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Ethics Requirement

The Computer Science Dept. requires its majors to take a course that addresses ethical issues dealing with computers and computer programs. This requirement applies to students who became CS majors in September 1998 or later. The requirement does not apply to students who became CS majors before September 1998.

The CS Ethics requirement is not the same as the GenEd Ethics requirement. Only the courses listed below satisfy the CS Ethics requirement. However, when one of these courses satisfies both the CS Ethics requirement and a GenEd requirement, students can use it to satisfy both requirements.

Courses currently approved as satisfying the CS Ethics requirement are listed below and are marked CSE. Those followed by AH also count as Arts & Humanities GenEds. Those followed by SS alos count as Social Sciences GenEds.  And those followed by D also satisfy the University GenEd Diversity requirement.  For example, course 45.203 satisfies three requirements at once: CSE+AH+D.

For the latest course information please visit the UMass Lowell on-line Academic Catalog.

45.203 Introduction to Ethics (CSE+AH+D)

Examines the basic issues and problems of ethics and values and a survey of some important alternative answers to the questions raised, on both an individual and a social level, by our necessity to act and to live in a rational and human way.

45.334 Engineering and Ethics (CSE+AH)

Through the study and application of some of the fundamental concepts and principles of traditional and contemporary ethical theories, this course will undertake a philosophical analysis of the diverse and complex ethical issues confronting those engaged in the practice of engineering. [Source: Spring 2009 syllabus from Prof. Gene Mellican, Philosophy.]

45.335 Ethical Issues in Technology (CSE+AH)

This course will examine important ethical issues and value conflicts emerging in contemporary science and technology. Through readings and class discussions students will not only have an opportunity to explore the manner in which ethical and technical problems are related, but to develop insight into areas of ethical philosophy and modes of reasoning essential to an intelligent understanding of such issues. [Source: SiS course catalog, though not taught in recent years.]

45.341 Science, Ethics, and Society (CSE+AH)

The ethical problems and issues (personal, social, political, medical, environmental) attendant upon the rise of science and scientific rationality and their pre-eminent place in society. [Source: SiS course catalog, though not taught in recent years.] 

45.342 Critical Theory & Society (CSE+AH)

The nature and methods of a critique of society that focuses on the conflicts between the various modes of rationality and rationalization.

45.401 Bioethics and Genetic Research (CSE+AH)

This course explores the rapidly advancing frontiers of biomedical and genetics research where science, religion, ethics, and public policy intersect. ... Through readings, case studies, video clips, and class discussions students will analyze the ethical and public policy challenges arising from both the achievements of biomedical science and the changes within science itself. They will also examine the practice and context of scientific research today and its relationship to the public and government agencies. [Source: Spring 2009 syllabus from Prof. Gene Mellican, Philosophy.]

47.363 Introduction to Disability Studies (CSE+SS+D) 

This course provides students with a wide range of interests and backgrounds with the opportunity to examine their own mental model(attitudes/values/ assumptions) of disability. It includes an overview of the nature of mental retardation and other disabilities and it provides opportunities to explore and understand the historical social response to disability. Students will look at a range of strategies for providing support and intervention and they will learn about how to effect change through a variety of strategies, including advocacy.

57.211 Sustainable Development (CSE+SS)

This course examines workplace and regional factors that shape the prospects for sustainable prosperity and worker and community empowerment. The course begins by reviewing recent trends in the distribution of income and wealth and the industrial structure of the New England economy. The historical dynamics shaping work organization and regional development are examined. Several industry case studies are selected because of their importance to the regional and national economy. The case studies provide focus for studying the strategic choices made by firms in mature industries and newly emerging regions; the basis of competitive advantage for Japanese firms and the response of American rivals; and the influence of the product cycle and regional institutions on capture or retention of emerging and mature industries. The final section of the course focuses on the prospects for sustainability of the organization of production and its environmental impact, incentives for skill development and technological innovation, and shared prosperity. A central course objective is to foster an understanding of the links between the workplace and region in the pursuit of sustainable development and shared prosperity. [Source: RESD web page.]

57.220 Designing the Future World (CSE+SS)

All purposeful human activity involves design. Every day we are surrounded by the products of design processes--buildings, cars, entertainment, corporations, schools, even laws and regulations. They make our lives easier in many ways, but they may also create significant social and environmental problems. In the past, designers often did not consider the impact of their deigns on society, or ignored the negative consequences. Our culture and legal system usually permitted, or even encouraged, this irresponsibility. Today, a small group of scholars, businessmen and women, and activists are rethinking how we design the things around us, with the goal of addressing the most pressing social and environmental issues. This class will introduce students to some of these issues, the people who are confronting them, and the ways in which all of us can contribute to designing a better Future World. With a series of hands on projects, coupled with readings and other resources, students will work to design aspects of the future. In the process you will learn about possible solutions to complex, important problems, but also learn valuable life skills such as problem framing, problem solving, critical thinking, active learning, communication, and simple construction methods. No previous experience is required-only curiosity and eagerness to learn.

59.303 Society & Technology (CSE+AH, also known as Understanding Technological Risk)

How safe is safe enough? Who really was Dr. Frankenstein? Was it possible not to create the A bomb? In this course we study decision-making capabilities crucial to survival in a technological age and examine the many value issues involved in understanding the nature of technological risk and its impact on modern society. Focusing on questions of scientific responsibility and societal safety, this course examines the changing attitudes toward technology and values.

59.395 Computers in Society (CSE+AH)

Explores the history of computers and their interaction with contemporary society, It begins by looking at the nature of computers and their development from Charles Babbage to the present and continues with a series of specific examples dealing with the possibilities and problems arising from the use of computers in different areas of contemporary life. Examines the use of computer in education, the military, and business. The final section deals with the issues of individual freedom and control Encourages students from many disciplines to examine critically the place 0f this new machine in their lives. [Source: SiS course catalog.]