I am seeking a few good students for a rather unusual course, a class focusing on a future simulation of space or earth exploration. The project involves the use of computers to construct and maintain a working model of a "future" space colony located near or on one of our neighboring planets or even on Earth, preferably in an inhospitable location. For those interested principally in the physical and biological sciences, the project requires students to solve problems in physics, life support mechanisms, health issues, communications, transportation, and habitat maintenance. The "station" is to be designed by students from scratch. For those more interested in social sciences and humanities, problems to be addressed include issues of psychological health, social organization, governance, conflict and social harmony, ethics, socialization, and general social integration and maintenance.

The benefits of this course to students are of three kinds: they increase their computer skills, enhance their ability to work in cooperative groups, and greatly improve their problem solving ability. Not incidentally, students also acquire a positive attitude toward the assimilation and use of information.

Entrance to the course is via consent of the instructor. I will be trying to select students who bring different skills and expertise to the simulation, and for whom this would prove a meaningful learning experience. That means the majority will be students who have acquired disciplinary expertise. If you are interested, I ask that you submit to me, via email, four paragraphs: two listing class year, email address, and concentration, and describing your areas of expertise (hobbies count); and two explaining your interest in the simulation. [If you send an appended Word document, be sure that your name is part of the title. I don't need a set of papers in my 'Attachments Folder' all named 'Simulation Document' or something similar.] I will need this material by January 31 and will select participants very soon. The list of class participants will be posted electronically the next week so that those of you who are disappointed will be able to enroll in another course.

Anyone applying for this limited enrollment course must realize that they may be disappointed and should have alternative plans. If you are admitted, I will inform the Registrar's Office directly via a class list. It is also possible that there will be a short list of alternates for positions, should problem arise in the beginning of the spring. Please indicate, if you want to be included on such a list. There will be no reminder concerning this class. It is my experience that driven 'Type-As' of the sort who find this kind of course attractive do not need reminders or prods.

Douglas Raybeck
draybeck@hamilton.edu (preferred email address checked frequently)