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August 27, 1968 - Image 35

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-08-27

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48 THE MICHIGAN DAILY p

Research

I

by STEVE WILDSTROM
Managing Editor
The University's research activ-
ities have given it both the title
"research capital of the Midwest"
and "the Eyes of the Army."
Military research, more than ten
per cent of total research activ-
ity, has won the University praise
from the Defense Department
and damnation from many of its
students and faculty.
The largest unit in the Univer-
sity's research machine is the In-
stitute of Science and Technology
(IST). Last year, the University
received more research dollars
~ than any other institution in the
country and- 'a large part of, those
funds went to support IST pro-
jects. Headquartered in a striking
modern building on North Cam-
pus, IST's diverse activities spread
around the world.
Willow Run Laboratory (WRL)
is the largest component of IST.
Located in A, surplus Nike missile
base on the east edge of Willow
Run Airport in Ypsilanti, WRL

The most far-flung-and con-
troversial-of WRL's projects has
abeen a $1 million classified con-
tract to teach counterinsurgency
techniques to members of the Roy-
al Thai military. WRL researchers
have-worked with members of the
Royal Thai Air Force and Army
and helped them set up a Joint
Thailand-U.S. Aerial Reconnais-
sance Laboratory in the Thai ca-
pital of Bankok.
University researchers say the
" N function of the program has been
to train the Thais in sophisticated
modern means of electronic sur-
veillance in an effort to find
"clandestine communist guerilla
activity."
Through one IST project the
University, as far as is known, be-
came the only educational insti-
tution in the country to have a
ballistic missile named after it,
ile namesake the now-defunct BOMAC (Boeing
Michigan Aeronautical Research,
specializes in the technology of Center).
remote sensing techniques. Much This winter, WRL researchers
of WRL's work is classified con- traveled to Antarctica to apply in-
tract research for the Defense De- frared remote sensing techniques,
partment. very likely developed .in a military
research project, to study the
Over the past 13 years, the Ar- structure of the south polar ice
my has spent more than $70 mil- cap. Similar work has been done
lioq on Project MICHIGAN, whose in the past on the north polar and
purpose, as described by its former Greenland ice caps.
director, is to "build better spec- WRL and IST are involved in
tacles for the Army." Project MI- a number of operations designed
CHIGAN has worked to develop to disseminate the knowledge they
new means of .battlefield surveil- have picked up..Of course, the dis-
laiice, using radar, infrared and semination of information gained
optical methods. on classified research contracts is
Several 'years ago, the Defense limited to those both possessing a
Departmjent's Advanced Research security clearance and what the
Projects Agency (ARPA) turned to Defense Department calls "a need
University researchers at IST to to know". Two such conferences
build and operate a $4.5 million conducted each year are symposia
infrared observatory on Mt. Hale- on radar technology and remote
akala on Maui, Hawaii. Although sensing of the environment. Por-
WRL officials say the observatory tions of the second conference are
will be used for academic as well open to anyone in the academic
as military purposes, one WRL community with an interest in at-
researcher says, "Everyone knows tending.,;
it's there to track ICBMs and sat- WRL also operates for ARPA
telites." two national information clearing

houses, the Ballistic Missile Radia-
tion Information Center, which
deals with information pertaining
to the tracking of and defense
against intercontinental ballistic
missiles, and the Infrared Infor-
mation and Analysis Center, which
informs researchers of the latest
states of technology in infrared
research.
Although it is the most speta-
cular-and controversial-facet of
University research, WRL and
other militarily oriented portions
of IST represent a relatively small
part of the University's total re-
search effort.
Nevertheless, these classified re-
search efforts last fall became the
center of a brief but heated con-
troversy. Following a comprehen-
sive report by The Daily on the
extent of "Military Research at
Michigan," some pressure was ex-
erted on the administration for a
change in research policy.
, The 250 students that sat in at
the administration building in
early November were more con-
cerned about the University's eli-
mination of certain projects than
its Institute for Defense An-
alysis (IDA)-but this remained
a controversial area.
Although student and faculty
demonstrators came to the sit-in
without a clear consensus on just
what the protest was about, many
of the University's research pro-
jects were questioned as well as
its membership in the now defunct
IDA..
IDA was formed in 1956 in res-
ponse to rapid growth of defense
department sponsored research.
Organized as a consortium of the
member universities, IDA describes
itself- as a non-profit corporation
to provide the Department of De-
fense with scientific studies in na-
tional security.
While military research, at the
University itself is concerned al-
most entirely with defensive mea-
sures and detection, IDA works in
all phases of warfare.
The more radical members of
the sit-in demanded an immediate
end to all classified contracts and
student review powers over all
other research projects. Others
were willing to settle for just an
end to classified projects and a
tri-partite review of research pol-
icy.
Still others were concerned only
with counter-insurgency the Thai'-
land project itself.
None of the demonstrators got
exactly what they wanted.
The same day as the sit-n, then
President Harlan Hatcher an-
nounced the appointment of a fa-
culty committee to review research
policy. The committee was given
its mandate amid many ad-hoc
statements on the University's re-
search.
Engineering Council, for in-
stance, gave classifiedlresearch a
more or less blanket approval
mainly because they feared its
discontinuation would have dele-
terious effects on the school's cur-
riculum and availability of funds.
Even earlier, in late October, As-
sembly's Research Policies Com-
mittee, which was later to mae
a report, made a statement fav-
oring "no change in the Univer-
sity's research p liy until a thor-
ough study can be made."

