CSCE 390 (Spring 2012): Lecture Log

January 12 (Thu), 2012 HW1 assigned: exercises at the end of chs. 1 and 2 of textbook (referred to as [B]). See elsewhere for details of submission. Administrative information: objectives, textbook, syllabus, grading policy. The students take the Ross-Barger philosophic inventory (cf. ch.4 [B]).

January 19 (Thu), 2012 Philosophical belief systems (ch.3 [B]): introduction, metaphysics (ontology), epistemology, axiology (ethics and aesthetics), idealism.

January 26 (Thu), 2012 HW2 assigned: paper report on visit to SET Career Fair of February 1, 2012, due in class on February 2, 2012. See main page of course web site for details. Presentation by Ms. Helen Fields, Director of the CEC Satellite Office of the Career Center on the value of experiential learning and preparation for the upcoming career fair.

February 2 (Thu), 2012 HW1 returned. HW2 collected. HW3 assigned: exercises from Ch.3 [B] (one and a half pages), due Thursday, February 9, 2012. Philosophical belief systems, part II: realism, pragmatism and existentialism.

February 9 (Thu), 2012 HW3 collected. Ch.3 completed. Comments on Ch.4 (Inventory), Ch.5 (Mohr's proposal for a unified ethical theory). Ch.6 (An ethical decision making process) started.

February 16 (Thu), 2012 HW4 assigned: exercises from Chs.6 and 7 [B] (at least one page each), due Thursday, March 8, 2012. The ethical decision-making process (Ch.6 [B]): review and example. Psychology and computer ethics (Ch.7 [B]).

February 23 (Thu), 2012 HW4 assignment due date changed to Thursday, March 1, 2012. The computing field as a profession (Ch.8 [B]).

March 1 (Thu), 2012 HW5 assigned: exercises 1 and 4 at the end of Ch.9 [B], due on Thursday, March 22. (Due date was changed on 2012-03-12.) Computer-related codes of ethics (Ch.9 [B]).

March 15 (Thu), 2012 Announcement: Judea Pearl won the 2011 ACM A.M. Turing prize. Presentation by Mr. John J. Calvert, Senior Advisor, Office of Innovation Development, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, on Intellectual Property: copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and patents. (For jobs applications, go to:

March 22 (Thu), 2012 Presentation by Prof. Duncan Buell on Voting Machines.

March 29 (Thu), 2012 HW6 assigned, due 2012-04-11: Choose a topic of professional interest that includes a non-trivial ethical issue from ACM TechNews archives. Prepare a 5-slide PowerPoint presentation in which (1) you summarize the topic (with appropriate references), (2) you apply the 8-step ethical decision-making process to the problem, (3) you apply the ACM Code or the ACM/IEEE-CS Code. The PowerPoint presentation is due by 11:55pm on April 11. It must be submitted using the departmental dropbox. All students should be prepared for presentation on April 12. Some students will be asked to present in class on April 12; others on April 19, the last day of class. Three case studies for the Joint ACM/IEEE-CS Software Engineering Code.

April 5 (Thu), 2012 Presentation by Dr. Csilla Farkas on Computer Security and Information Assurance.

April 12 (Thu), 2012 Student presentations.

April 5 (Thu), 2012 Student presentations. Note: many students did not have time to present. This is normal for a class of this size. If you did not have time to present, I will assess HW6 by reviewing your PowerPoint submission.