Syllabus - Spring 2002
10:10 am MWF, McB126
Instructor: J.A.N. Lee
Office: 512 McBryde Hall
Office Hours: MW 9:00 - 9:50 am, or by appointment (Ph: 231-5780), or
by e-mail (email@example.com)
E-mail Office Hours: MWF 9:00 - 9:50 am, TH 10:00 -11:00 am.
Graduate Teaching Assistants:
Office Hours: By Appointment through e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A course LISTSERV® will be created prior to the first day of classes
and will be used extensively for class communications. If you register late
or drop the class then you will need to send a message to the instructor
so that the listing can be amended. This means can also be used to discuss homework
assignments and raise questions that arise from classes.
- This course studies the social impact, implications and effects of
computers on society, and the responsibilities of computer professionals
in directing the emerging technology. Includes examinations of reliable,
risk-free technologies, systems which provide user friendly processes.
Specific topics include an overview of the history of computing, computer
applications and their impact, the computing profession, and the legal
and ethical responsibilities of professionals.
- Having successfully completed this course, students will be able:
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. Moreover this is a web-based course such that a great portion of the course materials (syllabus, class notes, assignments, pre-, in- and post-class activities) are on-line. For many students this will engender a "fear of the unknown". This can easily be offset by making frequent visits to the web-site, especially the calendar, and keeping up with the prescribed class activities. While the course is only scheduled for three hours per week in class, there are many other out-of-class activities in which you will be best advised to participate.
- to review and analyze the effects of the insertion of computer technology
into society, and to anticipate the impact of that technology on people,
companies and the community;
- to select from the many algorithms for the implementation of computer
applications those that will not only satisfy the needs of economy but
also those that will have higher factors of safety, greater sensitivity
to user needs, and increased reliability;
- to use the underlying concepts of both technology and ethical behavior
to realize their own potential impact on the community that they serve,
and to make rational decisions regarding their responsibilities to the
Prerequisites:A depth of knowledge of computers sufficient to
understand the implications and impact of applying a computer to everyday
situations, through junior standing and completion of CS2604 and COMM 2004.
Assignments: There will be five
assignments to be handed-in for grading in this course, together with
participation in making individual presentations and in class debates. This
is a writing intensive course required for all CS majors.
Out-of-class Responsibilities: This is a web-based class. It
is your responsibility to be familiar with the library of web-pages relevant
to each class, and thus should surf the web in advance of each class. Many
classes have pre-class readings and activities that are listed in the calendar.
No announcements of your obligations will be made in class; it is your responsibility
to check the web-page for each day and be prepared.
Bowyer, Kevin W. ETHICS and Computing:
Living Responsibly in a Computerized World, IEEE Computer Society
Press, Los Alamitos CA, 1996, xvi, 449, paperback.
Williams, Michael. A
History of Computing Technology, IEEE Computer Society Press, 2nd
Wednesday evenings are set aside for class help-sessions. These will include the showing of several videos that will help set the stage for later in-class activities and discussions. It is hoped also that special speakers will be brought in on occasion. Attendance at these showings and lectures will be rewarded with "participation points".
Examinations: This course is heavily loaded with out-of-class activities
and writing assignments. Thus there is only one examination - the final examination.
There will be a number of post-class activities in the form of quizzes that
will utilize the same style of questions on the final examination. These will
use the WebCT system and will be linked from the calendar.
It is your responsibility to take these quizzes at the indicated time.
Grading: The final grade will be based
on these factors:
Late Policy: The detailed Late Policy for this course is posted
In brief, unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances, all assignments
are due at the beginning of the class on the prescribed day. It
is better to hand-in an incomplete assignment than to be late.
Class Attendance:This is a course in which there is expected
to be a large degree of in-class participation and where a portion of the
final grade is based on participation. To participate you need to attend
class. A more detailed statement of the class attendance is available at http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/support/Policies/3604ClassAttendance.html
Participation: Participation points are awarded for most in-class projects as well as for several out-of-class activities. Each point is equivalent to one point in the final grade of the class. While the expectation is 30 points, there is a limit of 45 points and points accumulated beyond the initial 30 point expectation count at only 50%. Points are available for providing the instructor (by e-mail) a link to a current event or publication that is relevant to the course (first-come, first-awarded points), or participation in the organization of the semester's career fair, and other extraordinary activities.
Honor Code: The Virginia
Tech Honor Code will be enforced in this class, to the extent that
it does not interfere with the free exchange of ideas and peer assistance
that support learning. Read the statement of the enforcement of the Honor Code in this class at http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/support/Policies/HonorCode.html
Classroom Etiquette It is expected that you will be coureous and mannerly in your dealings with your colleagues and the class staff. Read the statement of class etiquette at http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/support/Policies/Classroom.Etiquette.html. One of the early projects in the course will be to develop a set of criteria for each section.
Announcements: Announcements of updates to class materials,
including (possibly) clarifications of assignments, changes in due dates,
etc. will be announced through the class LISTSERV. A trial LISTSERV broadcast
will be triggered on the first day of classes. If you
register late, or do not receive that broadcast message you should e-mail the instructor (see above)
as soon as possible. NOTE: That the registrar uses your assigned university pid as your e-mail address. If you wish to receive mail elsewhere you should set the forwarding address at vt.edu to the desired address. PLEASE DO NOT ASK to have your mailing address in the LISTSERV changed.
WARNING: This course does not fulfill the requirements
for CS minors as a 3000-level course option, or a higher level course for potential internal transfer applicants.
On-line Resources: The digital library of materials pertinent
to this course, including course notes and slides are available on the
WWW at: http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/. You should check this site
bi-weekly for updates and information. It is recommended that you set bookmarks for the site map (http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/map.html) and for the calendar (http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/support/FrontEnd/Calendar.html).
- The written assignments (40%)
- The debate management
and presentation (15%)
- Class participation (30%)
- WebCT quizzes (5%)
- The final examination
Last Updated 2002/01/10
© J.A.N. Lee, 1994-2002