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Throwback Thursday: April 9, 1969

On this day 46 years ago, the Daily Bruin reported on UCLA’s announcement of some new experimental classes. Here are some of the more unique ones which show the diversity of UCLA’s class offerings in 1969.

1. The Baha’i Faith

“A two-hour-a-week survey exploring and examining the Baha’i Faith in its various facets, with emphasis on how religion, as the Baha’i’s see it, is relevant to the modern world and modern man.”

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2. Theology and Moral Issues

“. . . centers on the issues raised by biological-medical innovations dealing with genetics, organ transplants, brain studies and the whole life/death question.”

3. ESP and Psychical Phenomena

“Group participation in ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, pre-cognition, hypnosis and poltergeist activity. The class is taught by a professional hypnotist.”

4. Yiddish for Beginners

“A two-hour weekly course designed to introduce the students to the Yiddish language, folklore and folk music.”

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5. Good-Time Music

“Ragtime, Jugaband, Fun and Funky Music. Bring instruments, voices, songs, ears and good spirits. Emphasis on participation and sharing music joy, but listeners welcome.”

 

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Office Hours

Useful Pitches for USIE Seminars

March 4 is the last information session to learn more about the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program. USIE allows interested juniors and seniors to design a one-unit lower division seminar to teach to other UCLA students. That’s right, you, an ordinary UCLA student, could add “teacher at the 12th best university in the world” to your resumé. Past seminar topics have included “Comic Books as Literature,” “Sociology of Facebook and Online Social Networks” and even “One Course to Rule Them All: Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’” In case you’re dying to create your own course but blanking on what your topic should be, here’s some suggestions:

1. Navigating the Endless Staircases of UCLA

Aimed at the newest additions to the Bruin family, this course teaches the skills needed to tackle the hills of campus. Learn the proper breathing techniques to use while powering through the last two flights of the classic Café 1919 “death stairs.” Analyze the proper geometric angles to position your legs, so you look like less of an idiot going down the “awkward stairs” by Covel. Discuss the proper icing procedures to soothe your newly enlarged calves. Explore alternative routes that cut down on staircase usage. You may have to allot more time for walking to class, but you’ll avoid the signature freshmen “I can’t believe I just climbed 250 stairs to get here” sweaty and distressed look.

2. The Science of Creating the Perfect Tinder Profile

Made obvious by the plethora of creepily too-close selfies and overused quotes, some people just don’t know what they are doing on Tinder. The class would be broken into small groups to evaluate the profiles of each individual student. Once you determine your strengths and weaknesses as a potential match, experts would come in to give guest lectures on a range of relevant topics like the “Do’s and Don’ts of Group Photos” and “How to Convey You’re Looking for Something Causal Without Coming Off Like a Creep.” By the end of the 10 weeks, you’ll have so many matches, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Be warned: you’re on your own for the actual date.

3. The Sport of Binge Watching

It is hip to claim to be a Netflix fanatic, but does everyone really know what it takes to watch an entire series in three days? One of the more active seminars, this class tackles the athletics behind laying down for hours on end. Students will be taught various exercises and stretches to avoid common injuries, such as eye strain and hand cramps. The second half of the course will highlight the essential food groups of a binge watcher’s diet: candy, chips and cookies. Final assessment includes watching 15 episodes of the student’s choosing while exhibiting all of the techniques learned throughout the quarter. This course really does bring a new meaning to “survival of the fittest.”

If you are inspired by any of these ideas, or have a few of your own, swing by Ackerman Union Room 3516 Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to hear more about the USIE program.

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News

Fall 2013 class schedule and enrollment times now available on MyUCLA

As you were checking MyUCLA to calculate the lowest grade you can get on your finals and still pass your classes for final exam times and locations,  you may have noticed that enrollment appointments for the first quarter of the next school year are now available.

The Schedule of Classes for Fall 2013 is now finalized, and first and second pass enrollment appointments can now be found under the “Fall 2013″ tab in the MyUCLA Class Planner.

There are also tentative schedules for Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 on the Schedule of Classes website, meaning you can plan your entire academic year out if your heart so desires.

First pass enrollments begin the first week of Summer on June 20 at 7 a.m. (and here we were thinking we could sleep in over summer) and lasts until June 26. Second pass enrollment times begin immediately after on June 27th and last until October 11.

With finals coming up, remember that you have all of summer to pick and choose as you please, so don’t be worried if you aren’t able to finalize your schedule straightaway.

What classes will you be beginning your next school year with? Tweet us a screenshot of your schedule @dbmojo.

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News

Students create ‘Alertification’ website to ease enrollment and online shopping

Didn’t get into that class you wanted because your enrollment pass was too late? Yep, we’ve all been there.

Faced with the same problem, Brian Roizen, who graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a Masters degree in mechanical engineering, joined up with his brother Robert, a third-year electrical engineering student with a computer science option, to start the website Alertification to notify students when a class they want opens up.

“We try to find problems that exist or just things that are frustrating online or in real life and try to make it easier,” Brian Roizen said.

Usually they draw from firsthand experiences, Roizen said. The enrollment process at UCLA, for example, was something that had bothered him since his time at UCLA as an undergraduate.

“It was so annoying to have to keep refreshing the schedule of classes page over and over again when I didn’t get into a class that I wanted to enroll in,” Roizen said.

