Upcoming Lectures

All lectures are at the OLLI office at 301 North Neil Street in Champaign unless otherwise noted.

These lectures are free and open to all OLLI members; advance registration is required.


Please note differing days/times of these lectures.


Algorithmic Redistricting and its Role in Addressing Gerrymandering
Sheldon Jacobson
Monday, August 20, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

This event is free to OLLI members and their guests.

Every 10 Years, the outcome of the United States Census leads to a reallocation of congressional seats, typically requiring state legislatures to redesign their congressional districts. This creates the opportunity for these states to design districts that favor a particular party, the process of gerrymandering. This presentation discusses how gerrymandering is achieved, examples of such efforts, and how algorithms can be used to mitigate its proliferation.

Sheldon H. Jacobson is the Founder Professor in Computer Science, Director of the Simulation and Optimization Laboratory, and Founding Director of the Bed Time Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds appointments in Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, and the College of Medicine. He has a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Mathematics from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University. He has served on the faculties at Case Western Reserve University (Weatherhead School of Management, 1988-1993), Virginia Tech (Industrial and Systems Engineering, 1993-1999), and the University of Illinois (1999-present). He served as Program Director for the Operations Research program at the National Science Foundation from 2012-2014.


New Shingles and Influenza Vaccines
James Dobbins
Monday, August 27, 1:30–3:00 p.m.

This event is free to OLLI members and their guests.

James Dobbins will discuss the new recombinant vaccines compared to older types of vaccines, with the main examples being the new shingles vaccine and a new recombinant influenza vaccine.

Following his studies in population geography, population dynamics, and public health, James Dobbins began a career as an epidemiologist, working first as a university professor, then as a research scientist at CDC, and finally as a field epidemiologist with the World Health Organization.


World War I and the Peace Conference: the complexities of making a just peace in a complex world
Walt Tousey
Tuesday, August 28, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

This event is free to OLLI members and their guests.

Given the number of centennial events commemorating World War I over the last 4 years, it is not as likely to be viewed as quite “The Forgotten War” now. Still, as we approach the end of the “celebrations” it is important not to forget the significant role this war and the Peace Conference that followed played in the 20th Century. Indeed, one can trace the origins of today’s problems in the Middle East to WWI and the peace that followed it, the watershed events of the 20th Century.

This talk will focus on the ending of the war and the Peace Conference that followed, searching for the elements that were significant for the future. This will involve discussing the nature of the new technological style of war, how and why the Allies won the war, the impact of the Russian Revolution, the complexities of making a just peace in a complex world, the remaking of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and the ending of European hegemony in the world. Even today discussions of Hitler and the chaos and evil he wrought continue. Is it fair to look at WWI and the Peace of Versailles as responsible in some manner for his activities?

Walt Tousey has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from West Point (1960) a master’s degree in history from Illinois State University (1966), and a PHD in European History (emphasis on German history) from the University of Illinois (1973).

After a 4 year tour in the Army (Germany), he went on to graduate school and spent a career in Institutional Research (1966-1975) and in the Provost Office (1975-2000) of the Urbana Campus. He occasionally taught the freshman survey course in modern European history. After retiring in 2000, he continued teaching part time in the History Department until 2006 and presented a WWI course for OLLI (with some minor modifications) 4 times. The Germans always lost.


To Register

These events are free and open to all OLLI members, and if noted, to their guests. Advance registration is required, and registration is open now:

1. Online via your OLLI account at http://reg138.imperisoft.com/OlliIllinois/search/registration.aspx

2. By email at olli@illinois.edu

3. By phone at (217) 244-9141

To register a non-member guest, please call or email and we will add them to the registration list.