Over the summer many UC Irvine students worked summer jobs, attended summer school or interned at possible career sites. While students were away toiling with their summers, the university was on the hunt for talent and found what they were looking for. As summer came to a close, press releases began popping up everywhere announcing that mother, author, actress and National Public Radio icon Sandra Tsing Loh, from NPR’s “The Loh Down on Science,” will be splitting her time between broadcasting daily conversations about science and molding young minds at the University of California, Irvine.
Professor Loh graduated from the California Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s in physics and went on to master the literary art scene at the University of Southern California with a graduate degree in professional writing. After graduation, Professor Loh took her intertwined passion for the arts and sciences over the air on countless radio stations across America and in the pages of best-selling books.
In Nov. of 2008, Professor Loh was at UC Irvine reading from the pages of one of her recent books, “Mother on Fire,” to a crowd at The Hill. The Anteaters who were present that day received a sample of Professor Loh’s humor and family chronicles that are sometimes featured on her radio show.
Now, students at UCI will have the opportunity to spend more time with Professor Loh this January when the winter quarter begins.
In the winter quarter, Professor Loh will be challenging graduate students in a science communications course where they will have to work under the conditions of science but must be prepared to think with the artistc region of their brain. Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to take an arts & aesthetics course at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.
After speaking with Professor Loh over the phone, she informed me that students in her arts and aesthetics course “will have a very interactive and engaging class setting,” and students will have an exciting time studying the visual masterpieces that have changed humanity from Da Vinci’s science based master pieces to Apple’s iPhone.
If this art course seems a little out of the box, it is by design, and Professor Loh hopes she has created a course that offers students “a left brain way to look at art.”
Professor Loh is breaking barriers and glass ceilings everywhere as a female scientist, Chinese arts major and an academic who is teaching in two different colleges. Professor Loh hopes to adapt her charming way of “engaging people into the conversation of science without the risk of punishment” so that students in the classroom who fear math or science will not be alienated for participating.
“The Loh Down on Science” is known for offering a great wealth of scientific information while also offering fine points on how scientific discoveries affect tween daughters, single mothers in the valley, or Thresher sharks that slap their food around. With experience as a professional broadcaster who has disseminated over “eight years of daily science” and rivals Snapple by offering over “1800 cross-referenced factoids,” the students of UCI are in for a treat this coming winter. Students should also be proud to learn that UCI has become part of the team that is bringing “The Loh Down on Science” to the airwaves. The UC Irvine School of Physical Sciences, along with a grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Professor Loh’s production company, LDOS Media Lab Inc., will be the new partnership that produces the “small dives” of science to a diverse audience of listeners.
As for the diverse audiences that will inevitably fill Professor Loh’s classrooms, it may be a good idea to listen to some of the “Loh Down” episodes online so that you can get a feel for an instructor that has no Rate My Professor profile.
Professor Loh is extremely excited about joining the Anteater family, and she is waiting in anticipation for school to start. As she works to expand the reaches of science and simultaneously enhance the arts at UC Irvine, it will be the students in her classes that will be the ultimate judge of the university’s choice in bringing on this celebrity associate adjunct professor. But judging by the success that Professor Loh has had in the past with her education, radio shows, books that have put her on various best-seller lists, and a litany of other media contributions, Professor Loh will be a success in the classroom and become one of the great instructors molding young minds here at UC Irvine.
Professor Loh’s radio show can be heard on numerous public radio stations in the area and her segments can also be heard online at the lohdownonscience.com. Look for Professor Loh’s courses, Science Communication Skills and The Mirror, The Lamp and The I-Phone: Art and Aesthetics from Plato to Pinterest in the UCI winter catalogue.