Social Implications of Computing

    CS (H)195, Fall 2013

General Information on CS H195

The one-unit CS 195 is meant to serve the needs of students who are here to satisfy a requirement. It is meant to be relatively painless and perhaps to spark an interest in the topic.

The three-unit CS H195 is meant to allow small-group discussion with the students who are here out of serious interest. It requires more reading and more writing (a term paper) in addition to the extra discussion time.

This course does not satisfy the humanities breadth requirement for EECS students. The EECS faculty made this decision for two reasons: First, you should take a real humanities course from a real humanities professor. Second, we want this course to be for people with a genuine interest in the subject, and small enough to allow real discussion, and before this decision the people looking to kill two requirements with one stone crowded out the ones who were really interested.

CS H195 has a textbook in addition to the reader:

Computers, Ethics, and Society (Third Edition) edited by M. David Ermann and Michele S. Shauf. Oxford University Press, 1997, ISBN 0-19-514302-7

The course is graded P/NP. In addition to attending all class sessions and doing the assigned reading, H195 students will submit the same assignments as 195 students, except that one of the short papers is replaced by a longer (5-10 page) term paper.

Term Paper

Each honors student will pick one topic for more intensive study, leading to a term paper and perhaps a presentation to the class. (Your topic may or may not be the same as one of ours.) Since the term paper is your main written work in this course, we want it to be good -- scholarly, honest, articulate, well-organized. To this end, you will prepare the term paper in three stages:

  • A one-page proposal (including initial bibliography) due week 5 (9/30).
  • A first version (your best effort!) due week 10 (11/4).
  • A revised version due week 13 (11/25).

We'll respond to each of these stages within a week. These are firm deadlines; they are chosen to allow time for recovery if what you turn in is not of acceptable quality. (In a typical semester we require post-final versions from one or two out of 30 students.) Typical papers are 5 to 10 pages, but don't pad; quality counts much more than quantity.

Here are links to a sample bibliography and a selection of sample good student papers from past years:

  • PDF right side up for online reading.
  • PDF sideways for printing (because the pages are presented 2-up).