IS 1091: Ethical and Social Implications of Technology.

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The class focuses on understanding the effects of technology on the society and individuals. We will discuss articles related to technological advances in a wide variety of areas (such as industrial, medical, informational, etc.) and their consequences in people's lives. Class participants are expected to contribute to in-class discussion and to express their views in writing.
2 credits.

On this page you will find information about:

Class meetings

When: Tu,Th 02:00pm-02:50pm
Where: Sci 1030.


Elena Machkasova
Office: Sci 2325, Phone: 6308
Office hours: Tue 10:30-11:30am, Th. 10-11:30am, W, F noon-1pm or by appointment
e-mail: (I check and answer my e-mail very frequently)

Textbook and other resources

Recommended textbook: Morton Winston, Ralph Edelbach (editors) "Society, Ethics, and Technology " (available at the University bookstore).

The book contains a collection of articles. I will also assign articles that don't appear in the book. The articles will be put on library reserve (including electronic reserve) or copies will be distributed in class. Some materials will be posted on the resources page for the course.

You must check your UMM e-mail frequently (at least once a day). Some course announcements may be sent by e-mail. If you use an e-mail account other than your UMM account, please arrange for e-mail forwarding.

Course setup

"I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion." Thomas Jefferson

This class is a very interactive class. As a student, you will participate in all-class or group discussion, express your views in online interactive discussion (blog) and in papers, evaluate other students' presentations and papers. It is important that in this class everyone feels included in the discussion and free to express their opinions. It is essential that you treat other participants with respect, listen carefully to their opinions, and recognize people's right to have an opinion that you might consider wrong.

If you feel that something in the class doesn't allow you to express your opinions freely or in other ways prevents you from enjoying an open and safe learning environment, please discuss the situation with me as soon as possible. I always welcome constructive feedback on how a class is run and I will do my best to respond constructively. Remember that communications are essential for improving the situation. If you are not comfortable talking to me about the way the class is run, please don't hesitate to talk to another CSci faculty member or to your advisor to try to work out the solution.


The grade for this course will be based (approximately) on the following:
Class participation 15%
Presentation 15%
Blog 15%
Paper 1 10%
Paper 2 15%
Final Paper 30%

Grading policies

Basic Grading Scheme: (100-90)% A; (90-80)% B; (80-70)% C; (70-60)% D; below 60% F. Small adjustments may be made for particularly good final exams, class average and other signs of individual effort.

Official Grading Policies:
A achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet course requirements.
B achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet course requirements.
C achievement that meets the course requirements in every respect.
D achievement that is worthy of credit even though it fails to meet fully the course requirements.
S achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better (achievement required for an S is at the discretion of the instructor but may be no lower than a C-).
F (or N) Represents failure (or no credit) and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I (see also I)
I Incomplete. Assigned at the discretion of the instructor when, due to extraordinary circumstances, e.g., hospitalization, a student is prevented from completing the work of the course on time. Requires a written agreement between instructor and student.

Other class policies

No make-up tests will be given unless prior arrangements have been made.

For policy on late problem sets please see the syllabus.

Academic dishonesty:
Academic dishonesty in any portion of the academic work for a course shall be grounds for awarding a grade of F or N for the entire course.

Collaboration policy:
A lot of work in this class is done in groups (such as blog or presentation). Other work is your individual effort (such as papers and peer evaluations). Such assignments must be your own work form the beginning to the end and reflect your own ideas and views. You may not include someoneelse's writing into your paper, unless it is properly cited.
It is your responsibility to distinguish which work is done in groups and which is individual and to follow the guidelines. If in doubt, please ask.

One credit is defined as equivalent to an average of three hours of learning effort per week (over a full semester) necessary for an average student to achieve an average grade in the course. For example, a student taking a four credit course that meets for three hours a week should expect to spend an additional nine hours a week on coursework outside the classroom.

It is University policy to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. This publication/material is available in alternative formats to persons with disabilities upon request. Please contact the instructor or the Disability Services office, 589-6178, Room 362 Briggs Library to discuss accommodation needs.