Radio Astronomy and Digital Communication through GNU radio and SETI
To Community College Instructors of digital communication, introduction to electronics, introduction to astronomy, signal processing, or any related subject, we announce a new endeavor. A ready-made resource, complete with meticulously prepared materials and coursework modules, thoughtfully designed to seamlessly integrate into your teaching, allowing you to bring a unique and captivating dimension to your courses is in development. Your students will not only benefit from enhanced engagement but also gain a practical understanding of digital communication that extends far beyond theoretical concepts.
In pursuit of this initiative, we are actively developing a comprehensive 12-week curriculum that immerses students in the multifaceted realm of digital communication, set against the captivating backdrop of SETI and the versatile tool of GNU Radio. Our website offers a sample curriculum, highlighting the myriad modules that can seamlessly complement existing courses, creating an engaging and innovative learning experience for students.
What do we offer?
The SETI Institute is committed to ensuring that your teaching experience is as seamless and enriching as possible. To this end, we offer comprehensive support that includes tailored lab work and meticulously crafted slide decks for your course. Our resources are designed to simplify the teaching of complex topics while immersing your students in the captivating theme of Astronomy and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). See our sample syllabus which we aim to expand from 8 to 12 weeks, with your input.
Additionally, a grant from the Amateur Radio and Digital Communication Foundation, has funded a pilot program at a select group of community colleges. This financial support allows us to offer you cutting-edge educational materials and resources, and an in-person workshop.
How Can You Participate?
We invite you to complete our form to become part of our dedicated email. This email list will receive updates and resource materials.Fill form here
A four-day workshop at the SETI Institute’s Allen Telescope Array (ATA) site located in Northern California for a select group of five - six instructors, presents an unparalleled opportunity for hands-on experience with GNU Radio, a powerful tool in the world of digital communication. The selected participants will receive stipends, roundtrip travel, and dorm-style accommodation at the ATA. It's an immersive experience that promises to enhance your teaching methods and expose you to the latest advancements in the field.
The workshop is tentatively scheduled for mid-late December 2023 or Mid-May 2024.
If you're interested in the invaluable workshop experience at the Allen Telescope Array to delve deeper into GNU Radio concepts, complete the additional information in the form.
Additional Background Information
Digital communication is undeniably one of the most captivating courses in the realm of engineering physics. It serves as a convergence point for a multitude of disciplines, encompassing essential elements like electronics introduction, electromagnetic wave theory, signal processing, and communication protocols. Consequently, it has found its place in the curriculum of numerous colleges. Yet, the intricate technical intricacies intrinsic to digital communication often pose a challenge. These concepts, while fascinating, can become abstract and elusive without proper hands-on demonstrations. Regrettably, this can lead to a decline in students' interest and engagement with the subject matter. Efforts to bridge this gap and make digital communication more accessible and engaging are crucial. By enhancing the practical, demonstrative aspects of the course, we can rekindle students' enthusiasm and provide them with a more tangible understanding of this multifaceted domain.
Astronomy is a discipline that appeals to students from diverse backgrounds, irrespective of their gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. For instance, a recent investigation by Richards & Kelly (2023) utilized logistic regression to analyze a large and diverse group of students (N=1909) in a suburban community college and concluded that "...the [astronomy] course is a potential gateway for diversifying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics access." Exploring the possibility of extraterrestrial life is an enthralling aspect of radio astronomy that resonates deeply with students. Modern-day Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) efforts utilize cutting-edge technology to search for signals from our cosmic neighbors. Teaching digital communication and signal processing within the context of SETI allows students to remain engaged and grasp important concepts more easily.