This course covers the social impact, implications and effects of computers on society, and the responsibilities of computer professionals in directing the emerging technology. Relevant professional skills explored via active-learning activities include literate business writing, oral presentations, debates, job hunting and interviewing, professional etiquette, critical thinking, and peer reviewing. Ethical aspects of computer science such as piracy, spam, gender in computing and viruses are also explored in depth.
This course is "different" from most other computer science courses in that it deals with the non-technical aspects of the profession. It emphasizes oral and written communications in accordance with the requirements of the Computer Sciences Accreditation Commission. As a result, the assignments consist of several written works (emphasizing critical writing, peer review, technical writing and professional writing styles) as well as oral assignments.
Be advised that the specs for the assignments in this class will be much more vague and ambiguous than what you are used to getting in your programming courses. To avoid confusion and anxiety over what we are looking for with respect to grading these assignments, a grade sheet will typically be released ahead of time. This grade sheet will contain the grading criteria used to assess your work. Please look at it prior to turning into the assignment so you are aware of our expectations.
Blackboard will be used for class administration. Your grades, announcements, and course website will all be accessible through Blackboard. You are responsible for checking Blackboard routinely for any announcements and keeping up to date.
With respect to your writing assignments your writing style, grammar and spelling will be always be graded. If you feel you need additional help with your writing mechanics, please visit the Writing Center. Regardless of how good your grammar and spelling is, asking somebody to proof your paper in general is always a good idea. Finally, be aware that because different assignments emphasize different types of writing, you cannot write them all the same way. For example, in a resume sentence fragments are encouraged, while in an essay you would lose points. Make sure you are familiar with the styles of the different assignments because you will be graded in part on how well you write in that particular style.
All written assignments must be handed in hard copy. They are due at the beginning of class and if are not turned in at this time they will be marked off in accordance to the late policy on the syllabus. Please note that sliding it under the professor's door is NOT the same as turning it in during class. If you cannot make class on the day that the assignment is due, you should see if you could have a classmate turn it in for you, or turn it in yourself early. Exceptions will of course be made, but only for extreme circumstances. If your circumstance qualifies (illness, family emergency, etc.), please contact either the TA or professor (before the due date, if possible) and let them know what your problem is and an alternative will be worked out.