There is a final for this class, but for some reason it was not listed on the campus-wide schedule of finals. It is on the Department's list of finals, and attending the final is obligatory. The final will be Tuesday, June 10, 10:30 - 12:30.
The course web page contains important information: it is where your assignments are posted, as well as all announcements. It is a click away from my homepage. You need to check page frequently.
All writing assignments done outside of class must be typeset. I encourage use of LaTeX and discourage use of Word. A free LaTeX implementation for PCs is MiKTeX, and there are many others. If you do use Word, please do not use Arial font on anything you turn in, nor for your presentation.
The are really no prerequisites for this class. But you must be willing to read a lot (there will be roughly 70 pages/week of assigned reading), to write some, and to prepare and give a reasonable presentation. An open mind will also serve you well.
We will be using a reader that I've assembled. This is the first time I've done this, so we'll see how it works out. You should pick up the reader at the Davis Copy Shop. Ask for Reader #036, the one for ECS 188.
At the end of the term, your evaluation will state the following: My goal is to increase your inclination to think about, and act upon, the ethical implications of your personal and professional choices, and our collective work as technologists. I'd also like you to read a lot, to write a fair amount, and to become more comfortable participating in oral discussions and giving an oral presentation.
All that said, the grades I assign for this class are high relative to other classes I teach. If you simply do the readings and assigned work, come to class every day, and don't "blow off" the assignments, you will do well.
As a course in ethics, it would be particularly ironic if people are dishonest. But let me say some things in this connection 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. What you certainly can (and even should) do is talk to people about what you're reading and thinking about.
I don't see the topic of this course as an entirely "academic" undertaking. I have little patience for moral philosophy as an academic discipline stripped of any imperative to act, and, similarly, I have little interest in the narrow, insignificant, or make-believe issues that "computer ethics" courses sometimes treat. If you've come expecting some tedious prof to preach, tell you not to use file-sharing networks or whatever it is you assume to be the ethical issues of interest within a CS department, forget it. What I myself would like is to come out of the class not just a little more knowledgeable, but in some way a wiser or better person. That's a lot to hope for from a class, any class, for any of us. Let's see if it's possible to do anything in that direction.