Please join us for a very special evening with renowned Columbia Professor David Helfand to Seattle for an alumni lecture titled "Intelligent Life in the Universe?"
This lecture is FREE for Columbia alumni and their families. Alumni RSVP HERE.
$15 for non-Columbia alumni.
Sorry, ticket purchasing through the alumni site is broken. Please email [email protected] to purchase an non-alumni ticket.
Bio for Dr. Helfand:
David J. Helfand, a faculty member at Columbia University for forty years, served nearly half of that time as Chair of the Department of Astronomy. a position he has again resumed. He also recently completed a four-year term as President of the American Astronomical Society, the professional society for astronomers, astrophysicists, planetary scientists and solar physicists in North America. He is the author of nearly 200 scientific publications and has mentored 22 PhD students, but most of his pedagogical efforts have been aimed at teaching science to non-science majors. He instituted the first change in Columbia's Core Curriculum in 50 years by introducing science to all first-year students.
In 2005, he became involved with an effort to create Canada's first independent, non-profit, secular university, Quest University Canada. He served as a Visiting Tutor in the University's inaugural semester in the Fall of 2007 and was appointed President & Vice-Chancellor the following year to lead this innovative experiment in higher education. For six years in a row, Quest has been ranked #1 in North America in the National Survey of Student Engagement.
“Intelligent Life in the Universe?”
In the last ten years, no fewer than 3000 new solar systems have been discovered within our local Galactic neighborhood. Observations of newly forming stars suggest more than half spawn planets. Coupled with discoveries in biology and artificial intelligence, we are in a position to provide a quantitative estimate of the number of intelligent civilizations in the Milky Way. This illustrated lecture will present the results of these calculations, as well as exploring the important issue as to whether or not our species yet qualifies as intelligent life in the cosmic sense.