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North American AstroPhysical Observatory (NAAPO)

Issue 4 Cover

Cosmic Search: Issue 4
(Volume 1 Number 4; Fall (Oct., Nov., Dec.) 1979)
[Article in magazine started on page 39]

SETI Popular in Colleges
By: Editors

Many colleges and universities are giving or planning to give courses about the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). In the Summer 1979 issue we listed courses at five institutions as follows:

    Consumnes River College, Sacramento, California
    Menlo College, Menlo Park, California
    Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
    San Diego State University, San Diego, California
    Stockton State College, Pomona, New Jersey
In this issue we list eleven courses at nine more institutions. We would like to list additional institutions with SETI courses. Please send information to Prof. John Kraus, Editor of COSMIC SEARCH, Ohio State University Radio Observatory, 2015 Neil Ave., Columbus, Ohio 43210. Years given, attendance, a syllabus (if available) and other information will be appreciated.

Institution: Leeward Community College, Kaneohe, Hawaii 96744
Instructor: Fritz Osell.
Title: Special Topics in Astronomy (Astronomy 111)
Content: The search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
Year given: 1979 (spring)
Enrollment: 60 to 80.

Institution: Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803
Instructor: Prof Howard E. Bond, Dept. of Astronomy.
Title: SETI and Other Current Topics in Astronomy.
References: Shklovskii and Sagan, "Intelligent Life in the Universe"; Sagan, "The Cosmic Connection"; Ridpath, "World's Beyond".
Given each spring.

Institution: Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio 43081
Instructor: Dr. Philip E. Barnhart, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.
Title: Man and the Universe (Introductory Astronomy).
Content: The concept of evolution is extended from that of the universe, to galaxies, stars, chemical elements, molecules, biological growth, human evolution and the evolution of intelligence.
Years given: 1974 to date.
Enrollment: 80 to 150 per year.

Institution: Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio 43081
Instructor: Dr. Philip E. Barnhart, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy.
Title: Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
Content: Exploration of a wide range of methods of communication, value judgement relating to what is communicated, skill in model building and assessment to increase competence in writing, speaking and group interaction as an alternative to the traditional English composition course. Barnhart writes: "This course is one of the most enjoyable experiences I have encountered in college teaching."
References: Sagan, "The Cosmic Connection"; Christian, "Extraterrestrial Intelligence: The First Encounter".
Years given: 1974 to date.
Enrollment: 15 to 20 per year.

Institution: University of San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94117
Instructor: Prof. Louis Berman, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Title: Intelligent Life on Other Worlds.
Content: This course is designed to acquaint the student with:

    (1) the growing scientific interest and popular awareness being given to the possibility of discovering extraterrestrial intelligence;
    (2) the techniques of search strategy that will ultimately lead to communication with advanced societies; and
    (3) the profound consequences for our civilization when interstellar dialogue with an alien society is established.
Topics covered are: Speculations, old and new, on the plurality of other worlds; the formation and evolution of planetary systems; the physical and chemical nature of planetary life; the origin of life on the earth; biological, social and cultural evolution; intelligence on alien worlds and technical civilizations; exploration of the solar system: Pioneer, Mariner, Viking, Voyager, Galileo, etc.; artificial automata, interstellar probes and UFOs; interstellar space travel and communication, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, Project Cyclops; some philosophical considerations should we make contact.
References: Sullivan, "We Are Not Alone"; Ponnamperuma and Cameron, "Interstellar Communication: Scientific Perspectives"; Bracewell, "The Galactic Club"; Christian, "Extraterrestrial Intelligence: The First Encounter", COSMIC SEARCH.
Years given: 1978, 1979.

Institution: Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305 Instructor: Prof. Peter Sturrock, Dept of Applied Physics.
Title: Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life (Applied Physics 25).
Content: Possible existence of extraterrestrial intelligent life and the prospects of contact. Galactic structure, stellar types and solar planets. Chemical and biological evolution. Radio communication, interstellar probes, interstellar travel and space colonization. No prerequisites.
Years given: 1978, 1979.
Enrollment: 60

Institution: Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305
Instructor: Prof. Ronald N. Bracewell, Dept. of Electrical Engineering.
Title: The Galactic Club: Intelligent Life in Outer Space (Engineering 25).
Content: Possible existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy and its significance for human values. Planetary formation, prebiological evolution, origin of life, radio communication, rocket travel, celestial mechanics and colonization of interplanetary space. Prerequisites: Introductory astronomy or consent of the instructor.
References: Bracewell, "The Galactic Club: Intelligent Life in Outer Space".
Years given: 1977, 1978.
Enrollment: 60

Institution: Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, Pennsylvania 15301
Instructor: Prof. Raymond M. Bell (now emeritus).
Title: Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
Content: Astronomy basics, biological and chemical considerations, probabilities of extraterrestrial intelligence, methods of communication, types of messages, coding and decoding, future prospects.
Years given: 1974, 1975.
Enrollment: 14 (1974), 27 (1975)

Institution: Wheaton College, Norton, Massachusetts 02766
Instructor: Timothy Barker, Dept. of Physics.
Title: Extraterrestrial Life (Astronomy 120a)
Content: The universe, galaxies and star formation. The nature and development of life, life in the solar system, life in other planetary systems, frequency and longevity of civilizations, communication with extraterrestrial life.
References: Shklovskii and Sagan, "Intelligent Life in the Universe"; Sagan, "The Cosmic Connection"; Berendzen, "Life Beyond the Earth and the Mind of Man".
Years given: 1975, 1977, 1979 (and to be yearly thereafter).
Enrollment: 30 (1975), 15 (1977).

Institution: John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio
Instructor: J. Richard Keefe, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Biology
Title: Space Biology (Biology 460)
Content: Problems of biology encountered in the environment of space. A study of the biological principles and processes as they apply to life in a non-earth environment, with special emphasis on human adaptation to space travel and colonization. Current knowledge and recent advances in space biology from both U.S. and U.S.S.R. flight experiments are reviewed through a variety of literature searches.
References: Shklovskii and Sagan, "The Possibility of Intelligent Life Elsewhere in the Universe", U.S. Government Printing Office publication number 052-070-04332-6; "Foundations of Space Biology and Medicine", NASA Report 374, Govt. Printing Office pub. numbers vol. 1-033-000-00605-5, vol. 2/1-033-000-00606-3, vol. 2/2-033-000-00607-1, vol. 3-033-000-00608-0; "Soviet Space Programs, 1971-1975" vol. 1, Govt. Printing Office number 052-070-03657-5.
Years given: 1977 and 1979.
Enrollment: 11 (1977), 13 (1979)

Institution: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106
Instructor: J. Richard Keefe, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anatomy, School of Medicine.
Title: Biological Problems of Man in Space (Anatomy 420)
Content: Space biology from a broad background including SETI.
References: Same as John Carroll University course (Biology 460) (see above) plus many others such as Walter Sullivan, "We Are Not Alone"; Oro, Miller, Ponnamperuma and Young, "Cosmochemical Evolution and the Origins of Life"; Edelson, "Who Goes There? The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe"; Sagan, "Broca's Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science"; Berendzen, "Life Beyond the Earth and the Mind of Man"; Roulet, "The Search for Intelligent Life in Outer Space" (English translation).
Years given: 1978, 1979
Enrollment: 6 (1978), 25 (anticipated number for fall 1979 semester).


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Last modified: December 27, 2005.