ECS 188 - Course Information - Winter 2004

This page is a supplement to the information in the lecture 1 notes welcome.pdf.


Our course meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:10-6:30 pm in 70 Social Science. I count 19 class meetings: there is no class on Monday, Jan 19 and Monday, February 16 (these are holidays) while there is a class meeting on Friday, Jan 23, because this is, by definition, a Monday. (Don't you love definitions?)

Office Hours

My office is 3063 Kemper. I'll have office hours on Thursdays 10-11, or by appointment.

Course Webpage

Most everything will be archived on-line. Go to my homepage at and follow the classes link to Current Quarter, ECS 188 link.


The course material will be broad, unfocused, and possibly controversial. See the
welcome.pdf notes. You'll read at least five books. You might not be used to this.

I want you to think, deeply and significantly, about the ethical issues that you face 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 no doubt it happens.

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. Properly acknowledge all ideas and quotations. Obviously you may not purchase papers, or your presentation, from any service. Problems will be referred to Judicial Affairs.

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.

LaTeX and PowerPoint

All writing assignments done outside of class must be done using LaTeX. (A nice LaTeX implementation for PCs is MiKTeX). No handwriting, no ASCII text, and no Word, please!

The presentation you prepare may be done in any presentation tool. I believe almost everyone will use PowerPoint. However, you may use any other tool that you wish, as long as we can easily put your presentation on the Web and people will be able to see it.


The grading criteria is described in the welcome.pdf notes.

Final Note

I'm excited (and a bit nervous!) to teach this class. I'm not sure exactly what to expect (so you must be even more unsure!). This class will be a learning experience for both of us. I'd like it to be more interactive than any class I've taught before (though that might not be saying too much). I'd like the students 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 this as an entirely "academic" undertaking; I'd like to come out of this class not only being more knowledgeable about the subject matter, but in some way 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