As a cornerstone of our innovative undergraduate curriculum, UCLA offers up to 200 seminars annually through the Fiat Lux Freshman Seminar Program. These seminars provide students and faculty with small group settings to engage in meaningful discussions on a range of topics. Students receive one-unit of academic credit (Pass/No Pass) and faculty members from across campus have the opportunity to share with undergraduates their areas of intellectual passion and expertise. True to the University of California's motto, "Fiat Lux - Let There Be Light," these seminars illuminate the many pathways of discovery!
Fiat Lux Spotlight
ANTHRO 19: Evolutionary Journey Through the History of Sex Despite being a topic of perennial interest, there are still a great many mysteries surrounding the details of human reproduction. Using new book How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction by primatologist Robert Martin as a guide, students explore evolutionary origins of human sex, pregnancy, and child-care, and discuss how modern changes like in-vitro fertilization and Cesarean sections have altered the way we think about our bodies and our relationships with one another.
Earth & Space Science 19: Global Climate Change and Societal Response Scientific community has established with a remarkable degree of agreement that global climate change is presently taking place at an unprecedented rate and caused primarily by human activity. Carbon dioxide produced by homo sapiens, in particular, as a product of fossil fuel burning has fundamentally altered our planet's atmospheric processes. Prior to the industrial revolution, naturally occurring carbon dioxide by means of greenhouse effect helped raise the temperature of our environment by nearly 60°. (Greenhouse effect is the cause underlying why the interior of a car with windows closed has its temperature rise when in sunlight.) Since then, humans have increased the quantity of carbon dioxide in atmosphere by more than a third. Exploration of that gamut of human (anthropogenic) influences upon environment and outcomes that can be expected in our lifetime. Students discuss effects on society, and each student provides a presentation detailing one societal aspect.
Society & Genetics 19: Genetic Counseling: Making Genetics Real Focus on fascinating field of genetic counseling. Genetic counseling combines psychology, sociology, and science to explain role of genetic information in lives of individuals and society. By making genetics real, genetic counselors help individuals to understand genetic information and to make decisions about its use, for example, through genetic testing for conditions such as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and cystic fibrosis. Through exploration of case histories in each area of genetic counseling specialization, students discuss ethical dilemmas facing individuals in approaching their genetic future.
Urban Planning 19: Cities and Policy in China Three decades of rapid economic growth in mainland China has dramatically affected livelihood of Chinese people and redefined international political, economic, and environmental landscapes. Rise of China as heavyweight economic power has been accompanied by grandest urbanization process in human history. Focusing on China's reform era since 1978, review of contexts, issues, policies, and practices related to development of China's cities. Students gain comprehensive understanding of process and characteristics of China's ongoing urbanization and its economic, social, and environmental consequences, broader impacts to nation and world, and in particular role of institutions and policies. Topics include urbanization and urban governance; spatial growth and redevelopment; housing market and policy; transportation policy and behavior; and resource, environmental, and climate sustainability.