UCI Freshman Seminars Fall 2022

Registration for term ends on Thursday, September 15, 2022

University Studies

Enrollment in Uni Stu 3 will be restricted to freshmen until the day the 18-unit enrollment limit is lifted. After this date, enrollment in Uni Stu 3 will be open to all lower-division undergraduates.

For more information on the Freshman Seminars, please visit http://www.freshmanseminar.uci.edu or they call the Undergraduate/Undeclared Advising Office at 949-824-6987. Students may enroll in a maximum of three freshman seminars during their entire time at UCI.

SOC TitleCodeInstructorTimePlaceFinal
Uni Stu 3 FRESHMAN SEMINAR87540HOLTON, A.Th 10:00-10:50ALP 1120TBA
Uni Stu 3 NEUROTECH87541DO, A.M 10:00-10:50HH 214Mon, Dec 5, 10:30-12:30pm
Uni Stu 3 1ST GENS/URMS IN BI87542CUMMINGS, B.M 12:00-12:50pDBH 1429Mon, Dec 5, 1:30-3:30pm
Uni Stu 3 CONTROLING THE WRLD87543KING, C.M 3:00- 3:50pSSL 152Mon, Dec 5, 4:00-6:00pm
Uni Stu 3 POP AND ROCK87544BRODBECK, D.W 10:00-10:50AITR 190TBA
Uni Stu 3 FIRST GEN HUMANITIE87545WU, J.Tu 12:00-12:50pSSL 159Fri, Dec 9, 10:30-12:30pm
Uni Stu 3 GLOBAL K-POP87546LEE, J.Tu 11:00-11:50TBATue, Dec 6, 10:30-12:30pm
Uni Stu 3 SCIENCE GONE WRONG87547LOTFIPOUR, S.Tu 2:00- 2:50pBS3 2130Thu, Dec 8, 1:30-3:30pm
Uni Stu 3 BLIND PHONE HACKS87548BRANHAM, S.Th 10:00-10:50SSL 171TBA
Uni Stu 3 GEOMETRY REVISITED87549LU, Z.Th 6:00- 6:50pRH 184TBA
Uni Stu 3 DISCOVER ESS87550CZIMCZIK, C.Tu 2:00- 4:50pTBAThu, Dec 8, 1:30-3:30pm
Uni Stu 3 ROBOT MOTION87552KIA, S.M 12:00-12:50pRH 184Mon, Dec 5, 1:30-3:30pm
Uni Stu 3 BUBBLES87556ROSSO, D.Th 2:00- 2:50pTBATBA


Apocalyptic Chemistry: Useful Chemistry for the End or the World

In this seminar we will discuss the chemistry behind important apocalypse survival needs. Topics will include food creation and preservation, water safety, medical needs, power generation, sanitation and others as dictated by student interest.

Amanda Holton is a Chemistry Associate Professor of Teaching who does research on ways to improve teaching and learning in chemistry classes. Outside of work her interests are jiu jitsu, yoga, sewing, hiking, and spending time with her daughter, dog and partner.



Neural technologies – a new way to cure paralysis?

Neural interface technologies are systems which convert nervous system activity into the control of external devices. This essentially allows a person to directly mind control computers, robots, and other devices without the need to generate any movements. Such technologies can potentially help people with severe paralysis to control assistive or prosthetic devices to interact with their environment again. This seminar will introduce fundamental concepts underlying how these systems operate.

As a faculty member in the Department of Neurology, Dr. Do undertakes research in brain-computer interfaces and develops the technology to become a clinical tool to treat paralysis. He serves as the PI/co-PI on several federal, state, and foundation grants to undertake this research. As a result of this research, breakthroughs were achieved in the field. One notable breakthrough is the development of a BCI, which for the first time in human history, has enabled a person with paraplegia due to spinal cord injury to regain brain-controlled walking. Dr. Do also undertakes clinical duties at the UCI Medical Center, where he practice general neurology and neuro-rehabilitation.



Succeeding in Biomedical Sciences, Allied Health, or Healthcare for First Generation and/or Minority Students

Healthcare/medical research is supported by Federal funding to improve society, and should be evidence-based and color blind. How is biomedical research actually conducted? Are women and minorities treated equally? Students who’s parents have a college degree already have a general idea of how academia works. We will explore Impostor Syndrome, study habits, & how much volunteer work is enough for various careers. We will also discuss how 1st Gen and URM students can be successful while at UCI.