Engin's 'bastion of conservatism'
crumbles in liberalized program

By MARCIA ABRAMSON
Sometimes criticized as a bastion of con-
servatism, the- College of Engineering this
year presents one of the most liberalized
programs in the University.
Freshmen engineers will be the first to
feel the new emphasis on social sciences
and humanities and will be able to com-
plete their degree in a shorter time.
Engineering students with more than 30
hours credit will be able to take advantage
of a pass-fail program more liberal than
the one offered by the literary college.
' The new program allows degree 'comple-
tion in eight instead of 81/2 to nine terms,
reducing the .number of credit hours re-
quired from 138 to 128 by eliminating re-'
4uired free electives.
Overall requirements yin hunanities and
social sciences have been raised to an ab-
solute minimum of 24 hours and a sug-
gested minimum of 28 hours.
Traditional engineering composition
courses have been replaced by a great books
sequence. Courses in advanced English lit-.
erature are part of the recommended cur-
ricula.:
Freshmen will -also be required to take
a new four hour course in digital comput-
ing and rigid body mechanics. Computer
graphics replaces Engineering Graphics 101,
as a requirement.
The chemistry requirement has been cut
from eight hours to four. High school chem-
istry is the prerequisite.
Physics classes -have been -given a new
modern approach.
Engineering' classes have been mnodi-
fled to provide a group of core classeP in
materials, thermodynamics, particle and
rigid body mechanics, fluid mechanics, solid
mechanics and electrical engineering sci-
ence.
The. pass-fail program, recently approved
by the college's faculty, will apply for a
t1ree year trial period, subject to faculty
review.

roubled
- When the formal report of the
IAssembly Research Policies Corn-
mittee chaired by Prof. Robert E-
derfield of the chemistry depart-
ment was released in January, it
recommended:
O The University should not take
any classified contract that pre-
vents disclosure of the "exis-
tence of the contract or identity
of the sponsor .. . and the pur-
pose and scope of the research
" A nine-member faculty panel
should be established to review
proposed classified worik. How-
ever, the Vice President for Re-
search should have authority to
"over-rule the committee"
S The University should lead in
establishing an inter-university
committee to "work toward ie-
duction of federal restrictions on
publication and dissemination"
of the results of classified work.°

Courses available under pass-fail include:
* All elective classes in humanities and
social science except for those included in.
the uniform 12 hour English requirement.
All f'ee electives not specified or im-
plied as part of the student's degree pro-
gram requirements, subject to approval by,
his program advisor.
* Some technical electives, limited to one
per term and only one in either summer
half term. The same restrictions apply as
for free electives.
The student's decision to elect pass-fail
must be made within the first two weeks
of a term or the first week of a half term.
The choice must ,be registered with the En-
,i gineering College Records Office. Instruc-
tors will not be notified of pass-fail elections.
Only grades of C or above will be given
"pass" rating.
To be eligible for the Dean's Honor List,
a student must elect a minimum of 12 grad-
ed hours per term. A minimum of 65 hours
of graded credit is required for recognition
on diploma.
The literary college allows only one pass-
fail course for each of four terms.
Freshman entrance requirements have
also been liberalized. The number of units
of English has been raised from three to
four; one unit of foreign language can be
applied to this requirement, although two
as electives.
Four units of mathematics are required -
two of algebra, one ,of geometry, one half
of trigonometry, and one half of analytic
geometry or advanced topics.
Instead of two units of science, one unit
of chemistry and one of physics are speci-
fied.
The number of electives has been in-
creased from three to four as well.
. Both the Regents and the school's fac-
ulty view the new requirements as "con-
sistent with the ever-increasing demands
for upgrading the quality of engineering
education."

O Th
any
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Cover Photo
et us hope that the students
wn in the top left and bot-
right photos get together
he Undergraduate Library's
ee lounge. The UGLI,
re they are studying, is a
rite campus location for
eting new friends (see
y page 8)
'he coed shown, in the iso-
on of the Mason Hall Ian-
ge lab (bottom left) may
meet as many new dates,
she has the comfort of
wing her language require-
it will soon be finished (see
ry page '7) .
ice-President for Research
Geoffrey Norman has had,
year, concerns at least as
ous as the students' studies
story above).
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RAMBURGERSASURE CES?
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SMILING
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ANN ARBOR
2 BLKS. W. of ARBORLAND

e University should not take
contract "the purpose of
ch is to destroy human life
to incapacitate human be-
s."
e committee's recomn..enda-
directly affected only one ex-
University contract: Project
a $261,192 project in Thai-
sponsored by a "very sensi-
agency in Washington."
th no substantive changes in
fied research forthcoming,
nt Government Counctl put. - -
mestion "should classified re--
h at the University be con-
d?" to an all-student refer-
m.
t very broadly worded ques-
was defeated leaving those
were still concerned about the
ersity's classified research in
ry difficult position.

A. Geoffrey Norman

1~ .11

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