A New Level 2 Open Elective

The Cosmos in Perspective:
Information and Life

The Cosmos in Perspective: Information and Life, is a new level 2 open elective available to all students at Western Sydney University.


The unit is delivered using Blended Learning Technologies, with the Lectures and Tutorials making use of the School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematic's "Access Grid" facility on the Campbelltown, Parramatta  and Penrith campusses.

Students enrolled in this unit will make use of Penrith Observatory (Opens in a new window) for the Practicals.

Unit Code: 300966

Unit Summary:

Across the world and across history, humans have wondered about the universe, its history and evolution. From the Big Bang to the end of the Universe, from our own Solar System to the farthest supercluster of galaxies, our knowledge and understanding of the Universe in which we live is growing at an amazing rate. In this unit, we survey the cosmos from two different perspectives relating to complexity: The perspectives of Information and Life. From the information perspective, we examine the growth of complexity and structure in the universe, and consider the uses of information theory to understand cosmic evolution. We know that Life exists in at least one place in the Universe, but know little about how common it might be - we consider the requirements for life to exist and the possibility of other life in the Universe by examining the cosmos at scales from planets to the universe. We consider cultural perspectives on the cosmos, including that of indigenous Australians. This unit is non-technical and is suitable as an introductory unit for students in computing, engineering and science, and as a general education unit for students in all other areas.