Title: Does Science Follow Science Fiction by 9Poq16Eo

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									               Does Science Follow Science Fiction?


Instructor: Sue Simons



Have you ever wondered where Scientists/Inventors came up with their ideas for the
technology that we have? Some argue that the ideas came from the science fiction
writers of our past. For instance, the cell phone can be attributed to the Star Trek series
with the transmitters used to have Scotty beam up the team. What other fiction based
ideas can today’s technology be linked to. In this course we will read Robert Heinlein’s
The Door into Summer which is a look at the year 2000 written in 1957 and Michael
Crichton’s Prey which is a look at nanotechnology. Students will be challenged to find
the current technology that has come into play from Heinlein’s look at the year 2000 and
what has not come into being. Michael Crichton’s Prey is one look at what could happen
with our newest technological advances, students will be challenged to look at what other
outcomes good and bad could happen with nanotechnology. Student’s will also be asked
to write their own short science fiction story with technological advances that could start
the future scientists/inventors thinking of ways to make it into our new reality.



Booklist:
       The Door into Summer; Robert Heinlein 1957 (a look into the year 2000)
       Prey; Michael Crichton 2002 (nanotechnology)
Week 1
   READ: The Door Into Summer. Chapters 1-4 (Pages 1-105)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER: What invention (not yet thought of) do you believe
     will be common place in 2050?
                 Write a well-formed paragraph that includes the name, description
                  and functions of your invention.
                 Write a in depth response to two other student’s inventions




    PROJECT: Introduce yourself to your assigned group. Include:
              Name
              Hobbies
              Why you took this class

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.
              Robert Heinlein wrote The Door Into Summer in 1957; find
                inventions, ideas, etc that did come into being. This need not be
                limited to the world of 1970, what do we have around us now that
                Heinlein’s imagination conjured up. Some use of imagination may
                be needed. Find a minimum of three examples and write a
                paragraph for each, comparing the book’s version to the real
                invention.
              Robert Heinlein’s imagination did not always invent ideas that
                have a place in today’s world. Find a minimum of three examples
                and write a paragraph for each with your reasoning on why he was
                off base or perhaps much more advanced in his thinking than what
                today’s technology and science are.
Week 2
   READ: The Door Into Summer. Chapters 5-8 (Pages 106-207)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER: What do you think it would be like if you took the
     cold sleep and woke up 30 years later to a new world.
                  Write a well-formed page that describes the emotions you would
                    feel. Ei: friends aged or gone, environment different, common
                    place items and words unrecognizable to you.
                  Write a in depth response to two other student’s papers.




    PROJECT: Brain storm with your group for story themes that incorporate your
     inventions from week 1.

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.
              Heinlein mentions that he skipped over the panic of “87”. What
                was the panic of “87” that he could be referring to. Research on
                the internet the year of 1987, choose the topic that you think that
                he was referring to and write a well thought out paragraph
                describing the event.
              The collapse of the Mannix Group brings to mine another large
                company that was brought down by scandal; Enron. Research the
                    Enron scandal and write a well thought out paragraph describing
                    the situation.

Week 3
   READ: The Door Into Summer. Chapters 9-12 (Pages 208-291)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER:
            If you could go back in time to change part of your life; how do
               you think this would affect other people? Would their life’s
               change also? Write a well thought out paragraph with your
               thoughts on this.
            Write an in depth response to two other student’s paragraphs.




    PROJECT: With your group complete an outline for the story that your group is
     writing.

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.
              Go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/hotsciencetwin/
                Read the entire article; follow the instructions and complete the
                suggested experiments. Write a one page report on your theory of
                time travel; do you think that we will be able to travel forward in
                time, backward? Why?
              Research “worm holes” in the internet. Write a well thought out
                one page report on the possibility of using worm holes for time
                travel, be sure to include if you believe that there are worm holes.
Week 4
   READ: Prey. Days 1-4 (Pages 1-98)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER:
            What is your opinion on nanotechnology? Is it a safe new
               technology to develop? Are the scientists developing this
               technology going to have to be alert for side effects of this
               technology that could harm us?
            Write an in depth response to two other student’s paragraphs.




