age 2 - The Michigan Daily - Sunday, January 22, 1984
Sen or: 4fter the storm
By SUE BARTO
He is witty, articulate and eminently
refined-hardly a candidate to stir con-
troversy. But Thomas Senior, a
professor of electrical and computer
engineering, was in the eye of the storm
last term, when student groups took
over his radiation laboratory twice in
one week to protest his Pentagon-spon-
Senior says he is not bitter about last
November's sit-ins, although at the
time he reacted angrily to some of the
group's charges, particularly their
assertions that he lied about the real
purpose of his research.
During the sit-ins, Senior was
receiving calls from across the country
about his research projects. His office,
decorated with little more than a plant,
a British flag and models of a B-1 Bom-
ber and a 747 jet, is much quieter now.
IT IS DOMINATED by the presence of'
Senior himself, a tall, self-assured man
with his white hair combed straight
In the presence of the protesters,
Senior displayed a remarkable com-
posure, even accepting a pink Hostess
Sno-ball from the second group, who
called themselves the Nuclear Saints of
America. The group stayed for 13
hours, but left when police officers
came to arrest them.
Senior was singled out for the
protests because of his outspoken op-
position to restrictions on non-classified
research on campus, and for his many
projects sponsored by the defense
But almost as much as the research
itself, Senior's masterly command of
data concerning his work and smooth
arguments frustrate his opponents. In
a debate at the Cafipus Chapel a year
ago, Senior easily defended his work
when unprepared critics confused a
number of his projects.
IN NOVEMBER'S 48-hour blockade
of Senior's radiation laboratory by the
Progressive Student network, the group
was more prepared. They brought
copies of his contracts for such projects
as the effects of an electromagnetic
pulse on aircraft. Senior said the
research was meant to protect delicate
aircraft equipment from lightning
bolts, while PSN charged that the Pen-
tagon's real-purpose is to allow planes
tqigqntnue functioning ter.a nuclear
PSN member Chris Hill calls the
work "a blatant expression of weapons
research," But Senior, true to form,
cooly responds, "To be quite honest,
one can never be absolutely sure how (a
research project) is going to be used."
"I'm not sure why they picked on me.
perhaps half of ft is that this
laboratory is called the radiation
laboratory," he said.
"DURING the demon-
strations, reporters were calling
from all over the country asking 'how
much radiation are the students being
exposed to?' "Senior recalls.
In comparison with the more violent
protests of the '60s, however, which for-
ced the University to abandon the bulk
of its Pentagon-sponsored research,
Senior said last year's sit-ins were
more an irritation than a serious
"While I think the demonstrations
were irresponsible, the students were
extremely responsible," he said.
"There was no meeting of minds, but
one did not fear for your personal
safety. In the '60s. . . (the demon-
strations) were aimed to insult you per-
sonally. You know, obscenities,
rudeness and everything else."
SENIOR HAS been working to
develop sensors to measure the impact
of an electromagnetic pulse, and this
summer the Air Force will fly planes
equipped with the sensors into thunder-
storms to measure the force of lightning
bolts and begin to find ways to protect
"I hope when those aircraft go up
next summer, what they experience is
lightning," Senior said, but he added,
"I don't deny it, by the way, that the
same techniques can be used for other
Some faculty members feel Senior
has been -unfairly persecuted for his
REFERRING TO the sit-ins,
Business Administration Prof. Herbert
Hildebrandt credited Senior with
"patience that goes beyond what most
of us would bear."
'He is the preeminent gentleman,"
said Hildebrandt, chairman of the
Senate Advisory Committee on Univer-
sity Affairs, and Senior's frequent ten-
nis and bridge partner. "Without
question he typifies the stereotype of
respectability in a British-born person.
Senior came to the University in 1957
on what was to have been a one-year
leave of absence from the Royal Radar
Establishment at Malvern, England.
That leave has stretched to 26 years
now, and having "made a little rut" in
Ann Arbor, Senior plans to stay.
THIS TERM Senior is only teaching
one class - Mathematical Methods in
Systems Analysis. He begins the class
promptly at 8:10, looking energetic, and
Daily Photo by DOUG MCMAHON
Electrical and Computer Engineering Prof. Thomas Senior enjoys this
term's tranquility after his radiation lab was invaded by student activists
twice last term.
Senior shows the class a shortcut to
solving an equation using "the finger
method," where he covers part of the
problem with his finger. "To those of
you with stubby fingers, just use
'There was no meeting of minds, but one did
not fear for your personal safety. In the '60s
... (the demonstrations) were aimed to in-
sult you personally.'
