Profile: Jim Dettman

Personal background
I'm a professional software developer living in upstate NY along with my wife and four kids and have been running SETI@HOME since just about day 1. My main hobby is sci-fi, with a little over four hundred books in my collection. I started reading sci-fi around six or seven and have never stopped. I have a knack for science in general and have a wide range of interests, but space exploration has always fascinated me in particular. I watch all the shuttle missions and try to stay up on everything that's going on, such as the progress for the X prize.

I like to share my interests with others and pass along my knowledge as much as possible. One of the ways I do that is by being a merit badge counselor for Space Exploration and Computers in the Boy Scouts. I'm also the Scoutmaster for a local troop, which keeps life very busy
Thoughts about SETI and SETI@home
Do I think extraterrestrial life exists? Most definitely! One only needs to look at the Hubble Deep Field shot to realize what a miniscule part of the universe we represent. To think that we are the only beings inhabiting it is incredulous.

Should we be doing this or sending out a signal? Once again, most definitely! Humanity is at it’s best when were pushing the envelope and one way to do that is to explore space. I still remember the excitement that gripped the nation and the world in the race for the moon. We need something like that again. Contacting an alien race would certainly fall into that category and I believe anything we can do to forward that goal is worth it.

That’s just one of the reasons I like SETI@home. The whole program appeals to me on so many levels. As a software developer, I applaud the ingenuity in solving such a large computational task. Then there is the science behind analyzing the signals, which in of it self, is a whole different subject. I’ve read every science newsletter published by the SETI team and marvel at the science behind the whole process. Then there is thought of possibly being part of something that pushes man forward in new ways or brings about a fundamental shift in the way we view our selves and the universe. The list just goes on and on.

It is an amazing project and one which I am happy to contribute to.
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SETI@home and Astropulse are funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and donations from SETI@home volunteers. AstroPulse is funded in part by the NSF through grant AST-0307956.