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Course Description

Computing permeates our lives and environment, raising issues of fairness, safety, security, and privacy, among others, in a variety of contexts, including social media, connected vehicles, and socio-economic stratification. It is increasingly difficult for computing professionals to avoid these kinds of issues. This course aims to equip practitioners with background knowledge (including some relevant history) and conceptual tools (including ethical frameworks and ways of thinking about risk) for thinking constructively-both as computing professionals and as members of society-about challenging ethical and policy issues in which information technology plays a key role. As part of this process, we will apply this thinking to a number of relevant historical and contemporary case studies. Upon completing this course, students will be in an improved position to arrive at defensible ethical analyses and conclusions.

 

This course assumes a basic knowledge of computer science, software engineering, and/or information systems, such as one might obtain from an introductory or survey course or from practical experience. An interest in current events related to these is also helpful.