Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering

The Ohio State University

ECE 7080 Ethics and Professionalism


Instructor: Prof. Kevin Passino

Audience: Graduate students in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Offering: 1 credit, satisfactory/unsatisfactory (S/U) graded, Spring semesters

Prerequisites: None, besides graduate standing in OSU ECE.

Text book (required): Martin M.W., Schinzinger R., Ethics in Engineering, 4th Ed., McGraw-Hill, NY, 2005 (NOT earlier editions). Purchase the textbook, read it all this semester, and keep it for life.

Reading List: See the reading list of topics relevant to the area of professionalism and engineering eithics. If not now, later in life you should read more about social justice, law as it pertains to ethics, and the history of engineering.

Other Opportunities:

Web Resources: See the following web sites for more materials on engineering ethics and professionalism:

  1. The Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science:
  2. National Institute for Engineering Ethics:
  3. Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at IIT:
  4. Association for Practical and Professional Ethics at IU:
  5. IEEE document of professional aspects of employment, click here.
  6. IEEE document on education/professionalism, click here.
  7. UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, click here.
  8. IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology
  9. Texas A&M Univ. engineering ethics:
  10. NSPE Board of Ethical Review:
  11. National Center for Research and Professional Ethics, Univ. Illinois:

Requirements: You are expected to:

  1. Read the required material.
  2. Provide satisfactory solutions to all 5 homework assignments
  3. Satisfactorily complete the final project (see below).
  4. Satisfactorily complete the final exam (see below)

Meeting all these expectations will result in an S grade. Not meeting even any one of of these requirements will result in a grade of U.

Teaching Assistant: TBD

Lecture Topics, Slides, and Homework Assignments (by Lecture #, not Week #):

1. Introduction

2. Professional Standards for Graduate Students

3. Ethical Dilemmas, Choices, and Codes of Ethics (Homework #1 assigned)

4. Moral Frameworks for Engineering Ethics (Homework #1 due)

5. Engineering as Social Experimentation (Homework #2 assigned)

6. Safety and Risk (Homework #2 due)

7. Case Studies for the Design Process

8. Engineer's Responsibilities and Rights (Homework #3 assigned)

9. Case Studies for the Workplace (Homework #3 due)

10. Honesty

11. Research and Publication Ethics

12. Environmental Ethics (Homework #4 assigned)

13. Global Issues (Homework #4 due) (Homework #5 assigned)

14. Cautious Optimism and Moral Leadership (Homework #5 due)