ECS 188 - Course Information - Winter 2004


Our course meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:10-6:30 pm in 70 Social Science. There are 19 class meetings in all.

Two Professors for the Price of One

The course will have two professors in charge (or maybe, in this class, it is the students who are in charge, and two professors will tag along). Phil Rogaway,, is a professor in the computer science department. His research is in cryptography. Cruz Reynoso is a professor at the law school. He is formerly an Associate Justice of California's Supreme Court.

Office Hours

By appointment; please send mail.

Course Webpage

The course web page is at


The course material will be broad, open-ended, and possibly controversial. Most of the class time will be spent with you guys talking. We'll also read a lot. You might not be used to all this; it's certainly not a typical ECS classs.

I'd you to think, deeply and significantly, about the ethical issues that you face in general, and with respect to the exercise of your livelihood. I want you to think about big, sociological questions tied up with the technology that we work on. I want you to write about, and speak about, these things.


Willingness to read a lot; an open mind; the ability to write reasonably well; the ability to prepare a reasonable lecture.

Academic Honesty

As a course in ethics, it would be particularly ironic if people are dishonest. But let me say some things anyway. All writing you do must be your own (you can ask a friend to proofread your work, but it shouldn't go beyond that). The talk you prepare must be all your own work. Please acknowledge all ideas and quotations. Obviously you may not purchase papers, or your presentation, from any service.

The above does not imply that you can't talk to people about what you're reading and thinking about. You are most certainly welcome to do so.

Typesetting and Presentation Tools

All writing assignments done outside of class must be typeset. Use a program like Word (ick!) or LaTeX (yum!). (A nice LaTeX implementation for PCs is
MiKTeX.) No handwriting and no ASCII text, please.

The presentation you prepare can be done using any presentation tool. Invariably, most everyone will use PowerPoint.


The grading criteria is to count about equally: attendance, quizzes, homeworks, your class presentation, the paper that you prepare on your class presentation. In practice, attendance matters most.

Final Comments

This will be an interesting experiment, the two of us teaching this class. We'd like the class to be highly interactive, with the students doing most of the talking and thinking. The students will need to accept significant responsibility for making this class succeed. Let's try to explore, together, what are the "real" ethical issues that we face, as technologists and as human beings.

I don't see the topic of this course as an entirely "academic" undertaking. I, for one, would like to come out of this class not only being more knowledgeable about the subject matter, but in some way being a better person than I am now. Perhaps you might consider a similar goal. That's a lot to wish for from a class; let's see if it's possible to do anything in that direction.

Phil Rogaway's homepage