Students in his classes describe him
as a clear, concise lecturer who holds
their interest. "Most teachers aren't
quite so dramatic," says engineering
sophomore Julie Ligtenberg. "It keeps
SENIOR spent his undergraduate
days at Victoria University in Man-
chester, England. He began teaching
mathematics during World War II to
high school-age students.
He went on to receive a masters
degree in applied mathematics from-
Victoria University in 1950 and a doc-
torate in research from Cambridge
University in 1954.
One of the biggest differences he sees
between school then and now is the size
"When I went to school, a class of 30
was a large class," he says. "I'm still
horrified - I suppose that's not too
strong to say - that we have to teach
such large sections of classes, but we
don't have any alternative."
Senior has four children, all of them
Compiled from Associated Press and
United Press International reports
U.S. tests anti-satellite missile
WASHINGTON - The Air Force announced yesterday that it has carried
out this country's first flight test of a sophisticated anti-satellite missile fired
from an F-15 fighter.
An Air Force spokesman, Maj. Ron Rand, said the service "conducted an
unarmed test of the booster and booster guidance system of the U.S. Air-
Launched Miniature Vehicle Anti-Satellite."
"The ASAT missile was launched from an F-15 flying out of Edwards Air
Force Base, Calif." he said.
Rand said: "There was no target involved in the test, which was conducted
in air space over the western test range of Air Force Space Division's
Western Space and Missile Center at Vandenburg Air Force Base, Calif.
Specific details of the test, and the test results are classified."
The missile was launched from the plane at 10:50 a.m. PST, he said.
Rand noted that while the Air Force had been conducting "Captive-carry"
tests over the past year - taking the missile aloft strapped to an F-15 --
yesterday's test involved the first actual firing of the ASAT missile.
Norwegian-official arrested on
suspicion of spying for Soviets
OSLO, Norway-A top Norwegian official responsible for press coverage
of last week's visit by Secretary of State George Shultz has been arrested on
suspicion of spying for the Soviet Union, the chief prosecutor said yesterday.
Arne Treholt, 41, head of information in the Norwegian Foreign Office and
a former counsellor with the Norwegian delegation to the United Nations,
was carrying secret documents when arrested Friday, Prosecutor-General
Magnus Flornes said.
"He was arrested and charged with espionage at Fornebu airport as he
was on the point of leaving the country. He has admitted to having had
several meetings with representatives of the KGB and to having handed
over secret documents," Flornes said.
"When he was arrested he had secret documents on his person," he said.
Treholt was one of the Norwegian Foreign Office's most trusted officials
and had access to a wide range of Norwegian and NATO classified documen-
Salvadoran rebds hit power plant
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador-Leftist guerrillas attacked a power
station with bazookas and bombed an electrical pylon, blacking out the
eastern half of El Salvador yesterday.
Army sources reported heavy fighting in San Agustin, 55 miles east of San
Salvador, as the military attempted to clear Usulutan province of guerrillas.
Four national guardsmen were killed and two wounded when rebels
blasted a power station with bazookas and automatic weapons. fire at San.
Rafael Cedros, 24 miles east of San Salvador, a Defense Ministry spokesman
said. There were no reports of rebel casualties.
The raid and another on the town of Santo Domingo, three miles farther
east, appeared aimed at diverting public attention and military resources
from the major army counterinsurgncy drive that began Friday in
The guerrillas also bombed an electrical pylon near Mercedes Umana, 65
miles east of the capital in Usulutan, said a power company engineer in San
Miguel who asked not 4o be identified. Residents said it blacked out La
Union, Usulutan, San Miguel and Morazon provinces.
Insurgents shell Gemayel palace
BEIRUT, Lebanon-Syrian-backed insurgents shelled President Amin
Gemayel's government palace yesterday during a four-hour artillery battle
with the Lebanese army that killed two soldiers.
No casualties were reported at the palace, where the 41-year-old president
was meeting with university alumni, but state radio said two army corporals
were kiled'afld another soldieF wYuffded elsew'heie driing the barrages.
Radio stations blared warnings to residents t'-remin indoors and to
motorists to stay off highways when the shelling of population centers began
at midmorning yesterday for a second consecutive day.
Hundreds of families huddled in basements and bomb shelters, and streets
were deserted in east Beirut and suburban Baabda, Hadath, Fayadieh and
The shelling subsided in the afternoon, then was renewed in the evening in
Lebanon's central mountains, where army positions came under artillery
No.civilian casualties were reported. On Friday, 11 civilians were killed in
Christian neighborhoods of Beirut and in Druse areas of the mountains.
Libyan diplomat shot in Rome
ROME - Two gunmen shot and critically wounded Libya's top-ranking diplomat in
Italy yesterday outside his home, police said.
