Schedule for CS 4001: Computing, Society, & Professionalism

Readings are subject to change. Check the online syllabus before reading.
Date Topic Readings Assignment
8/22 Welcome & Overview    
8/24 Case Study: Therac-25
(Guest lecturer: Julia Deeb-Swihart)
8/29 Reading Arguments Writing Arguments (WA) 1 & 2  
8/31 Utilitarianism Quinn 2.1-2.3, 2.7-2.8  
9/5 Deontology & Social Contract Theory Quinn 2.6, 2.9 Reading the Argument of a Current Article
9/7 Core & Logical Structure of Arguments WA 3 & 4  
9/12 No class (hurricane Irma)    
9/14 Stakeholder Analysis & Virtue Ethics Please come to class with a short quote from one of the readings that you find interesting.
9/19 Evidence (Guest lecture, Shagun Jhaver) Applying Ethical Frameworks to a Dilemma
9/21 Professional Ethics
  • Quinn Chapter 9
  • A copy of the ACM code draft 3 will be handed out in class. This is NOT for distribution. In advance of class, you may read "draft 2.
9/26 Freedom of Speech & Networked Communications Quinn 3.2, 3.5-3.8
Skim the rest of the chapter
Analysis of New ACM Code
9/28 Privacy
  • Quinn Chapter 5, Chapter 6 through 6.5, 6.7
10/3 Privacy and the Government Term Paper Proposals
10/5 Discussion of Term Paper Proposals
& Midterm Review
  Come to class prepared to tell everyone about your term paper topic.
10/10 Fall break (no class)    
10/12 Midterm    
10/17 Responding to Alternate Views & Argument Structures WA 6 & 7  
10/19 Intellectual Property Quinn Chapter 4, through end of 4.6  
10/24 Software as Intellectual Property Quinn Chapter 4, continued (4.7-end) Term Paper Outline
10/26 Computer Reliability & Software Warranties Quinn Chapter 8.1-8.4, 8.7-8.8  
10/31 The Patriot Act
  • Quinn 6.6
  • Wikipedia Articles (skim, except where otherwise noted):
    11/2 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.
    11/7 Do Artifacts Have Politics?
    • "Do Artifacts Have Politics?" by Langdon Winner (electronic reserve)
    11/9 Term Paper Discussion Come to class prepared to talk about your term paper Term Papers
    11/14 Work and Wealth  
    11/16 Visual Argument Visual & Statistical Thinking: Displays of Evidence for Decision Making by Tufte  
    11/21, 11/23 No class--Happy Thanksgiving!    
    11/28 Two topics: Ariely & Simulation
    • Chapter "The Context of our Character, Part 1: Why We Are Dishonest, and What We Can Do About It" from "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely (electronic reserve)
    • Seductions of Sim by Paul Starr
    • Quinn 8.6
    11/30 Net Neutrality Add a reason for and/or against repealing net neutrality rules, or an article about net neutrality you found persuasive to this document
    12/5 Final Exam Review    
    12/7, 2:50PM--5:40PM Final Exam    

    Readings and assignments are subject to change.