CS 105 Computer Ethics and Society, 1 unit
Department of Computer Science
Course Description – Spring 2011

Section 001    M  1:30-2:45 p.m. KH 253  Class Dates: 1/24-4/4  Final Exam: 4/11/11
Section 002    M  3:00-4:15 p.m. KH 253  Class Dates: 1/24-4/4  Final Exam: 4/11/11

Section 003    T   1:30-2:45 p.m. ENT 275  Class Dates: 1/25-4/5  Final Exam: 4/12/11
Section 004    T    3:00-4:15 p.m. ENT 275   Class Dates: 1/25-4/5  Final Exam: 4/12/11

Instructor:        Prof. Fred W. Geldon

Tel.   (301) 424-4554   Email: fgeldon@gmu.edu    Office:  ENGR, Rm. 5323

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

Section 009    T    7:20-8:35 p.m.   R B102  Class Dates: 1/25-4/5  Final Exam: 4/12/11
Section 010    T   8:45-10:00 p.m.  R B102  Class Dates: 1/25-4/5 Final Exam: 4/12/11

Instructor:        Prof. Michael W. Tompkins

Tel.   (703) 299-3440   Email: mtompki2@gmu.edu    Office:  ENGR., Rm. 5323

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

 Undergraduate Teaching Assistants -- Office Hours Available upon Request

Section -001 & -002:  Michael Ryan, email: mryank@gmu.edu

Sections -003 & -004: Irtifa Islam, email: iislam2@masonlive.gmu.edu
Sections -009 and -010:  Rachel Galang, email: rgalang@masonlive.gmu.edu
At large / Special Projects:  Kevin St. Andrie, email: kstandri@masonlive.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. Students will understand many of the key ethical, legal and social issues related to information technology and how to interpret and comply with ethical principles, laws, regulations and institutional policies.

    2.  Students will understand the essential issues related to information security, how to take precautions and use techniques and tools to defend against computer crimes.

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 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 note that this class meets for 10 weeks, followed by the final exam during the 11th week of class.  This is noted correctly on PatriotWeb for Sections -001 through -004, but sections -009 and -010 incorrectly are listed as full-semester courses.  Accordingly, please note that ALL sections should rely on the class dates and exam times listed above.  

The final deadline for dropping this class without tuition liability is February 8, 2011.  ** The FINAL date to drop this course without permission of the Dean is February 25, 2011.  For students eligible for selective withdrawal, the selective withdrawal period ends April 1, 2011. **  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 11, 2011 for Sections -001 and -002, and on April 12, 2011 for Sections -003, -004, -009 and -010.

 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.