Schedule for CS 4001: Computing, Society, & Professionalism

Readings are subject to change. Check the online syllabus before reading.
Date Topic Readings Assignment
8/19 Welcome & Overview    
8/21 Case Study: Therac-25  
8/26 Reading Arguments Writing Arguments (WA) 1 & 2  
8/28 Utilitarianism Quinn Chapter 2, through end of 2.8  
9/2 Deontology & Social Contract Theory Quinn Chapter 2, 2.9 to end Reading the Argument of a Current Article
9/4 Core & Logical Structure of Arguments WA 3 & 4  
9/9 Stakeholder Analysis & Virtue Ethics
  • In a Different Voice by Carol Gilligan, pp. 25-39 (electronic reserve)
  • Virtue Ethics, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Please come to class with a short quote from one of the readings that you find interesting.
9/11 Professional Ethics  
9/16 Freedom of Speech & Networked Communications Quinn 3.2, 3.5-3.7
Skim the rest of the chapter
Applying Ethical Frameworks to a Dilemma
9/18 Do Artifacts Have Politics? "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" by Langdon Winner (electronic reserve)  
9/23 Evidence
  • WA 5
  • 4001 term paper, on t-square as a resource
9/25 Privacy  
9/30 Privacy and the Government Term Paper Proposals
10/2 Discussion of Term Paper Proposals
& Midterm Review
  Come to class prepared to tell everyone about your term paper topic.
10/7 Midterm    
10/9 Moving your Audience & Responding to Alternate Views WA 6 & 7  
10/16 Intellectual Property Quinn Chapter 4, through end of 4.6  
10/21 Software as Intellectual Property Quinn Chapter 4, continued (4.7-end) Term Paper Outline
10/23 The Patriot Act Wikipedia Articles (skim, except where otherwise noted):  
10/28 The NSA and Edward Snowden Add the name of a person involved in these events to the class wiki on T-Square. Pick someone no one else has chosen yet. Take notes on what is said about them as you watch the Frontline documentary, and supplement that by doing some research online (Wikipedia is adequate in most cases). Come to class prepared to tell the class:
  • Who is this person? What is their background and what is their job?
  • What role did they play in these events? Tell their story.
  • What important choices did they make?
  • What happened to them as a result?
  • How would you evaluate their choices?
Relevant people include NSA employees, politicians, lawyers, journalists, etc. This counts towards your class participation grade.
10/30 Fair Use and the DMCA
(guest lecturer: Casey Fiesler)
11/4 Visual Argument Visual & Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Decision Making by Tufte  
11/6 Computer Reliability & Software Warranties Quinn Chapter 8.1-8.4, 8.7-8.8  
11/11 Term Paper Discussion Come to class prepared to talk about your term paper Term Papers
11/13 Work and Wealth Quinn 10.1-10.4, 10.6  
11/18 The Participation Divide  
11/20 When do People Cheat?
Ethical Conduct in the Real World
Chapter 11 from "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely (electronic reserve)  
11/25, 11/27 No class--Happy Thanksgiving!    
12/2 Simulation    
12/4 Final Exam Review    

Readings and assignments are subject to change.