Dr. Cummings is Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the School of Medicine (SOM), and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Anderson a Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the SOM, and she is the Director of the Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. Together, they have mentored numerous 1st generation and URM students who have gone on to a wide variety of careers in the health sciences.



Controlling the World with Your Mind – Brain-Computer Interfaces for Communication and Control

Neuroscience research has rapidly evolved through the development of brain-computer interface systems. Through the use of noninvasive brain measurements, such as electroencephalogram (EEG), patients are now able to communicate, regain motor function, and control their world around them. This lecture will provide insight into the neuroscience, biomedical engineering, and computer science concepts behind brain-computer interfaces and their applications.

Dr. Christine King is an Assistant Professor of Teaching in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, where she focuses on teaching design and software for biomedical engineering undergraduate students. Her research focuses on engineering education, women’s health medical devices, brain-computer interfaces, and wireless health systems for rehabilitation.



Let’s Take Pop and Rock Seriously!

This course explores the interconnections between Anglophone pop and rock music, musical techniques, current events, and social identity from the 1950s through the early 1970s. We approach these questions primarily by way of source readings — selections from journalism, criticism, and composer interviews and autobiographies that date from the period itself—read in conjunction with a representative sampling of music recordings.

David Brodbeck is a music historian whose research and teaching is centered on Central European music and musical culture in the long nineteenth century and popular-music in the United States of the twentieth century. His article “‘You Don’t Just Stick It Together’: The Beach Boys and the Beatles in the mid-1960s” was recently published in the journal Rock Music Studies (2021).



Humanities Pathways to Success: First Generation Student Community and Belonging in the Humanities

What does it mean to identify as a first-generation student? To pursue a degree in the Humanities? Over the course of fall quarter, we will attempt to answer these questions through interactive class meetings and visits with Humanities faculty. By engaging with campus resources and exploring first-gen identities, our course assignments aim to help students build meaningful connections on campus, develop sustainable habits, and articulate what they want to contribute to/expect from the university

Scott Lerner will lead this seminar in conjunction with Judy Wu. Scott and Judy are working together to develop new programming for first-gen students who are humanities majors.




In this course we will study and discuss the global impact and history of K-Pop with a focus on the genre’s dominance in the past five years. K-Pop will be the lens through which we discuss issues such as race, gender, sexuality, performance, “soft power,” global capital, social media, language, and cultural appropriation. Assignments will involve listening to music, watching videos, and reading popular and scholarly articles. No previous knowledge of K-Pop is expected.

Julia H. Lee is associate professor in the Department of Asian American Studies.



Stories of Science Gone Wrong

The objective of this freshman seminar course is to provide captivating real life examples of the miracle of scientific discoveries yet their ability to lead to errors and mistakes, as highlighted by Paul A. Offit’s book. By reviewing six specific stories including some of today’s innovations, students gain a greater appreciation for scientific discovery in order to learn how to use the power of science for good.

Shahrdad Lotfipour is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, where he is the Director of the Translational Addiction Laboratory and the UCI Behavioral Neuroscience Testing Core. His laboratory is dedicated to identifying the mechanisms influencing drug use to discover novel therapeutic interventions that could help with cessation.



10 Phone Hacks I Learned From Blind People

Did you know your cell phone has hidden features made by and for people with vision disabilities that can be useful to “sighties” (aka people who see)? This class, taught by digital accessibility expert Dr. Stacy Branham, will reveal these features and teach you to use them via hands-on activities. Most importantly, you’ll learn how everyone—from arts to engineering majors—can contribute to a more innovative, equitable world just by tuning into the lived experience of blind folks.

Stacy Branham is an Assistant Professor of Informatics in the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science. Her research explores the social inclusion and exclusion of people with disabilities perpetrated by computing systems and cultures. She was named one Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10” early career scientists of 2021.



Euclidean Geometry Revisited

Students would review the classical Euclidean Geometry and learn history and theorems of the Triangle Geometry which was mainly developed in the 19th century. Students are also welcome to join the UCI’s GDP (Geometry Discovery Project). The purpose of this project is, eventually, provide a knowledge base for those interested in Triangle Geometry. For more details, see


Dr. Zhiqin Lu is a professor of Mathematics. His research interest is in Differential Geometry. He is also interested in math education. Joint with Julie Rowlett, his expository paper “Sound of Symmetry” won the 2016 Halmos – Ford Award from the Mathematical Association of America.



