FYOS 1001

Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Where are they?


The University of Georgia

Fall Semester 2013?

Check your score.

In this page, you can check your progress in the course. Type your 810 number without '-'.

Lecture Notes

Clever Monkeys

What will happen to the terrestrial intelligent world if humans are gone tomorrow? Watch this interesting video from PBS.

FYOS 1001 : Syllabus

Extraterrestrial Intelligence: Where are they?


The University of Georgia

Fall Semester 2012

Professor Inseok Song
Office 240 Physics
Phone 706-542-7518
E-mail song (a) physast.uga.edu or song(a)uga.edu
Office Hours 1 hour after the class OR by appointments

Course Description:

This course will have about 50% lectures and 50% student presentations + discussion sessions.

For each core subject (highlighted in red in "Course Topics" below) relevant to the general theme of finding extraterrestrial intelligence in the Universe, we begin by presentation by students on sub-topics relevant to the core subject.  Then, during the following week or one after, I will present a summary on the subject. When we finish a particular subject, each student needs to submit a half-page, single-spaced report by the end of the week (mid-night Sunday) via email. Make sure you receive an acknowledgement for your submission.

For short presentations by students, I will announce topics for the student presentation during the preceeding class. Student's presentations need to be prepared in the PowerPoint format (or use your own notebook) and it is expected to be about 10 minutes long (i.e., about 10 slides). Throughout the semester, each student is required to make at least 2 presentations.

There won't be a test for this course and letter grades will be given based on student's participation in discussion/presentation sessions (40%), submitted short reports (50%), and semi-random attendance checks (10%).   

Credits: 1 hour





Textbooks: None

Grading: Traditional letter (A-F) grades will be assigned based on presentation sessions (30%), participation during discussion sessions (20%), and short reports (50%). 

A >= 90 80 <= B < 90 70 <= C < 80 60 <= D < 70 F < 60

Students are required to attend 3 or more campus events (https://fyo.uga.edu/BrowseEvents.aspx) as part of this course. One of events may be a mandatory attendance to a Physics department colloquium if there is a relevant talk in the semester.

Course Topics (Tentative): 

Date    Class#   Topic
08/15     1      Introduction. Overall description of the class and Astrobiology.

08/22     2      Searching for Life on Mars : Mars Rover, Curiosity.

08/29     3      Student's presentations on Chemical life and non-chemical life. 
09/05     4      Do aliens need Carbon and H2O? 
                 Report on Carbon/H2O based life.

09/12     5      Biology of Life: DNA and Technology
09/19     6      Evolution toward technology : Are we the only intelligent being on the Earth? 
09/26     7      Open discussion on the intelligence.
                 Report on the Evolution toward Technology.

10/03     8      Searching for life in the Universe
10/10     9      Student's presentations ("Wow signal", "active SETI", "SETI protocol") 
10/17     ?      SETI debate ("Shostak", "Zuckerman")
                 Report on SETI debate (Read two articles: one by Shostak and the other by Zuckerman).

10/24    10      Student's presentations ("Galactic colonization", "Drake Equation", "Fermi Paradox"x2)
10/31    11      Drake Equation and Fermi Paradox  
                 Report on Fermi Paradox. 

11/07    12      Student's presentations ("Definition of exoplanets", 
                 Pulsar timing, Doppler shift, Transits, Micro-lensing, Direct Imaging)
11/14    13      Extra-solar Planets 
                 Report on Exoplanets. 

11/21            Thanksgiving Break

[FYOS] Course Evaluation

Please take a moment to submit your evaluation on this course. I plan to teach this course semi-regularly. Your evaluation will be very helpful to improve this course so that it will be more useful to future students.

The evaluation site can be accessed from here.



Presentation Template


  • 3-4 slides 
  • 3-5 minutes long
  • use 1-2 relevant pictures
  • list references you used
PresentationTemplate.pptx44.39 KB

Presentation Template

Please use the attached template for your presentation. I suggest to prepare roughly 10 slides for your presentation.

PresentationTemplate.pptx44.54 KB

Presentation assignment


Wow signal : R. Usher

METI + SETI protocol : B. Haag


SETI debate, Shostak : E. Bair 

SETI debate, Zuckerman : A. Austin


Galactic colonization : M. Murphy

Drake Equation : C. Smith

Ferimi Paradox : M. Alden


Definition of exoplanets: H. Jones

Detection method (pulsar timing) : A. Templeton

Detection method (Doppler shift) : T. Brodowsky

Detection method (Transit) : L. Ghanouni

Detection method (micro-lensing) : K. Rahman

Detection method (Direct imaging) : C. Sherman

Topics for Additional Report

Here are topics for the additional report (for extra credit).  

The format of the report is 

The due date is Dec 2 (midnight).