COE 390  :  Seminar   (1-0-1)


Course Details

Term       :      Spring    Term 2007-08 (T072)     

Section   :       3 

Day & Time :  Saturday  1.10-2.00 P.M.  

Location       :  24/125

Catalog Description :

The purpose of this course is to help improve students` ability for presenting their technical work. It also teaches students about the nature of engineering as a profession, codes of professional conducts, ethics & responsibility, and the role of engineering societies and organizations world-wide. Case studies of conflict between engineering professional ethical values and external demands. The course features students` participation in discussion held by COE faculty members and invited guests. Each student is required to deliver a short talk toward the end of the semester.


Pre-requisite :     Junior Standing

Course Objectives :
  • To teach students the nature of engineering as a profession

  • To teach students the ethical and professional responsibility of engineering in the society

  • To improve students` technical and professional communication skills

Course Learning Outcomes :

  • Knowledge of contemporary issues.

  • Ability to make effective presentation.

  • Knowledge of professional and ethical responsibility.

  • Understanding the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.

  • Ability to engage in life-long learning.


Text Book :                      

There is no assigned text book for this course, but here are the recommended references.


1.   Bowyer, Kevin W. Ethics and Computing. IEEE Computer Society Press, 1996.

2.   Johnson, D. G. Computer Ethics. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1994.

3.   Kizza, Joseph M. Ethical and Social Issues in the Information Age. Springer, 1997.

4.   Gary Kroehnert Basic Presentation Skills, McGraw-Hill, 1999.

5.   Nido R. Qubein How to Be a Great Communicator: In Person, on Paper, and on the Podium, John Wiley & Sons, 1996.

6.   http://www.businessballs.com/presentation.htm

7.   http://ethics.csc.ncsu.edu/


Planned Activities






Feb. 16, 2007

Organizational meeting.


Feb. 23, 2007

Presentation: How to prepare & present a seminar.


Feb. 23, 2007

Selecting Computing related Ethics topic for the 1st presentation.


Mar. 1, 2007

Presentation: Computing ethics.


Mar. 8, 2007

 Discussion on the 1st presentation slides


Mar. 15, 2007

Paper submission & Studentsí 1st presentation.


Mar. 22, 2007

Paper submission & Studentsí 1st presentation.


Mar. 29, 2007

Paper submission & Studentsí 1st presentation.


Apr. 5, 2007

Paper submission & Studentsí 1st presentation.


Apr.5, 2007

Selecting technical topic for 2nd presentation (3 articles submitted).


Apr. 21, 2007

Guest presentation (1): Contemporary issues


Apr.19, 2007

Technical article assigned by instructor


Apr. 28, 2007

Guest presentation (2): Impact of engineering solutions in a global and social context.


Apr.26, 2007

Submitting 1st seminar attendance form.


May 3, 2007

Studentsí 2nd presentation.


May 10, 2007

Studentsí 2nd presentation.


May 17, 2007

Studentsí 2nd presentation.


May 24, 2007

Studentsí 2nd presentation.


May 24, 2007

Submitting 2nd seminar attendance form.


May 31, 2007

Studentsí 2nd presentation.


Computing Ethics Paper & Presentation

 Each student is required to select a topic related to computing ethics and write a summary paper and make a presentation of the selected topic. The summary paper should follow the given paper template.  Each student will be given 15 minutes to present his paper. Computing ethics topics that need to be covered include:

Intellectual Property: copyright laws, patenting laws, software piracy, and related topics.

Privacy and Anonymity: email privacy, privacy on the web, encryption, and related topics.

Computer Abuse and Crime: hacking, worms, viruses, trojan horses, spamming, and related topics.

Commerce: anticompetitive practices, antitrust law, online auctions, fraud, trade, cyber squatting, payment, web ads, and related topics.

Speech issues: freedom, misinformation, netiquette, blogs, chain letters, and related topics.

Social-Justice issues: environmental, equity, noise, workplace, depersonalization, and related topics.

Rules of practice for Engineers: competency, objectivity, truthfulness, faithfulness, protection of the public health, safety, and welfare, and related topics.

Professional obligations for Engineers: highest standards of honesty and integrity, respect of confidentiality, service to the public interest, and related topics.



Second Presentation

Every student is required to select a recent technical topic in the field of computer engineering and prepare a professional presentation applying effective presentation techniques learned in class. Each presentation will be given 15 minutes.

All presentations must be the studentís original work.


Article Selection for the 2nd presentation

 Each student is required to select three articles, among which the instructor will choose one for presentation in the class. Articles should be related to computer engineering and should be 4 pages or more. Recent (within the last three years) issues of the following publications may be used. Other sources may not be used except with the explicit approval of the instructor.

-         IEEE Spectrum

-         IEEE Computer Magazine

-         Communications of the ACM

-         IEEE Network Magazine

-         Scientific American ACM, IEEE, SIAM, AT&T, BT, Intel, or IBM journal articles. 


Tentative Grading Policy                                        


Studentsí class attendance and participation in class                               15%

Attendance and critique of two seminars                                               10%

Attendance of invited talks by guest speakers                                        15%

Written paper on computing ethics                                                       10%

Studentís 1st presentation                                                                    10%

Studentís 2nd presentation                                                                   40%


Office Hours :        Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday   12.15 PM to 1.00 PM