ES1: Responsibility of the Computer Professional

Personal and professional responsibility must be the foundation for discussions of all topics in this subject area. Since student response to specific issues will be at least partly determined by the ways they understand their own individual responsibility, it is crucial for each student to understand that the ethical principles of honesty, fairness, autonomy, justice, and beneficence define personal responsibility. Personal responsibilities are those held in common with other people, regardless of technical expertise or position. They should not be thought of as the obligations of socially isolated individuals for they are often the result of group memberships, including family, political entities, cultures, and professional affiliations.

Professional responsibilities are those additional responsibilities that computing professionals should undertake because of their special knowledge and skill, their association with others who share that knowledge and skill, and the trust that society places in them because of that knowledge and skill. The knowledge of these responsibilities, and the practice of them, is fundamental to ethical thought and behavior among computer professionals. The five areas to be covered under the responsibility of the computer professional are: 1) history of the development and impact of computer technology, 2) why be ethical? 3) major ethical models, 4) definition of computing as a profession, and 5) codes of ethics and professional responsibility for computer professionals.

Recurring concepts:

complexity, conceptual and formal models, consistency and completeness, tradeoffs and consequences

Lecture topics: (3 hours):

Suggested laboratories (4 hours)


Related to: ES2, ES4

Prerequisites: a semester of computer programming