, Jeff (
Location: PFBH 291
Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 1-8 (April 5-May 24)

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.
Mammalian Cell and Tissue Culture
BENG 87 A00
Section ID: 489656
Sah, Robert (
Location: PFBH 391
Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet April 5, 12, 15, 19, 25, May 3, 10, 17

How do mammalian cells and tissues cultures (MCTC) enable scientific discoveries and problem solutions in Biological & BioMedical Sciences, BioTechnology & BioEngineering, and Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine ? How is digital light microscopy used to image and characterize cells, tissues, and cultures ? In an activity-based interactive setting, students will explore the skills and knowledge of MCTC used in academia and industry to investigate the cause and treatments for diseases.
The Knee
BENG 87 B00
Section ID: 489657
Sah, Robert (
Location: PFBH 391
Fridays, 10;00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet April 5, 12, 15, 19, 25, May 3, 10, 17

Our knees are amazing biomechanical (BM) and mechanobiological (MB) structures !! They support large loads and facilitate motion with little friction or wear, and they adapt to mechanical demands, normally without pain. How do the knee tissues of, and around, the knee (articular cartilage, bone, meniscus, ligament, tendon, muscle), work as a BMMB unit in health so we can stand, walk, run, and jump? What are current and future treatments for knee injuries and degeneration?

Division of Biological Sciences

The Philosophy of Science and the Science of the Supernatural
BILD 87 A00
Section ID: 425368
Saier, Milton (
Location: APM 3880
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 Classical Studies

Jesus in Word and Deed
CLAS 87 A00
Section ID: 394669
Herbst, Matthew (
Location: ERCA 201
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

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 history, theology, community expression, etc.) as well as how these conceptions have influenced action, from early Christian martyrs to modern civil rights leaders.

Department of Cognitive Science

How to be wrong: Case studies in human failure, broken tools, and bad data
COGS 87 B00
Section ID: 479478
Fleischer, Jason (
Location: CSB 180
Fridays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Science, technology, engineering, business, and even getting a university degree are human activities that need empirical data. We will examine some common ways that our minds and our tools cause failure through examples of disasters and mishaps. Space shuttles explode, lost COVID-19 data costs lives, and AI programs are racist. Hopefully you will come out the other end with some new ideas and habits to help you avoid similar traps in your time at UCSD, your career, and the rest of your life.

Department of Computer Science & Engineering

Tracking Viral Epidemics
CSE 87 A00
Section ID: 410528
Moshiri, Niema (
Location: EBU3B 4140
Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:20 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

How can epidemiologists track the spread of a virus? As sequencing technologies become increasingly affordable and accurate, the analysis of viral genome sequence data is becoming increasingly commonplace in epidemiology. We will learn how to use bioinformatics tools to study the evolution of viruses and to conduct real-world molecular epidemiological analyses.

Critical Gender Studies

Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture
CGS 87 A00
Section ID: 489609
Wesling, Megan (
Location: STCTR E209
Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

We will talk about how sexuality is constructed in television, film, and advertising. Students will have opportunities to propose shows or films for discussion.

Film Studies

Banned Films
FILM 87 A00
Section ID: 402794
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Tuesdays, 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 Can Teach Us About Life
FILM 87 B00
Section ID: 402796
Rahimi, Babak (
Location: MCC 221
Tuesdays, 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

Sun, Sea, Sand & Sex: What Do Tourism and Tourists Really Do?
HITO 87 B00
Section ID: 403709
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: RWAC 0846
Mondays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 2-6 - April 8, 15, 22 and 29, May 6

Tourism is big fun -- and big business. It has changed the world in enormous ways, and it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. We will look at 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," and sustainability.
What Is Socialism? (And What Isn't)
HITO 87 A00
Section ID: 403707
Patterson, Patrick (
Location: RWAC 0915
Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet Weeks 2-6 - April 10, 17 and 24; May 1 and May 8

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).
Women Workers in Pre-1949 Shanghai Factories
HITO 87 C00
Section ID: 403735
Schneewind, Sarah (
Location: RWAC 0846
Tuesdays, 1:00 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

We will read historian Emily Honig's wonderful study, Sisters and Strangers: Women in the Shanghai Cotton Mills, 1919-1949 (Stanford University Press, 1986). Based on interviews and archives, the book describes and analyzes the social, family, work, religious, and political lives of young women workers. It provides an excellent model of historical research, thought, and writing.

