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FYS1000 - The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe (Fall, 2014)



Progress on Standards

Moodle Web Site

Are we alone in the Universe? This course will explore ongoing efforts to answer this question. We will study the accepted scientific views of Origins, how the Universe, including life itself, came to be. We will take a journey through the various factors that will determine the likelihood of finding another planet with intelligent life in our galaxy by exploring the factors in the famous Drake Equation. Along the way, we will look at current missions that are helping us answer some of our questions, like the Mars rovers studying the Martian terrain, the Kepler Mission looking for Earth-like planets around other stars, and the SETI Institute which is listening for alien communication as part of its mission to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the Universe. Finally, we will investigate claims that Earth has been visited by alien life already.


Number Type Standards
1 Core I can give a clear, organized oral presentation.
2 Core I can organize thoughts into an outline.
3 Core I can choose appropriate supporting evidence.
4 Core I can write a coherent paragraph.
5 Core I can use proper grammar and spelling.
6 Core I can use numbers to support a conclusion, when appropriate.
7 Core I can cite sources properly.
8 Core I can complete at least 75\% of assigned readings.
9 Core I can contribute to a group.
10 Core I can state the big question and can answer it with generalizations that show broad familiarity with class material. I can show general understanding in answering the big question.
1 Basic I can design effective visual aids for an oral presentation.
2 Basic I can write an annotated outline with proper structure.
3 Basic I can develop an argument throughout a paper by articulating a chain of logic.
4 Basic I can write paragraphs with topic sentences.
5 Basic I can demonstrate understanding of at least 90\% of assigned readings.
6 Basic I can contribute effectively to a group.
7 Basic I can state the positions of different sides of a debate.
1 Advanced I can speak persuasively.
2 Advanced I can use supporting evidence effectively.
3 Advanced I can include references in an outline.
4 Advanced I can determine how quantitative answers are derived or obtained.
5 Advanced I can ask insightful questions of at least 90\% of assigned readings.
6 Advanced I can structure paragraphs well.
7 Advanced I can argue both sides of a debate.
8 Advanced I can present a persuasive argument in a paper.


Grade Demonstrate a 4 on
F fewer than two Core standards.
D fewer than five Core standards.
C-- at least five Core standards.
C at least seven Core standards.
C+ all Core standards.
B-- all Core, at least three Basic standards.
B all Core, at least five Basic standards.
B+ all Core, all Basic standards.
A-- all Core, all Basic, and at least four Advanced standards.
A all Core, all Basic, and at least seven Advanced standards.

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