TVS presents

   No, the January speaker is not our David Anderson; he is the David Anderson who directs SETI@ home. In addition, Dr. Anderson  is the chief technology officer at JAMtv Corp. He is a former member of the UC Berkeley Computer Science faculty, and has authored or co-written 65 research papers on such topics as operating systems, distributed computing, and computer graphics.

   SETI@home is an interactive scientific project intended to combine thousands of Internet-connected personal computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a screen saver program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data collected by the Arecibo Radio Telescope in Puerto Rico. As the project explains it, "There is a small but captivating possibility that your computer will detect the faint murmur of a civilization beyond Earth." 

   Dr. Anderson will explain the signal analysis code and the way in which the screen saver mines the data and returns information to SETI. In brief, the program searches for strong signals at 4 million different combinations of frequency, bandwidth, and chirp (the drift in frequency over time). Distributed computing techniques allow SETI to divide the incoming data, distributing discrete subsets to client screen savers. Architecture-specific versions are available.

HCG57 (Hixson Compact Group No. 57) is a distant cluster of galaxies located approximately 600 million light-years from Earth. The main galaxy appears to be gravitationally distorted, probably due to an encounter with another nearby galaxy. Not visible in this image are the millions of stars that seem to have been torn from the main body by the passing galaxy. (W.M. Keck Observatory image.)

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