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Los Angeles: Departments and Programs

Chemical Engineering
There is no history currently available for this department.

Chemistry and Biochemistry
When the Los Angeles State Normal School became the Southern Branch of the University in the summer of 1919, appointment of the first chemist with a doctoral degree, William R. Crowell, quickly followed and Chemistry 1A was established, much as a copy of the Berkeley program at first. The chemistry department was not organized until 1920, when William Conger Morgan was brought in from Reed College as the first chairman.

The staff quickly grew to six by 1923 with the addition of Hosmer W. Stone, G. Ross Robertson, Max S. Dunn, and James B. Ramsey. This group, joined by only three others during the next decade and a half, built a strong undergraduate program, whose effectiveness was not diminished with the start of a modest graduate program in the 1930s and awarding of the first M.S. degree in 1935. The first Ph.D. degree was awarded in 1942 and although a dozen years passed before the hundredth of these degrees was awarded, only half that time was needed for the next hundred.

In 1965, the department had nearly 400 undergraduate majors, more than 160 graduate students, about 50 postdoctoral research workers, 40 faculty members, and 60 full-time nonacademic employees. By the mid-1960s, an undergraduate advising office and an extensive undergraduate research program had been developed in an effort to re-establish more of the close faculty-undergraduate contact which characterized the first two and a half decades of the department's history. a complete revision of the curriculum accompanied the introduction of the quarter system , the most unique feature being a new second year organic and biochemistry course, with quantitative organic and biochemical analysis in the laboratory.

The department's scholarly reputation was made first in the field of physical-organic chemistry, primarily through the efforts of William G. Young and Saul Winstein. This remained a strong area and was supplemented by a spectrum of research programs ranging from chemical physics to biochemistry. By the mid-1960s, strong interdisciplinary ties existed through the activities of Nobel laureate Willard F. Libby in space sciences and the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and the participation of several of the biochemistry staff in the new Molecular Biology Institute. source

Chemistry/Materials Science Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Chicana and Chicano Studies Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Civil and Environmental Engineering
There is no history currently available for this department.

A small department with the title "Classical Languages" came into being in 1919 under the aegis of Arthur Patch McKinlay. The earliest vital statistics to be found reveal that in 1921-22 there were 48 students in six classes taught by McKinlay. The Announcement of Courses for the academic year 1922-23 lists a second member of the department, Edwin Moore Rankin, lecturer in Greek. The courses offered for that year comprise one page of the announcement. Three courses in Greek appear: Beginning Greek, Greek Prose Composition, and Introduction to Plato. No beginning Latin was offered because this was an age when academic students interested in the classics entered the University with a minimum of two years of Latin in high school. Seven courses in Latin were offered. Early students could select studies of Ciceronian prose, Augustan poetry, Pliny's letters, Horace's Odes and Epodes, Catullus and Livy, Tacitus and Plautus, and Latin prose composition.

A very important acquisition by the library at Los Angeles for the field of classical languages was the collection of Louis Havet of the Sorbonne, Paris, which was made during the decade of the 1920s.

A sampling of enrollment figures shows that in 1940-41, at the beginning of World War II, there were 349 students of classics. The number had increased in September, 1964, to 653. By the mid-1960s, there were 12 members of the staff of the classics section which was concerned with Greek and Latin; in addition, there were five staff members in the Indo-European studies.

The department continually expanded its offerings in Graeco-Roman literature, composition, art, and archaeology, and also sheltered under its academic wing such burgeoning fields as Near Eastern languages, which then became an independent department, and Indo-European studies, which included Hungarian, Finnish, Celtic, Irish, and the ancient languages of Sanskrit and Hittite.

By 1965, the undergraduate student could major in Greek, Latin, or classics (i.e., Greek and Latin). The graduate student could qualify for a master's degree in Greek, Latin, or the classics. The doctoral candidate could choose classical literature, classical archaeology, or classical linguistics as a field of specialization.

Instruction also included the areas of the history and culture of the Byzantine Empire, mediaeval and modern Greek, mediaeval Latin, and the technical training of high school teachers of Latin. source

Cognitive Science Program
There is no history currently available for this program.

Communication Studies/Speech Program
There is no history currently available for this program. See Department of Speech.

Community Health Sciences
There is no history currently available for this department.

Comparative Literature Since its inception thirty years ago the Department of Comparative Literature has embraced western and non-western traditions. The original proposal for the department was written in 1968 by Arnold Band, who earned his Ph.D. from Harvard with an emphasis on Classical Greek and modern Hebrew. He was joined in founding the department by Ross Shideler, a scholar of Scandinavian literature, and PierMaria Pasinetti, a recognized novelist and Italian specialist who studied with Rene Wellek at Yale.

The Department has grown considerably since then to become a top-rated graduate program, enhanced by strong student and faculty recruitment, and cooperative appointments with other departments on campus. The core faculty, representing a wide range of languages, literatures, critical and research interests, includes Sam Weber (French, German, continental philosophy, media and technology theory); Katherine King (Classics, gender and sexuality in the ancient and contemporary worlds); Shu-meh Shih (East Asian and Asian American, postcolonial theory, the critique of modernity); Emily Apter (continental and postcolonial theory, translation and the global market); Efrain Kristal (Spanish, literature of the Americas, translation theory); Kathleen Komar (German, feminism and theory); Arnold Band (Near Eastern, Bible and Holocaust studies); Ross Shideler (Scandinavian [Swedish], Symbolism & Decadence, Darwinism & Gender Studies); Massimo Ciavolella (Italian, Renaissance studies, medical and social history) and Ken Reinhard (English, psychoanalysis, Biblical hermeneutics). Associated faculty share appointments with departments such as English (Ali Behdad), Slavic Languages and Cultures (Michael Heim), Film and Television (Teshome Gabriel), East Asian Languages and Literatures (Pauline Yu), English and Caribbean studies (Jenny Sharpe). The department is also committed to regular course offerings in classical Chinese literature (taught by East Asian Studies Professor David Scaberg) and contemporary and classical Arabic literature (taught by Near Eastern Studies Professor Michael Cooperson). Planning is actively underway for future curricular collaborations with History, Art, Art History, Architecture, Music, World Arts and Cultures, Afro-Caribbean and African Studies, Southeast Asian Studies, and Women's Studies. source

Computer Science
There is no history currently available for this department.

Cybernetics is one of twenty-six interdepartmental majors in the College of Letters and Science at UCLA. Completion of the curriculum leads to a Bachelor of Science Degree. The Major was established in the early 1970s, and it is administered by a committee of faculty from several departments of the College of Letters and Science, the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Medicine.

The mathematician and engineer Norbert Wiener coined the term cybernetics in his book Cybernetics, published in 1948. In brief, it is the study of control and communication processes in living beings (humans and other animals), machines, or both functioning together. As such, it is a synthesis of a multitude of traditional disciplines in the life, mathematical, physical and engineering sciences. The word cybernetics is actually an English transliteration of the ancient Greek word for steersmanship. Plato associated cybernetics with the "art of controlling (governing) society" in his dialogs on Laws and the State. source

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Last updated 06/18/04.