CS 293

Social and Ethical Issues in Computing

Fall 2014

Tuesdays 1:00–1:50 — CENT 1030   § 002
Wednesdays 1:00–1:50 — CENT 1030   § 001

Prof. Patrick Gage Kelley

pgk @ unm.edu

Schedule / all the important details

  1. Tuesday/Wednesday 19/20 August Discussion: Introduction and class goals.
    Discussion: Note: You are all Philosophers. You are all Computer Scientists.
    Today in class: What Happens to #Ferguson Affects Ferguson
    Today in class: Today in class: Today in class: War Gear Flows to Police Departments
    Learn more: Are Police Forces Excessively Armed?
    Learn more: State of Emergency in Ferguson Quote:
  2. Tuesday/Wednesday 26/27 August Discussion: Facebook, Algorithms, User Experiments.
    Read for class: Read for class: Read for class: Optional: Optional: Discussion: Facebook, Algorithms, User Experiments
    Essay due: What do you think of Facebook manipulating the news feed?
  3. Tuesday/Wednesday 2/3 September Discussion: The new ethics of technology.
    Read for class: Maner– Is Computer Ethics Unique?
    Read for class: Johnson– Computer Ethics
    Essay due:
  4. Tuesday/Wednesday 9/10 September Discussion: Self driving cars.
    Read for class: Read for class: Read for class: Essay due:
  5. Tuesday/Wednesday 16/17 September Discussion: The ACM Code of Ethics.
    Read for class: ACM Code of Ethics
    Consider: Ordine Gemoetria Demonstrata
    Consider: Essay due:
  6. Tuesday/Wednesday 23/24 September Discussion: Project proposals
    Ideas due: Project proposal ideas:
    Submit three ideas. Each idea should be no more than three sentences. The project must be somehow related to a social/ethical issue that is a result of computing or technology broadly. You should submit three very different ideas, all of which you are interested in, so that we can find a good, new, compelling direction for your project. This project could be a book review, an original essay, an experimental study, an explanatory brochure, or something completely different.

  7. Tuesday/Wednesday 30/1 September/October Discussion: Drones.

    Choose a couple of the following readings. (At least two).

    View for class: Read for class: Read for class: Read for class: Read for class: Read for class: Essay due:
  8. Tuesday/Wednesday 7/8 October No Class! -- Project Proposals due

    Email them to pgk @ unm . edu by Wednesday at 1pm (for both classes)

    Your goal here is to convince me that (1) your project is interesting (2) you are actually interested in it (3) you are going to say something/do something that hasn't been said/done before and (4) there are enough resources/information out there that this can actually happen

    • your name
    • your email address
    • and a potential project name (you can change this later)
    • a one paragraph description of the project (this is the one you are really going to want to do / commit to)
    • at least five (5) links to starter ideas, arguments, facts, thoughts, essays (you don't need to have read these entirely, but they should be reasonable...)
    • and a short description of what you will turn in (paper, website, comparison table, app, poster, etc.)
  9. Tuesday/Wednesday 14/15 October Discussion: Privacy.
    Read for class: Common Data Project
    Optional: Optional: Essay due:
  10. Tuesday/Wednesday 21/22 October Unknown Topic
    Résumé help: Why I Won't Read YOUR Resume
    Résumé help: Making a Good CS Resume
    Résumé help: Samples
    Résumés due.

  11. Tuesday/Wednesday 28/29 October Project Presentations I
    George - apple privacy
    James - censorship
    Kenneth - privoxy
    Preet - internet safety
    Connor - snapchat
    Tyler - facebook
    Miri - gmail porn
    Chris - adblock (unethical?)
    Javier - mobile app permissions

  12. Tuesday/Wednesday 04/05 November Project Presentations II
    Nathan - smartphone encryption
    Connor - bitcoin
    Alfred - children at risk
    Andrew - football
    Ben - self-driving cars
    David - 3D printed guns
    Michael - crowdfunding
    Maria - army gaming
    Sam - journalism

  13. Tuesday/Wednesday 11/12 November Project Presentations III
    Riley - bionic super legs
    Josh Donckels - AI is taking over
    William - cyberdine
    Tyler - prosthetics
    Brie - emma watson
    Hunter - neuroenhancement
    Robert - toddlers
    Truman - generational gap
    Jessica - design obsoleteness
    Tony - VR

  14. Tuesday/Wednesday 18/19 November Project Presentations IV
    Josh Demick - interstellar probes
    Robin - mind control
    Jonathan - deep web
    Michael - creating things
    Eric - !!!
    Atle - computer slaves
    Auzy - AI/robots
    Ana - deidentifying twitter
    Kendall - internet void
    Christiaan - internet a right?

  15. Monday 24 November First draft due!
  16. Tuesday/Wednesday 25/26 November No class because Thanksgiving!
  17. Tuesday/Wednesday 02/03 December The Singularity
  18. Finals The end is nigh.

    If you want to [ get your résumé / get more feedback on your paper / just hang out ] I will be available :
    Thurs. Dec. 4th from 1pm-4:30pm at Satellite Coffee across the street on Central
    Mon. Dec. 8th from 1pm-4:30pm at Satellite Coffee
    Tues. Dec 9th from 1pm-4pm in my office (Farris 301B)
    Wed. Dec. 10th from 1pm-4:30pm at Satellite Coffee

    You can turn in your final papers at any of those times, or over email.

    Final draft due by the end of Friday December 12th! (hard deadline! seriously!)

Syllabus Details

What is this?

Society is consistently challenged by new advances, inventions, and the repercussions of technology.

This class explores these issues, from the philosophical foundations of ethics to the minutia of technology policy. Throughout the course we will cover privacy, databases, intellectual property, computer crime, safety and reliability, professional responsibility and codes, the Internet, electronic communities, smartphones, the cloud, and the social and legal impacts of these and other technologies.


Nearly every week you will have to turn in a short (ideally 1 page) written essay. These should be turned in, printed out, each Tuesday/Wednesday in class.


You are expect to attend class, to have completed the assigned readings, and to participate in class discussion. If you must miss a class, please send an email in advance. All assignments should be done individually.