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Issue 5 Cover

Cosmic Search: Issue 5
(Volume 2 Number 1; Winter (Jan., Feb., Mar.) 1980)
[Article in magazine started on page 46]

SETI Popular in Colleges
By: Editors


The topics covered in the SETI course "Life in the Universe" (Astronomy 305) at Bowling Green State University given by Professor Roger Ptak are listed below. Although many SETI courses follow a similar outline, the Bowling Green syllabus shows in a concise step-by-step fashion how an appreciation of SETI requires a background of knowledge about the universe.
Our star
Other suns
Regular stars
Dying stars
And then there was iron
The Galaxy
When did time begin?
Looking for other worlds
Planet formation
First midterm exam
"The Ladder of Creation"
The early earth
From algae to algorithms
Viking goes to Mars
"The Search for Life"
Life on Mars?
The outer planets
The zone of life
How many are out there?
Messages from space
Tuning in
Second midterm exam
Space at last!
The greening of space
"The Final Frontier"
Cities in space
Remaking the Universe
Final exam

Many colleges and universities are giving or planning to give courses about the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). In previous issues we have listed courses at the following institutions:

Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland, Ohio

Consumes River College
Sacremento, California

John Carroll University
University Heights, Ohio

Leeward Community College
Kaneohe, Hawaii

Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Menlo College
Menlo Park, California

Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Otterbein College
Westerville, Ohio

San Diego State University
San Diego, California

University of San Francisco
San Francisco, California

Stanford University
Stanford, California

Stockton State College
Pomona, New Jersey

Washington and Jefferson College
Washington, Pennsylvania

Wheaton College
Norton, Massachusetts

In this issue we list courses at seven more institutions as follows:

Institution: Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, 28608
Instructor: Prof. Thomas L. Rokoske, Dept. of Physics
Title: Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (1 hour credit)
Content: Development of SETI. Probability of life in the galaxy. Radio telescopes. Space travel. Space colonization. Physical and biological characterization of extraterrestrial intelligence.
References: Marcia S. Smith, "Possibility of Intelligent Life in the Universe" (U.S. Government Printing Office); Ronald Bracewell, "The Galactic Club"; Philip Morrison, John Billingham and John Wolfe, "The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" (NASA SP-419); and others.
Years given: 1978, 1979.
Enrollment: 100 (1979).

Institution: Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio 43403
Instructor: Prof. Roger Ptak, Director of Astronomy
Title: Life in the Universe (Astronomy 305)
Content: Possibilities for life on other planets and other star systems, methods for communicating with other intelligent life, and the movement of human life into space. (See accompanying box for more details).
Reference: Shklovskii and Sagan, "Intelligent Life in the Universe".
Years given: Each year beginning with 1976.
Enrollment: 30 (1976), 55 (1977), 80 (1978), 135 (1979).

Institution: California State University, Fullerton, California 92634
Instructor: Robert H. Rubin, Dept. of Physics
Title: Extraterrestrial Intelligence (Physics 111, 3 units).
Content: Origin of the universe, origin of the elements, formation and evolution of stars, formation of planetary systems, habitable zones for planets, chemical evolution, origin of life and biological evolution, evolution of intelligence, the Drake equation, over-view of the universe, contact between extraterrestrial civilizations, space colonization.
Year given: 1979.

Institution: Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506
Instructor: Prof. C. E. Hathaway, Head, Dept. of Physics
Title: Life in the Universe—Are We Alone?"
Format: The Department of Physics has for four years operated a telephone-based course for honors high school students throughout Kansas. The telenet system allows two-way conversation to take place between enrolled students and scientists who speak from their own laboratories or offices. A speaker this year is Professor Philip Morrison of M.I.T.
Enrollment: 40 to 100.

Institution: St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota 55057
Instructor: Prof. Howard I. Thorsheim, Dept. of Psychology
Title: The Human Factor in Space Colonization and Long-Duration Spaceflight (Psychology la).
Format: Discussion of human factors on earth and in space environment, community and environmental psychology, time perception and value questions implicit or explicit in human-system interactions. Guest speakers, films (such as NASA's "Apollo-Soyuz"), taped interviews with Michael Collins, Gerard O'Neill, Isaac Asimov and others and field trips, as to Minneapolis-Honeywell, provide a stimulating perspective. Cultures beyond the earth are considered. Since many of the students at St. Olaf College are of Scandinavian descent, the idea of space colonization has special relevance in comparison with an earlier period of "space" utilization, in which "space" was the Great Plains of the United States and the persons involved were the grandparents or great-grandparents of the students.
References: R. D. Johnson and C. Holbrow, Editors, "Space Settlements: A Design Study" (NASA, 1977); Gerard K. O'Neill, "The High Frontier"; Carl Sagan, "Cosmic Connection".
Years given: 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980 (January Interim Term).
Enrollment: Limited to 20.

Institution: Sheridan College, Sheridan, Wyoming 82801
Instructor: Dr. Kenneth R. Ohm, Professor of Astronomy.
Title: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (non-credit).
Content: History and recent developments in SETI. Exploration of the solar system (Pioneer, Viking, Voyager, etc.).
References: Carl Sagan, "Murmurs of Earth"; COSMIC SEARCH.
Year given: Fall 1979.
Enrollment: 150.

Institution: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
Instructor: Prof. Michael D. Swords, Natural Science.
Title: Aims and Achievements of Science.
Content: Cosmo-evolution (Big Bang to extraterrestrial intelligence); microcosmic frontiers (quarks to organisms).
Years given: 1975 to date.
Enrollment: Limited to 30.

Institution: Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008
Instructor: Prof. Michael D. Swords, Natural Science.
Title: Science and Parascience.
Content: Examination of various debatable hypotheses on the frontiers and ragged edges of established science. Includes cosmo-evolution and extraterrestrial intelligence as necessary foundation information for examining the UFO and ancient astronaut questions.
Years given: 1975 to date.
Enrollment: Limited to 25.
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