Irvine, Calif., May 15, 2017—Campuswide Honors Program (CHP) students and distinguished UCI faculty squared off in UCI’s Crystal Cove Auditorium on May 15th in a highly contested “Battle of the Brains” trivia contest to determine intellectual dominance for another year.

This “Battle of the Brains” trivia contest is hosted every year in a joint effort by the Campuswide Honors Program and Campuswide Honors Student Council.  Over the course of three months, CHP students and staff created buzzer beating trivia questions, rehearsed skits, organized contestant auditions, arranged decorations, and garnered sponsors.  The theme for this year’s contest was “Sherlock.”

All members of the campus community are invited to participate.  The competition consists of three 20-minute trivia rounds with CHP’s brightest students facing off against faculty such as Gail Hart and Elizabeth Allen from the School of Humanities, Kieron Burke from the School of Physical Sciences, William Schonfeld, Kyle Stanford, John Manchak, Cailin O’Connor, and Jim Weatherall from the School of Social Sciences.  CHP alumni from 2013 and 2015 also joined the faculty side for one round.

Although students ultimately won this 19th iteration of the “Battle,” UCI faculty and CHP alumni made a strong showing in the last round to keep the competition close.  CHP student Evan Shipley answered more questions than any other contestant, which gave the students a solid advantage in this year’s contest.  Both sides are already gearing up for next year’s rematch and, with Evan graduating this spring, the faculty are feeling good about their chances (faculty also won the 17th and 18th Battles of the Brains).

In addition to winning bragging rights for their cerebral prowess, contestants and audience members also won prizes such as hotel stays, fair passes, and amusement park admission tickets, made possible through generous donations from Hotel Irvine, OC Fair & Event Center, Knott’s Berry Farm, and many more.  The grand prize, a $250 gift certificate to the South Coast Plaza, was won by current CHP student Matthew Powell.

“I always look forward to the friendly competition between CHP students and faculty at Battle of the Brains.  It just keeps getting better every year!” said Julia Peng, 3rd year CHP student.

Test yourself:

  1. Which actor plays Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series “Sherlock?”
  2. Which THREE U.S. Presidents have died on the Fourth of July?
  3. What is the Anglicized nickname attached to Germany’s World War II submarines?
  4. What gas makes up approximately 74 percent of the Sun’s mass?
  5. What is the eighth prime number?
  6. Which famous Italian Renaissance artist made all his scientific notes in mirror writing?
  7. In “The Odyssey,” how many years did it take Odysseus to return home after the Trojan War?
  8. Which theory states that all knowledge is derived from the senses?
  9. Which Middle Eastern country’s flag consists of a cedar tree on a red and white background?
  10. Which triangular New York City building is nicknamed after something you could press your clothes with?

Blueprint LSAT Preparation

South Coast Plaza

Hotel Irvine

The RiDE 7D

OC Fair and Event Center

Claire Trevor School of the Arts

Flightdeck Flight Simulation Center

Buffalo Exchange

Laguna Art Museum


East Borough

Focus Dance Center


California FISH GRILL, LLC

Knott’s Berry Farm

Irvine Lanes

Irvine Improv


The Melting Pot

Jamba Juice

UCI Hospitality & Dining

The Friends of the Santa Ana Zoo

Bowers Museum

Stricklands Ice Cream

South Coast Repertory
Rainbow Sandals
About the Campuswide Honors Program: Founded in 1988, the CHP is an academic program dedicated to promoting high standards of scholastic excellence and personal growth by combining the qualities of a liberal arts college with the unique opportunities offered by a major research university.  For more on the CHP, visit