    PROJECT: With your group create characters for your story. Be sure to have
     complete descriptions and insights into your characters.

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.
              Research “multi agent systems” on the internet. Write a well
                thought out one page report on the use of multi agent systems in
                nanotechnology.

                   Read Collective Intelligence in Multi-Agent Robotics:
                    Stigmergy, Self-Organization and Evolution at:
                    http://www.informatics.sussex.ac.uk/users/eji21/master/ei_ami_jan
                    2004.pdf ; read the article and right a one page summary of the
                    article.
Week 5
   READ: Prey. Day 5 (Pages 99-197)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER:
            In Prey Michael Crichton is talking about programming micro
               agents to react in a predator-prey type of reaction. Assuming this
               technology is available for use; do you think that it could have
               dangerous side effects
            Write an in depth response to two other student’s paragraphs.




    PROJECT: With your group begin writing your short story. The story should
     contain as many chapters as people in your group as a minimum.

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.
              Research “predator-prey” relationships on the internet. Write a
                well thought out one page report on the effects this relationship.

                    Research “swarm behavior” on the internet. Write a well thought
                     out one page report showing the collective behavior of independent
                     agents, each responding to local stimuli without supervision.
Week 6
   READ: Prey. Day 6 (Pages 198-304)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER:
               http://www.sc.doe.gov/bes/scale_of_things.html
            Go to the site above, read the article paying special attention to the
               “Scale of Things”. Write a paragraph to summarize the article.
            Write an in depth response to two other student’s paragraphs.




    PROJECT: With your group continue writing your short story. Remember your
     story should contain as many chapters as people in your group as a minimum.
     Place your story in Moodle; your group partners may start editing.

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.
              Research “swarm behavior” on the internet. Write a one page
                report on swarm behavior; citing reverences from Prey indicating
                how swarm behavior works. EI: Bottom up theory.
              http://www.solarenergy.org/resources/youngkids.html
                Go to the above web site, learn about solar energy and write a one
                page report on solar energy, citing history, advantages and
                disadvantages. Other internet research may be needed.
Week 7
   READ: Prey. Day 6 (Pages 305-393)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER:
            If something is “functionally” alive, is it really alive? Write a
               paragraph giving your view on this question.
            Write an in depth response to two other student’s paragraphs.




    PROJECT: With your group continue writing your short story. Remember your
     story should contain as many chapters as people in your group as a minimum.
     Place your chapter in Moodle; your group partners may start editing.

    TASK:

                   In Prey the swarms disappear as the wind picks up, you are safe to
                    go outside when the winds are 7 knots and above. How fast is a 7
                    knot wind? What other terms can wind speed be talked about?
                    The Beaufort scale estimates the wind speed by impact on the
                    environment. Explain the Beaufort scale and its impact on the
                    swarms. Answer the above questions in a well thought once page
                    summary.
Week 8
   READ: Prey. Day 6-7 (Pages 394-502)

    THOUGHT PROVOKER:
            Michael Crichton talks about the synergy between the “infected”
               characters and the “swarm” Do you think that simplistic particles
               that have swarm intelligence, that is to say no central intelligence,
               could combine with a human being, creating a greater intelligence
               when combined? What about the physical strength? The infected
               characters were also stronger. Write a one page summary of your
               thoughts this.
            Write an in depth response to two other student’s paragraphs.




    PROJECT: With your group finish writing your short story. Remember your
     story should contain as many chapters as people in your group as a minimum.
     Edit your story for final copy; place your story in Moodle;

    TASK: Choose one task to complete.

                    http://www.howstuffworks.com/mri.htm
                     Go to the above website. Read the first twelve chapters on
                     Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Write a one page report how
                     MRI’s work.
                    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/einstein/genius/
                    Go to the above web site, read about Albert Einstein and write a
                    one page report on his life and achievements. Other internet
                    research may be needed.



Week 9

   Write a one page report on your opinion of this class. Which did you enjoy
    reading the older Heinlein novel or the newer Crichton novel?




   Read the another groups short story and critique their story. Provide at least one
    page of comments.

								
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