The two young, well-dressed men walked up to.Ammar el Taggazy in
broad daylight and fired several pistol shots at him before escaping on foot,
according to Italian news reports.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
El Taggazy is the head of the Popula Committee, which represents the
regime of Libyan leader Col. Moammar Khadafy in the Italian capital. The
committee was formed in September 1979 and functions as a substitute for
the post of ambassador.
Italy's Socialist president, Sandro Pertini, expressed "profound in-
dignation" over the attack, his office said.
The Italian news agency ANSA quoted police as saying the gunmen were
"elegantly dressed" and used a silencer-equipped pistol. It was not known if
a second gun was used.
Sunday, January 22, 1984
Vol. XCIV-No. 93
The Michigan Daily is edited and managed by students at The University
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Managing Editor.....................JANET RAE Levy.nTim Mokinen ,AdamnMartin. Mike McGraw,
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seemingly oblivious to the sound of
stragglers shuffling in late.
Conservatively dressed in charcoal
trousers, herringbone jacket, and tie,
he demonstrates a "delightfully simple
problem with a 99 percent chance of
making no error whatsoever." He
keeps students alert with. animated
gestures and deep bends of his knees to
reach down and cover the chalkboard
from top to bottom with formulas.
the point," he says.
THE ANTICS are all a necessary part
of teaching an early class, he explains.
"You're putting on a little bit of an act
at eight in the morning."
"You really have to be fighting
against a student who's sitting in the
back row who's just come in from zero-
degree weather to an over-heated
classroom. It's so natural just to keel
over and fall asleep," he says.
Presidential candidates debate arms at Iowa forum
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Under-
dog candidates for the Democratic
presidential nomination differed over
military spending yesterday, with for-
mer Sen. George McGovern advocating
a 20-25 percent cut in the defense budget
and Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.
Carolina) saying cuts would cost more
in the long run.
Sen. Alan Cranston (D-California)
joining McGovern and Hollings in a
forum on nuclear arms reduction, said
the next president should first seek to
"totally end the arms race and then we
can talk about a 50 percent cut."
The forum was sponsored by the
Local Elected Officials of America,
whose president Mayor Larry Agran of
Irvine, Calif., said that all potential
presidential candidates including
President Reagan had been invited.
Iowa holds its precinct caucuses Feb.
ATTENDING in addition to the three
Democrats was former Republican
Rep. John Anderson of Illinois, poten-
tial presidential candidate of the newly
formed National Unity Party
Anderson, who sought the presidency
in 1980 as an independent, and Hollings
differed during the debate on the issue
of deploying Pershing 2 missiles in.
Hollings defended the deployment as
a response to the corresponding Soviet
intermediate range missile, the SS-20.
ANDERSON said, however, "I just
don't believe putting the whole world on
this hair spring is a contribution. to
McGoverns said he believed a spen-
ding reduction of 20 to 25 percent could
be achieved without sacrificing any
vital military defenses.
"Until I came into this race," the
former South Dakota senator said
"nobody advocated an absolute reduc-
tion in military spending."
HOLLINGS, who advocates an
across-the-board freeze of government
spending, replied, "You will find out
that if you try to cut, you will end up
Hollings contended such cuts would
merely delay the purchase of. military
hardware to a time when they would be
"You can freeze; you can hold the
line at a sensible figure where you don't
lose money," Hollings said.
CRANSTON, said that whether the
military budget grows at what he said
is its current rate of 17 percent a year or
is cut 25 percent, "we are not really get-
ting to the heart of it.
"We have to totally end the arms race
and then we can talk about a 50 percent
cut," Cranston said. He said he would
seek negotiations with the Soviet Union
to control nuclear spending, but would
propose significant reductions in
military spending programs without
waiting for a Soviet response.
Cranston mentioned the MX missile
and a new nuclear aircraft carrier and
a proposed personnel vehicle as areas
Anderson said that "I just want to
add another place where I think we
could cut and that is the B-1 bomber."
Anderson's remark was greeted with
applause from the crowd.
Cranston supports the B-1 bomber,
which is made in California, because he
says it is needed for the nation's defen-
Abortion opponents protest
Supreme -Court ruling
(Continued from Page 1)
on television will help persuade the
state House of Representatives to sup-
port anti-abortion legislation.
ALTHOUGH temperatures dipped to
record lows yesterday, few marchers
complained and many said.their cause
was worth the discomfort.
"We feel a need for (the protest),"
said Cathy Pierson, a registered nurse.
"If the government starts paying (for
abortions), it will become a birth con-
trol method," she said.
Abortion is "simply murder," she
Gov. James Blanchard last year vetoed
legislation that would have cut state-
More anti-abortion protests will be
held nationwide this month, Hoppe
said, including a march in Washington
D.C. which many of yesterday's
demonstrators said they would attend.