User Tools

Site Tools



Contemporary Issues in Computing

CS 19000 (crn: 54356) • Spring 2012 • Mon/Wed 3:30-4:20 • Lawson Computer Science Bldg B134


What does Google know about you? Is this ethical? Can fingers stalk? Who has information freedom? Who knows where you are? Why do we need cookies? Who owns the bits?

Computing and the internet have transformed society with a speed and in a scale that is rare in the history of mankind. These transformations continue to change society at rapid pace. In this course we will review issues that have arisen because of this sustained transformation and discuss what challenges lie ahead. The course will focus on how computing affects everyone, how the Internet has changed how societies and individuals function, and what the implications are for the future.

In addition, students will create a wiki for this course.



Date Topic Reading (for class) Blog Topic
Mon, Feb 20 Introductions, Course Organization, Overview Initial Doc & Pre-Survey
Wed, Feb 22 The Explosion of Bits B2B - Preface and Chapter 1
Mon, Feb 27 Who Owns the Data? Privacy in a Digital Age B2B - Chapter 2 Intellectual Property
Wed, Feb 29 Who Owns the Ideas? Copyrights, Patents, Open Source B2B - Chapter 6
Mon, Mar 5 Who Owns the Device? Open vs. Closed Devices TBD Computers vs. Appliances
Wed, Mar 7 Who Owns the Past? The Streisand Effect, Rewriting History TBD
Mon, Mar 12 Spring break - no class
Wed, Mar 14
Mon, Mar 19 On the Internet, No One Knows You're a Dog: Anonymity vs. Accountability TBD Anonymity vs. Accountability
Wed, Mar 21 On the Internet, Everyone Knows You're a Dog: We Know All About You TBD
Mon, Mar 26 Digital Democracy: Enabling the People TBD Government and the Internet
Wed, Mar 28 Digital Democracy: Will Your Vote Be Counted? TBD
Mon, Apr 2 My 754 Friends Know I Just Had a Bagel! The Implications of Social Networks TBD Social Networking
Wed, Apr 4 3 Gold Coins If You Come To Class Today: The Game-ification of Life TBD
Mon, Apr 9 Protecting The Bits: Cryptography and Cybersecurity TBD Cybersecurity
Wed, Apr 11 Do No Evil: Is It Possible? Where Does The Future Lead? TBD
Mon, Apr 16 Final Presentations None None
Wed, Apr 18 Final Presentations None None

Course Organization and Assignments

One take-home message of the course is that the Internet and social computing have significantly altered the way new content is generated and distributed. To experience this first-hand, students will use several collaborative technologies (Google Docs, Blogger, and DokuWiki) for completing homework assignments.

The course work consists of three components:

  1. Class attendance and participation: required. (30% of grade)
  2. Weekly Blogging and Online Discussion: writing summaries responding to discussion topics (50% of grade)
    1. A topic will be posted Monday night in Blackboard.
    2. You write 4-5 paragraphs (in Blackboard), taking a position pro or con, and supporting your position with a coherent argument and at least three references (use MLA style citations). Due Friday, 11:59pm.
    3. You write a 1-2 paragraph rebuttal on each of two student blogs, critically analyzing and refuting all or part of their arguments. Due Sunday, 11:59pm.
  3. Final essay and presentation: 2-page essay and 15 minute summary presentation on a relevant topic (20% of grade)

B2B is the free book Blown to Bits: Blown to Bits. Other reading will be assigned as the course progresses.

ci2012/start.txt · Last modified: 2012/04/01 22:25 by Andrew Wirtz