Physical Sciences and Engineering Colloquium goes extraterrestrial
NEW PALTZ -- E.T. phones home at SUNY New Paltz on Monday, April 29 in a lecture titled "Communicating with Extraterrestrial Civilizations."
The lecture, which will be the final in this year's Physical Sciences and Engineering Colloquium, will be given by Brian McConnell, a self-employed inventor, telecommunications engineer and author.
McConnell will discuss the past and future of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, as well as introduce possible communication systems drawing upon current knowledge of math, DNA coding and software design.
SETI was sparked from the realization that radio signals were arriving from different areas in the sky, demonstrating the possibility that radio messages could be sent across stretches of intercellular space from one civilization to another. McConnell says SETI represents the frontier of what is possible in telecommunications.
"Communicating across interstellar distances is no different than making a cellular phone call. The real question is whether there is anybody else to talk to," said McConnell in a 2001 interview with Oreilly.com. His book, Beyond Contact: A guide to SETI and Communicating with Alien Civilizations, addresses those issues as it discusses how it is possible to communicate with another technological civilization in greater depth than most people imagine.
"I am convinced that intelligent life has developed elsewhere," said McConnell. "I can't prove it, but it just makes sense when you consider how many places there are for life to develop."
The lecture will be held in the Coykendall Science Building Auditorium at 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
The School of Physical Sciences and Engineering Colloquium Series addresses a variety of scientific topics. Each lecture in the series is designed for a general scientific audience and features leading scientists. During the past year, lectures included NASA scientist Neil Cornish discussing a project to map the universe; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Richard Bopp discussing PCBs and other contaminants in the Hudson River; and SUNY Albany's Dr. David Carpenter discussing the health effects of electromagnetic fields.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.