This course is intended to expose students to issues regarding the social and ethical implications of technology. In recent years, many computer professionals have become increasingly aware of the societal impacts of the increased use of computer technology in everyday life. While technology promises many benefits to our society and economy, there are also well founded concerns that serious problems may arise. This course is intended to introduce students to the main issues surrounding the computerization of society, and to help students understand the development, application, and consequences of information technology as social as well as technical processes. Topics include computerization and the quality of work life, unemployment, personal privacy and freedom of information, ownership and rights to software, and the manageability, risks and accountability of complex systems. The course seeks to foster in students a critical approach to the understanding of the impact of technology in society via the academic skills of reading, writing and argumentation. The course is designed to meet the program WRIT requirement for CS majors.

  • Credits: 3
  • Frequency: At least once a year


Requirements and Grading

Several short writing assignments (5-6) pages including written critiques of the written work of others, and one longer paper (10-12 pages). Class participation will count for 25% of the grade, short writing assignments 50% and one term paper 25%.