Discovering Earth System Science and the Science Behind Climate Change (Discover ESS)

Try out your adventurous side and experience how Earth System scientists study the causes, consequences, and solutions for climate change. Climb a wall and learn how paleoclimatologists reconstruct thousands of years of climate records from caves. Hike OC’s wilderness and discover the amazing ecosystem services provided by native plants and the dirt below your feet. Kayak Newport’s Back Bay and explore how oceanographers study our changing oceans. Insta-worthy pics. No experience required.

This seminar is offered in collaboration by the Department of Earth System Science (ESS) and the Anteater Recreation Center (ARC). ESS professor Claudia Czimczik is a biogeochemist who combines field observation with geochemical analyses, such as radiocarbon dating, to study how climate change and anthropogenic activities impact the cycling and storage of carbon in Arctic permafrost soils and how wildfires are affecting air quality and carbon storage on land. She is an outdoor education and scouting enthusiast. ARC’s Doug Tully has served as the Director of Outdoor Adventures at UCI since 2008. He is skilled in rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and camping. As a passionate outdoorsman, he strives to demonstrate joy and respect for the outdoors to all participants in the program.



A Gentle Introduction to Robot Motion Planning

A robot’s ability to plan its movement without explicit human guidance is a basic prerequisite for robotic autonomy. The objective of motion planning algorithms is to enable an autonomous mobile robot to determine its movements in a cluttered environment to achieve various goals while avoiding collisions. This seminar series cover deterministic classical motion planning algorithms, including sensor-based planning, decomposition and search-based planning. The course intends to expose undergraduate students (Engineering and Computer Science) to solution approaches to problems that they may encounter in emerging technologies and disciplines such as autonomous driving and transportation, smart manufacturing, and general mechanical and aerospace robotic applications.

Solmaz S. Kia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine (UCI). She has a joint appointment with the Computer Science Department of UCI. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UCI, in 2009, and her M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from the Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2004 and 2001, respectively. She was a senior research engineer at SySense Inc., El Segundo, CA from Jun. 2009–Sep. 2010. She held postdoctoral positions in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the UC San Diego and UCI. She was the recipient of UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship from 2012–2014. She is also a recipient of 2017 NSF CAREER award. Dr. Kia’s main research interests, in a broad sense, include nonlinear control theory, distributed optimization/coordination/estimation, and probabilistic robotics.



Digital Production Basics

In this course, we explore the basics of media editing to adapt and to enhance your media projects. So many lessons were learned during the pandemic on how to produce your own projects and enhance your brand collaboratively and remotely – this class will share this research. At the end of this course, you will be able to use key aspects of Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and Adobe After Effects for production creation and basic photo/video editing. You will also be able to alter existing photos and videos to create new forms of art and and to enhance the effectiveness of your creative concepts. (All software and digital assets will be provided. It is ideal if students have their own laptop.)

Joel Veenstra is a producer, a filmmaker, a professional stage manager, a production manager, and an improviser. He was a lead researcher on remote production in Claire Trevor School of the Arts Drama Department throughout the pandemic and has several film and media credits.




About this class: Learn the basics of bubbles in water; here we will discuss how bubbles are formed and released, and how they travel through liquid; we will see applications of bubbles to clean water and how to study them; bubbles of various sizes will be discussed. This class is for you if you have an interest in science and technology and if you are curious about visualizing the invisible.

Dr. Diego Rosso is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also Director of the Water-Energy Nexus Center. Dr. Rosso joined the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of California, Irvine in 2008. A process engineer by training, he leads the Environmental Process Laboratory. He holds degrees from the University of Padua (Chem Eng. Laurea, 2002) and from the University of California, Los Angeles (M.S. Civ. Eng., 2003; Ph.D. Civ. Eng., 2005). Since 2000, he has been investigating aeration systems and the water-energy-carbon nexus of water reclamation and reuse processes. Currently, he is Trustee of the Water Environment Federation and Member of the ASCE Oxygen Transfer Committee.




Leadership and Aikido

Designed for first-gen students, this course welcomes students into a supportive community of friends and instructors that explores leadership through the lens of the non-competitive martial art of aikido. This course will include the theory and practice of key leadership concepts including resilience, communication, decision making, and collaboration. In addition to martial arts practice and leadership development, students will engage with mentors that can boost career readiness and open new doors for professional opportunities. No prior martial arts experience required.




DROP: The deadline to drop courses is the end of Week 2 by 5:00PM. Drops can be made in WebReg.
CHANGE: The deadline to change grade option or variable units is the end of Week 2 by 5:00PM. Changes can be made in WebReg.
ADD: The deadline to add courses is the end of Week 2 by 5:00PM. Adds can be made in WebReg.