King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
College of Computer Sciences and Engineering

Computer Engineering Department
COE 390 section 02 - Seminar (1-0-1)

Syllabus - Spring 2007 (Term 062)


Catalog Description:

The purpose of this course is to help improve studentsí 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 studentsí 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.


Prerequisite: Junior Standing.


Instructor: Dr. Ashraf S. Hasan Mahmoud

Course Time: T 2:10 PM Ė 3:00 PM

Course Place: 22-119

Office: 22-148-3      Phone: 1724         Email:

Office hours: UT 11:15AM-1:00PM (excluding prayer time), T 1:00-2:00, and by appointment.

Textbook(s) and/or other Required Material:


There is no assigned text book for this class, 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.




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%

Student's 1st presentation                                                     10%

Student's 2nd presentation                                                    40%


Attendance: attendance is required by all students. Official excuse for an authorized absence must be presented to the instructor no later than one week following the absence. More than 3 unexcused absences lead to a "DN" grade.


Course Objectives:

1.      To teach students the nature of engineering as a profession.

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

3.      To improve studentsí technical and professional communication skills.


Course Learning Outcomes:

1.      Knowledge of contemporary issues.

2.      Ability to make effective presentation.

3.      Knowledge of professional and ethical responsibility.

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

5.      Ability to engage in life-long learning.


Course Work:

Students Presentations

A. Computing Ethics Paper & Presentation:

Students are asked to form teams of two students each. Each team 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 team will be given 10 minutes to present their paper. Both students have to share in the presentation with 5 minutes given to each. 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.

B. Second Presentation:

Every student (no teams) is 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. Every student presentation will be evaluated by ALL other students using the presentation assessment form. The submission of the assessment form should be within the same presentation session.

All presentations must be the studentís original work.


Attending Seminars

Students are to attend two seminars in the area of Electrical and Computer engineering. The students will complete the seminar attendance form and sign the form from the seminar coordinator. The  first seminar attendance form should be submitted by Week 8 while the second seminar attendance form should be submitted by Week 14. Refer to the planned activity table below.


Attending Guest Speakers Seminars

Students are to attend two guest speaker seminars that will be arranged by the course instructors. These seminars will be in Weeks 7 and 8 during the lunch time 12:00 to 1:00. The students are asked to keep the 12:00 to 1:00 time slot free in all days in Weeks 7 and 8 as the day of the seminar is to be determined. The students will submit the guest speaker attendance form after the seminar is concluded - i.e. within the same session.



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.

COE 390 Planned Activities





Feb. 20, 2007

Organizational meeting.


Feb. 27, 2007

Presentation: How to prepare & present a seminar.


Feb. 27, 2007

Selecting Computing related Ethics topic for the 1st presentation.


Mar. 6, 2006

Presentation: Computing Ethics.


Mar. 13, 2007

Paper submission & Studentís 1st presentation.


Mar. 20, 2007

Paper submission & Studentís 1st presentation.


Mar. 27, 2007

Paper submission & Studentís 1st presentation.


Mar. 27, 2007

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


April. 3, 2007

Guest presentation (1): Contemporary issues


April. 3, 2007

Technical article assigned by instructor


Apr. 10, 2007

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


Apr. 10, 2007

Submitting 1st seminar attendance form.


Apr. 17, 2007

Student 2nd presentation:

231935 AL-MALKI, AHMAD (?)



Apr. 24, 2007

Student 2nd presentation:

37925 MERAH, AMAR (Optical Fiber Comm)
213051 AL-BAGMI, EID (RFID Applications)


May 1, 2007

Student 2nd presentation:

236479 AL-SUWAIDA, SADOUN (IEEE802.11n)


May 8, 2007

Student 2nd presentation:

234183 AL-SUNBUL, MAHDI (4G Networks)


May 15, 2007

Student 2nd presentation:

237813 AL-DIGHIN, MOUAD (Mobile WiMax)


May 22, 2007

Student 2nd presentation:

237319 AL-SHAMMARI, SALMAN (Ad-Hoc Networks)


May 22, 2007

Submitting 2nd seminar attendance form.


May 29, 2007

Feedback and general discussion.