CS 385.04 Week 16 Pre-Class: Professional Ethics

Links: [Course Home] [Schedule] [Moodle]


For this assignment, you should start by reading Sections 1 and 2 of the ACM Code of Ethics. Then, you will pick a topic, read two articles about it, and tie it back to the Code of Ethics.

The articles I've assigned aren't necessarily neutral. In fact, most of them have a strong point of view. I've selected them because they're presenting material at the right technical level and length for us, and because they generally contain a wealth of substantiated facts.

Here are your choices. You should pick one option and read both of the articles for that option.

  1. Apple vs. the FBI: from The New Yorker and Wired
  2. Volkswagen vs. emissions testing: two summaries of an awesome research paper, from ExtremeTech and The Morning Paper
  3. Facebook and large-scale internet experiments: the Facebook-specific version from The Atlantic and the more general case from the expert blog Freedom to Tinker
  4. Underrepresentation and bias (especially sexism) in tech: a personal reflection from UCSD professor Philip Guo and an overview of workplace issues from The Atlantic

Now is a good time to remind you about how things are graded (click the above link to the syllabus) and about thoughtful vs. perfunctory answers. I know you have a lot of projects right now, but don't neglect this! Read during your coding breaks.

This assignment is due at the beginning of class on December 5, via Moodle.

Assignment requirements

Read the ACM Code of Ethics as well as your two articles, and answer both of the following questions:

  1. Which of the moral imperatives in Section 1 of the Code of Ethics relate to your topic? Explain.
  2. Which of the two articles was more compelling to you in illustrating these moral imperatives? Personal opinions are totally OK - just explain what grabbed you and why.

You should also be prepared to discuss your articles in class.