How Do You Invent an Alien Language?

Sunday June 24th, 2012
3:00 pm
Ballroom A

Buy the Panel Discussion DVD


Doug Vakoch - the director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI Institute, as well as the only social scientist employed by a SETI organization. He investigates how one might craft messages that could be transmitted across interstellar space and could serve to permit communication between humans and extraterrestrials even without face-to-face contact. He is particularly interested in how we might compose messages that would begin to express what it’s like to be human.
Paul R. Frommer - The linguist who developed the Na’vi language for James Cameron’s film Avatar, is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Management Communication and former Director of the Center for Management Communication at USC’s Marshall School of Business. Prior to joining Marshall, he lived and taught in Malaysia and Iran and spent ten years in the business world as vice president and strategic planner for a Los Angeles corporation. His teaching at USC included courses in Advanced Writing for Business and Cross-cultural Business Communication for Non-native Speakers. Since the release of Avatar, Na’vi has attracted a worldwide community of enthusiasts who are assisting Dr. Frommer in expanding the language further. In addition to Na’vi, he also developed the Martian language for the Disney film John Carter. He is co-author, with Edward Finegan, of Looking at Languages: A Workbook in Elementary Linguistics. Buy Paul R. Frommer's SETIcon II Interview DVD
Marc Okrand - devised the Vulcan dialogue heard in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and later developed the Klingon language and coached the actors using it in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He contributed Klingon dialogue to several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and the later Star Trek television series, and he created Romulan and Vulcan dialogue for the 2009 Star Trek film. Okrand is the author of three books about Klingon – The Klingon Dictionary (first published 1985), The Klingon Way (1996), and Klingon for the Galactic Traveler (1997). Buy Marc Okrand's SETIcon II Interview DVD
Frank DrakeFrank Drake - conducted the first modern SETI experiment in 1960, continues his life-long interest in the detection of extraterrestrial sentient life. He participates in an on-going search for optical signals of intelligent origin, carried out with colleagues from Lick Observatory and the University of California at Berkeley, using the 40-inch Nickel telescope at Lick. Frank also continues to investigate radio telescope designs that optimize the chances of success for SETI (he proposed the plan used in the design of the Allen Telescope Array, based on some of his work of more than forty years ago.) He is also interested in the possibility that the very numerous red dwarf stars, stars that are much less bright than the Sun, might host habitable planets. Find out why Frank thinks you should attend SETIcon II


Pierre Schwob, SETI Institute Trustee is the CEO and founder of Classical Archives. He was adjunct assistant professor computer science, N.Y.U. 1981-86; holder of several U.S. and foreign patents; founded PRS Corporation, an R&D company in 1978 where he developed the award-winning ID LOGIC® technology which was incorporated into a U.S. national standard and licensed to the major consumer electronics manufacturers