CS 105 Computer Ethics and Society, 1 unit
Department of Computer Science
Course Description – Spring 2009

Section 001     R 10:30-11:45 a.m. ST2 15  Class Dates: 1/22-4/02  Final Exam: 4/09/09

Section 002     R  Noon-1:15 p.m.  ST2 15  Class Dates: 1/22-4/02  Final Exam: 4/09/09

Instructor:    Tamara A. Maddox

Tel.   (703) 993-1525   Email: tmaddox@gmu.edu    Office: S&T2, Rm. 369

Office hours:  Tuesdays 4:30-5:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Section 003     R  4:30-5:45 p.m. Robinson  A101 Class Dates: 1/22-4/02  Final Exam: 4/09/09

Section 004     R  5:55-7:10 p.m. Robinson A101 Class Dates: 1/22-4/02  Final Exam: 4/09/09

Section 007     M  4:30-5:45 p.m. Enterprise 275 Class Dates: 1/26-4/06 Final Exam: 4/13/09

Section 008     M  3:00-4:15 p.m. Innovation 136 Class Dates: 1/26-4/06 Final Exam: 4/13/09

Instructor:        Fred W. Geldon

Tel.   (301) 424-4554   Email: fgeldon@gmu.edu   Office: S&T2, Rm. 335

Office hours: After class in the classroom, or by appointment

Section 005   W  7:20-8:35 p.m. Robinson A105 Class Dates: 1/21-4/01  Final Exam: 4/08/09

Section 006   W  8:45-10:00 p.m.  Robinson A105  Class Dates: 1/21-4/01  Final Exam: 4/08/09

Instructor:        A. Charles Dean

Tel.  (703) 967-0387    Email: adean@gross.com  Office: S&T2, Rm. 335

Office hours:   After class in the classroom, or by appointment

 Undergraduate Teaching Assistants -- Office Hours Available upon Request (ST2, Room 365)


Sections -001 & -002: Emily Vorek    Email: evorek@gmu.edu

Sections -005 & -006:  Exodus Almasude    Email: ealmasud@gmu.edu

Sections -003, -004, -007 & -008: Alexandra Savage   Email: asavage1@gmu.edu


All Sections will use BlackBoard for communications and for out-of-class discussion.  Students are responsible for checking BlackBoard on a regular basis.  For BlackBoard link, click here.  Please note that the individual section folders will NOT be used.  You should hide this folder to avoid confusion.   Instead, we will use the "CS 105 Combined Section" folder for ALL sections.

REQ'D TEXT:   Quinn, Michael J., "Ethics for the Information Age" 3rd Ed., Add. Wesley, 2009.


Legal, social, and ethical issues surrounding software development and computer use. Professional conduct, social responsibility and rigorous standards for software testing and reliability will be stressed. Issues such as liability, intellectual property rights, security and crime will be examined in the context of computer use. Students are expected to be able to conduct research on the Internet.


    1. Be able to describe and apply traditional philosophical ethical theories to contemporary situations of technology and computer science.

    2.  Recognize the importance of achieving safety and demanding accountability in CS-related projects, along with some of the difficulties involved.

    3.  Understand the concept of intellectual property rights and their place in our society.
    4.  Be able to critically examine online sources to determine their reliability for scholarly purposes or other uses.

COURSE PREREQUISITE:    Completion of at least 12 credit hours.

CLASS SCHEDULE:    See BlackBoard for assignment details and any class slides or lecture notes.


1.  Out-of-class Assignments (35%)
2.  Quizzes (15%)

3.  Instructor Evaluation (incl. in-class assignments and class particip.) (15%)
4.  Final Exam (35%)


Instructor evaluation criteria may vary from section to section.  Any questions regarding late penalties or specific requirements for your section should be addressed directly to your individual UTA or instructor.  If you email questions, please indicate your full name, class section and reason for your message in the subject line of your email (e.g. Smith, Bob / CS 105-005 / Assignment #1).


Note: *NO* assignments will be accepted for credit after the final regular class session for your section.  Remember that the final exam is the week *after* the final regular class session.


This class relies strongly on class participation.  Therefore, it is important that you attend class on a regular basis.  While you are welcome to attend an alternate lecture session if you miss your own, please note that you may *not* rely on different sections to present the same materials.  Similarly, unless you obtain advance approval from your instructor, you may not receive credit for class participation or other in-class activities when attending a section other than your own.


** Unless otherwise specified, all papers and other written assignments are to be individual efforts.  Certain portions of group assignments may require individual efforts as well. Be careful to follow instructions regarding acceptable group efforts. Plagiarism is governed by the GMU Honor Code and will not be tolerated.  Instances of cheating and/or plagiarism will be referred to the Honor Committee.


Please be aware that because this is a one-credit, partial-semester course, it has special early
add/drop deadlines. The final deadline for dropping this class without tuition liability is February 2, 2009. ** The FINAL date to drop this course without permission of the Dean is 2/13/2009.  For students eligible for selective withdrawal, the selective withdrawal period ends 2/27/2009. **  For specific details on dates and penalties, please check with the GMU registrar.



** REMINDER =>  The Final Exam for each section will be held at the time and place of the regular class sessions for that section, on the class date that would immediately follow the 10th (final) week of class. The final exam is scheduled to take place on April 9, 2009 for Sections 1-4, April 8, 2009 for Sections 5-6, and April 13 for Sections 7-8.

 Assistance with Essay/Report Writing:
GMU New Century College: Online Writing Guide
GMU Writing Center


Other helpful sites:
GMU Counseling Center

Special Accomodations:    If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accomodations, please see your instructor and contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at (703) 993-2474.  All academic accomodations must be arranged through the DRC.

General Education:  This course has been approved to satisfy the GMU General Education requirement for one credit of IT Ethics.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: None of the information presented in this course should be considered specific legal advice. Each situation is unique and requires individual attention. Students with individual legal concerns should not rely on information obtained in this course in making any legal decisions. Should you have a problem or concern requiring legal attention, you should seek specific advice from an attorney of your choosing.