He and his brother decided to make it easier for students by automating the process – meaning you no longer need to manually (and obsessively) check the schedule of classes, or any other website for that matter.

Set up an alert on Alertification, and when a class opens up or a price drops on Amazon, you will instantly receive a text or an email notifying you of the change.

To use Alertification, simply enter the URL of the page you want to be alerted about, then click on whatever you want to be alerted about (the price for Amazon, or the number of people enrolled in a class or on the waitlist, for example). After that, you can remove the bookmark from your browser and just sit back and wait.

Since its launch last Thursday, the site has gained 300 users, Roizen said. There are alerts set up for other universities across the United States, including Penn State, UC Berkeley and even USC. The most popular UCLA alerts were for science and political science classes, Roizen said.

While Roizen is aware that there are similar course and price tracking services out there, he said that he and Robert intentionally made Alertification very general so that it can be applied to any website or any college’s schedule of classes.

“The beauty of Alertification is that it works everywhere,” Roizen said.

The brothers have been making websites together since 2006 when they launched sheetmusicfox.com, a website that offers free sheet music for musicians. The site currently gets about one to two million hits a month, and the brothers were able to fund their undergraduate educations through the advertising revenue on it, Roizen said.

Richard Wiley, a fifth-year computer science and engineering student, said he tried the service before it was open to the public. When the number of students enrolled in a general education class dropped below the full enrollment capacity, Wiley received a text message and managed to successfully sign up for the class.

“The whole process literally takes three clicks. Zero time investment,” Wiley said. “It worked for me.”

Have you tried Alertification? Did it work for you? Let us know by tweeting us @dbmojo or commenting below.

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News

Classes You Should Take Before You Leave UCLA (Spring 2013 Edition)

Since first pass enrollment appointments began this week, Spring quarter is almost upon us. For many seniors, the at once exciting and scary thought of graduation is just one quarter away.

Inspired by a post on the UCLA Subreddit, we decided to compile a list of classes offered next quarter that you should try out before you leave UCLA.

Using a complex formula of reading Bruinwalk.com, talking to students and consulting personal experiences and the experiences of others, we came up with the following list of fun/interesting/must-take classes offered in Spring 2013.

Whether you are a freshman or a graduating senior looking for something different in your last quarter, why not give some of these class a try?

Film Classes

  • FTV 106A: History of American Motion Picture – Offered every quarter, this class is taught by Professor Jonathan Kuntz, dubbed “a walking film dictionary” by many reviewers on Bruinwalk.com. Casie Nguyen, a fourth-year communication studies student, said she was able to apply the information she learned in this class to her internships. “Getting credit to watch movies like The Social Network, The Godfather and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo is sick,” Nguyen said.
  • FTV C132 or FTV 133: Screenwriting Fundamentals – Although the professors who usually teach these two classes (Richard Walter and Hal Ackerman) are not teaching them next quarter, Chris Rock did walk in on 132C a few weeks ago. Just saying.
  • FTV 122N: History of Animation in American Film and Television – This class is only offered in Spring and taught by Professor Charles Solomon, a well known animation critic. Watch Bugs Bunny, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Toy Story 3 and hear anecdotes of the professor’s meetings with famous animators? Yes, please.

Ethnomusicology Classes

  • Any Ethnomusicology 91 class: World Music Performance Organizations – There are classes on the music and dance of Bali, India, Mexico and the Near East to name a few. Fourth-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student Christy Chen said she wants to take one of these classes to try something outside her major. “You actually go to class and learn how to drum,” she said. “I really like drumming, so I think it’ll be fun.”

Life- or Perspective-Changing Science Classes

  • Physiological Science 5: Issues in Human Physiology: Diet and Nutrition – Taking this class with Professor Esdin will help you realize how unhealthy the college lifestyle is. On the bright side, you learn how to make up for this and avoid chronic heart disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer, which is always good to know. Also did you know 2% milk doesn’t actually mean there’s 2% fat? Mind blown.
  • Life Sciences 15 – Life: Concepts and Issues – According to Redditors, it really does change your perspective on “life” and the nature of human behavior. Also, Professor Jay Phelan is a really fun and engaging lecturer.

Any Class with Professor Teo Ruiz

Redditors and students alike recommend taking a class with Professor Ruiz before graduating. Why, you ask? From what we’ve heard, when he teaches a class on mystics, heretics and witches (History 2C), he comes to class dressed in a witch costume. He also taught a Fiat Lux on Pride and Prejudice. How cool is that? Next quarter, Professor Ruiz is teaching History 129A: Social History of Spain & Portugal and a Fiat Lux called Los Angeles: Architecture, Ethnicity, and Urban History.

Speaking of Fiat Lux classes, some cool-sounding ones offered next quarter include:

  • Economics 19: Start-ups and the Entrepreneurial Thought Process
  • MIMG 19: Contagion: Science Behind the Movie
  • Music History 19: Five Masters of Progressive Rock – For all you Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Yes, and Pink Floyd fans.
  • Statistics 19: Hold ‘em or Fold ‘em: Poker and Probability – Not saying we’re gonna go all out like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man or Jim Sturgess in 21 but this might just improve your hand.

What did we miss? Which “must-take” classes would you recommend for next quarter? Tweet us @dbmojo or comment below.

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