Department of Literature

Asian Horror
LTCS 87 B00
Section ID: 492907
Nguyen, Hoang (
Location: RWAC 374
Mondays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-4

The course focuses on the explosion of horror, thriller, and suspense movies across Asia in the new millennium. Our investigation of this wildly popular genre will be framed by the politics of gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, and national identity. Case studies will include productions from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. Students willl learn foundational skills in formal film analysis.
El español y la gente latina en los Estados Unidos
LTSP 87 A00
Section ID: 479212
Bessett, Ryan (
Location: RWAC 0374
Tuesdays, 12:30 p.m. to 1:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

En este seminario analizaremos la experiencia de la gente latina en los Estados Unidos, el papel del lenguaje y la cultura en dicha experiencia y la reproducción de las ideologías lingüísticas y culturales en la sociedad estadounidense. In this seminar we will discuss the experiences of Latinxs in the USA, the role of language and culture in their experiences, and the production of language and cultural ideologies in US society. In this seminar we will discuss the portrayals of Latinxs in the media, the role of language and culture in such portrayals, and the reproduction of language and cultural ideologies in the media.
Love at First Sight
LTCS 87 A00
Section ID: 492906
Nguyen, Hoang (
Location: RWAC 374
Mondays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Seminar will meet weeks 1-4

The course looks at the relationship between love and time in contemporary romantic comedies. It examines rom-com relationships that follow traditional life courses and those that reject romantic chronology altogether. Films may include How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, 50 First Dates, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I Give It A Year, and Weekend. Students will learn foundational skills in film analysis.

Department of Physics

Introduction to LaTeX: typeset your own science/engineering papers
PHYS 87 A00
Section ID: 486898
Grinstein, Benjamin (
Location: MYR-A 4623
Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

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

Poetry of Victoria Chang
REV 87 A00
Section ID: 422721
Lyon, Antony (
Location: GH 253
Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

Victoria Chang is an award-winning poet. In this seminar we will read her poetry and consider recurrent themes in her work, including the Asian-American experience, navigating loss and grief, and the challenge when “Sometimes the language / we have is inadequate.”

Department of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

An Introduction to Volcanoes
SIO 87 A00
Section ID: 489620
Cook, Geoffrey (
Location: York 3030
Tuesdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

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.
Physics of Surfing
SIO 87 C00
Section ID: 479215
Sandwell, David (  &
   Morzfeld, Matthias (
Location: IGPP 303
Tuesdays, 4:00 pm. to 4:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

This seminar will cover three topics in physics related to surfing: 1) generation, propagation, and breaking of waves; 2) the energetics of a surfer riding a wave; and 3) the fluid mechanics of a surfboard. There will be at least one lab on the SIO pier. Students will present their lab results at the end of the quarter.
Rocks that Rock! An exploration of exciting, unique and otherwise fascinating Earth materials
SIO 87 B00
Section ID: 489613
Cook, Geoffrey (
Location: York 3030
Thursdays, 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.

Sixth College

Make ‘Em Laugh: A History of Funny Ladies from Lucille Ball to Ali Wong
CAT 87 A00
Section ID: 397645
Bronstein, Phoebe (
Location: CRL 0178
Mondays, 1:00 a.m. to 1:50 a.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

From I Love Lucy to recent to Ali Wong and Sarah Silverman, this course will examine the often unruly and always hilarious ladies of comedy. We will talk about humor as both culturally and historically located, inflected by ideas about race, class, gender, and sexuality. Potential screenings will include (but are not limited to) I Love Lucy; Baby Cobra; I Love You America; Spy; The Mindy Project; and The Marvelous Mrs. Mazel.

Thurgood Marshall College

Women of Color Activism: Pinayism
TMC 87 A00
Section ID: 479049
Solomon, Amanda (
Location: MCGIL Conference Room
Wednesdays, 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m.
Meeting Dates: TBA

In this first-year seminar, students will engage with the critical theory and social activism that emerges from the lived experiences of those who identify as Filipina American women. The course will emphasize connecting with Pinayist and Pinxyist activists, artists, and thinkers; the final assignment will be a collaborative community project inspired by the readings and conversations of the course and designed by students. Email for more info.