Course: CS 4001 Computing, Society, & Professionalism
Term: Spring 2017
Location: College of Computing 101
Time: Tuesday and Thursday 1:35-2:55pm
Office Hours: Friday 11am-12noon
Teaching Assistant: Sarmistha Dutta
In this class, you will learn about:
- Ethics: What do "right" and "wrong" mean anyway? How is "ethical" different from "legal"? We'll learn about several philosophical approaches to ethics including utilitiarianism, Kantianism, social contract theory, and virtue ethics. The goal is for students to be able to address ethical dilemmas with reasoned arguments, grounded in a combination of these ethical theories.
- Professional Ethics: What special responsibilities do we have as computing professionals? What do the Software Engineering Code of Ethics and ACM Code of Ethics say, and how can we use these in our daily practice?
- Computing and Society: In what ways does computer technology impact society? We'll talk about a host of issues including privacy, intellectual property, and freedom of speech.
- Argumentation: How do you construct a well-reasoned argument? Whatever you go on to do in your professional career, your success will arguably depend more on your oral and written communication skills than on your technical skills. This class is one of your few and precious opportunities to work to improve those skills.
Assignments and Grading
Class Attendance - 10%
Class Participation - 10% (Contributions to the class Piazza discussions count towards class participation)
Homeworks - 20% (Term paper proposal and outline count as homework assignments)
[Homework 1 | Homework 2 | Homework 3 | Homework 4]
Term Paper - 25%
[Term Paper Proposal | Proposal Presentation | Outline | Full Paper | Final Paper Group Presentations: Schedule, Format]
Midterm - 15%
Final Exam - 20%
Class Attendance. Class attendance is required. Please remember to sign the attendance sheet each class. Please do not sign the attendance sheet if you are more than 15 minutes late to class. If you need to miss class for a legitimate reason, please send email to the instructor and TA, preferably before class.
You may miss up to two classes without it affecting your grade. However, please note that exams are strongly based on material that is covered in class, and being there is the best way to know what you need to know. If you do miss a class, please do get notes from a classmate.
Reference Format. Please use APA format for all references. APA format is described in Appendix 2 of the Writing Arguments textbook, and also here.
ESL. If English is not your first language, you may request to not be graded on your writing for a particular individual assignment, including the term paper. This means you won't be penalized for bad writing, but you also won't get credit for good writing. To take advantage of this option, you must mark "ESL" (English as a Second Language) on the first page of your assignment/paper. This option is not available for group assignments. We still of course expect you to try to write in correct English, and will do our best to offer useful feedback on your writing.
Late Policy. Students need to submit all of their materials on or before the deadline to qualify for 100% credit. 24 hours delay will result in 25% penalty; 48 hours late submissions will incur 50% penalty. Materials submitted past 48 hours will not be accepted, and will entered a zero grade.
Honor Code. This class abides by the Georgia Tech Honor Code. All assigned work is expected to be individual, except where explicitly written otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with your classmates; however, what you hand in should be your own work.
- Ethics for the Information Age, Seventh Edition, by Michael Quinn (You may rent an electronic copy rather than buying it.)
- Writing Arguments: A Rhetoric with Readings, Tenth Edition by John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, and June Johnson. (You may rent an electronic copy rather than buying it.) (Abbreviation: WA)
- Visual & Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Decision Making by Edward R. Tufte. Graphics Press, 1997. (Only Chapter 2 needed; a reprint can be ordered on Amazon)
- Articles on electronic reserve.
- Articles available online.
The GT Library's Web Localizer is useful for research you need to do for this class. You may also need it to access some assigned readings.
Class Schedule *
|10-Jan||Welcome and Overview|
|12-Jan||Case Study: Therac-25||"Medical Devices: The Therac-25" by Nancy Leveson|
|Radiation Offers New Cures, and Ways to Do Harm (New York Times, January 23, 2010)|
|17-Jan||Reading Arguments||Writing Arguments 1 & 2|
|19-Jan||Utilitarianism||Quinn 2.1-2.3, 2.7-2.8|
|24-Jan||Homework 1 Discussion||Homework 1 Due|
|26-Jan||Deontology & Social Contract Theory||Quinn 2.6, 2.9|
|31-Jan||Stakeholder Analysis & Virtue Ethics||In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan, pp. 25-39|
|Virtue Ethics, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy|
|2-Feb||Professional Ethics||Quinn Chapter 9|
|Using the New ACM Code of Ethics in Decision Making by Anderson et al.|
|Homework 2 Due|
|7-Feb||Freedom of Speech & Networked Communications||Quinn 3.2, 3.5-3.8; skim the rest of the chapter|
|9-Feb||Government and Technology Use (No class)||The impact of polices on government social media usage by Bertot et al.|
|Using ICTs to create a culture of transparency by Bertot et al.|
|14-Feb||Core, Logical Structure of an Argument||Writing Arguments Chapters 3, 4|
|16-Feb||Evidence||Writing Arguments Chapter 5|
|Academic Urban Legends by Ole Bjorn Rekdal|
|21-Feb||Privacy||Quinn Chapter 5|
|"Anonymized" data really isn't by Nate Anderson in ars technica|
|23-Feb||Privacy and the Government||Quinn Chapter 6|
|EU-US Airline Passenger Data Disclosure (skim)|
|Homework 3 Due|
|28-Feb||No class||Term Paper Proposals Due|
|2-Mar||Discussion of Term Paper Proposals||Term Paper Proposal (In-Class) Presentations (Slide due on TSquare on the day before)|
|9-Mar||Intellectual Property||Quinn Chapter 4.1-4.5|
|14-Mar||Software as IP||Quinn Chapter 4.6-4.10|
|16-Mar||Rhetorical Tools and Claims||Writing Arguments 6, 7|
|21-Mar||Spring Break||Term Paper Outline Due|
|28-Mar||Visual Argument||Visual & Statistical Thinking by Tufte|
|30-Mar||Computer and Network Security||Quinn Chapter 7|
|4-Apr||Computer Reliability & Software Warranties||Quinn Chapter 8.1-8.4, 8.7-8.8|
|6-Apr||The Patriot Act||Quinn Chapter 6.6|
|The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act|
|The USA Patriot Act|
|National Security Letters|
|Watch before coming to class: United States of Secrets, Part One and Part Two|
|Homework 4 Due|
|11-Apr||Term Paper Group Presentations (Part I)||All Presentation Slides Due on 10-Apr|
|13-Apr||Term Paper Group Presentations (Part II)||Full Term Paper Due|
|18-Apr||Work and Wealth||Quinn Chapter 10|
|The Planet Money T-Shirt Project|
|Whither the digital divide? by Mark Warschauer|
|20-Apr||Final Exam Review|
|25-Apr||Final Exam (Take-Home)|
* Topics to be covered and the corresponding readings are subject to change. Please always check the online schedule.
Acknowledgments: Class materials adapted from the offering by Amy Bruckman.