Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy, Fall 2018
|Lectures||Monday and Wednesday, 3:00 p.m.–4:20 p.m. in
|How to enroll||Permission to enroll in CS181 will be granted to as many students as possible (up to 125 in fall 2018). To add your name to the waitlist, please complete a short writing assignment due the first day of class. If you have done this, please access your permission code here.|
|Sections||Section Assignments can be found here|
|Final exam||No final exam|
|CS181W only||181W students will meet with an instructor from the Technical Communication Program to revise and resubmit one of their assignments. Sign up here.|
|Project||Please read the final project guidelines and due dates.|
|Contact||The course staff can be reached at cs181-fall2018 at cs.stanford.edu.|
Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Office hours: Wednesdays, 4:30–5:30 p.m., Gates 282
Executive Director, Stanford Cyber Initiative
Office hours: Wednesdays 2–3 p.m., Encina Hall C134 and by email appt
Email: dmg1 at stanford
Email: emmap1 at stanford
Email: ishans at stanford
Email: liamm at stanford
Email: nhall2 at stanford
Email: sradzi13 at stanford
Email: stollman at stanford
Have feedback or want to get in touch with the course staff anonymously? Please use this form to do so. We would love to hear from you!
Content and grading
In the fall quarter, CS 181/181W will focus on teaching (1) how to make well-reasoned, persuasive ethical arguments, and (2) how to make the “right” arguments, consistent with the norms and culture of our discipline. Coursework will include short online writing assignments, written responses to other students, a debate in section, and a quarter-long project. Attendance is required at lectures and sections, and students should attend lectures prepared and ready to be called on. Grades will be calculated as follows:
|Participation in lectures||10%|
|Participation in sections||20%|
This is a class on ethics. All students are expected to follow the honor code, to give proper credit for work and for ideas, to act with integrity, and to “take an active part in seeing to it that others as well as themselves uphold the spirit and letter of the Honor Code.” The course staff is happy to answer questions, hypothetical or otherwise, about ethics in academic work and in computer science—it's what this course is about.
Getting permission to enroll in the Fall 2018 version of CS181/CS181W
- A limited-size lecture (125 students at most) run as a large discussion section
- A major project, where you will design and execute a group project that reaches beyond Stanford (e.g., research and conduct a protect, teach a class at a local high school, interview a major decision-maker, etc.).
- Extensive student participation, both in lectures (which will include debates, discussions, and cold calling) and in CA-led tutorial sections, both of which will require attendance in person.
- Learning from case studies in four principal areas:
- Risk and professional responsibility
- Surveillance and privacy
- Gender, race, and participation
- Hacking and information
- Writing assignments that focus on short-form persuasive technical memos, as opposed to longer academic writing.
We are asking everybody to complete a first-day writing assignment, due before class on September 24, as a condition of enrolling in CS 181 or CS 181W. Permission to enroll will be granted to as many students as possible, up to 95 in CS181W and 30 in CS181, contingent on completing this assignment and attending the first week of class. To enroll in CS181 or CS181W, please:
- Complete the first-day writing assignment.
- Attend the first week of class.
We look forward to having you in the class! For students who cannot be accommodated, there will be another (larger) version of CS181 and CS181W taught in the winter 2019 term.
|Date||Due before class||Content|
Unit 1: risk and professional responsibility
|Monday, Sept. 24||Complete the writing assignment re: Therac 25 (required for entry to CS181/181W).||L1 Overview of course, and famous engineering disasters|
|Wednesday, Sept. 26||
||L2 Therac 25, Iran Air 655|
|Monday, Oct. 1||
||L3 Ethics background (Slides)
Section assignments have been finalized. Please check your section assignment and attend section starting on Wednesday (you should have also received an email with the same information, please contact us immediately if you did not).
|Wednesday, Oct. 3||L4 Utilitarianism and weighing competing interests|
||S1 First section meetings |
|Monday, Oct. 8||
||L5 Decision making under pressure, and ethics background|
|Wednesday, Oct. 10||L6 Whistleblowing|
Unit 2: surveillance and privacy
|Sunday (Oct. 14) and Monday (Oct. 15)||
|Monday, Oct. 15||
||L7 U.S. privacy law|
|Wednesday, Oct. 17||
Before Friday, Oct. 19:
|L8 Apple v. FBI and the encryption debate
Presentation from the Technical Communication Program
|Monday, Oct. 22||
|Wednesday, Oct. 24||
||L10 Technical surveillance measures, private and public|