Dept. Electrical and Computer Engineering
The Ohio State University
ECE 3080 Ethics in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Instructor: Prof. Kevin Passino
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 about the history of electrical and computer engineering. Other books on this list may be of interest for later reading also.
Extra-Curricular Opportunities: The OSU College of Engineering student organization,"Engineers for Community Service," (ECOS).
Web Resources: See the following web sites for more materials on engineering ethics and professionalism:
- The Online Ethics Center for Engineering and Science: http://onlineethics.org/
- National Institute for Engineering Ethics: http://www.niee.org/
- Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at IIT: http://ethics.iit.edu/
- Association for Practical and Professional Ethics at IU: http://www.indiana.edu/~appe/
- IEEE document of professional aspects of employment, click here.
- IEEE document on education/professionalism, click here.
- UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, click here.
- IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology
- Texas A&M Univ. engineering ethics: http://ethics.tamu.edu/
- NSPE Board of Ethical Review: http://www.niee.org/pdd.cfm?pt=NIEE&doc=EthicsCases
You are expected to attend every class (one excused absence is
allowed but the request for this must be made via
email to Prof. Passino, passino.1[at]osu.edu (of course, replace "[at]" with "@"), read the required material, provide solutions to all homework assignments (low quality solutions will not be accepted), and complete the final project. Meeting all these expectations will result in an S grade.
Teaching Assistant: The teaching assistant (TA) will take attendance and grade all assignments. The TA is:
- Onur Gungor, firstname.lastname@example.org, TA Office hours: By appointment via Email to the TA
- Note: All course assigments, including the final project, are listed below. The assignments and their due dates are listed.
- Policy on Working Together: You may talk to anyone about the solutions to the homework problems, but you must turn in what is ENTIRELY your own written/typed solutions to those. For the final project you may work on a team and what you turn in must be written/typed ENTIRELY only by the team members.
- Final Project: It is highly recommended that you form your design team and start on the project now. It is your responsibility to find team members, and each team must have between 2 and 4 members (no more, no less). Click here to see the details for this year's project (which replaces the final examination): Final Project
Lecture Topics and Homework Assignments
- Electrical and computer engineering as professions
- Overview of course objectives
2. Ethical Dilemmas, Choices, and Codes of Ethics (Homework #1 assigned)
- Ethical decision-making strategies
- Critique codes of ethics
3. Moral Frameworks for Engineering Ethics (Homework #1 due)
- Moral frameworks, connections to engineering
- Personal commitments and professional life
- Case study: OSU College of Engineering student organization,"Engineers for Community Service," (ECOS)
4. Engineering as Social Experimentation (Homework #2 assigned)
- Engineering as social experimentation
- Involving the public in the design process
- Case studies for engineering as social experimentation
5. Safety and Risk (Homework #2 due)
- Assessment of safety and risk
- Design considerations, uncertainty
- Risk-benefit analysis, safe-exit and fail safe systems
6.-8. Case Studies for the Design Process
- Case studies in impact of safety/risk on design
9. Engineer's Responsibilities and Rights (Homework #3 assigned)
- Employee/employer rights and repsponsibilities
- Confidentiality and conflict of interest
10. Case Studies for the Workplace (Homework #3 due)
- Case studies on professional behavior/policies on the job
- Research inegrity
- Consulting engineers
- Expert witnesses and advisors
12. Environmental Ethics (Homework #4 assigned)
- Engineering, ecology, economics
- Sustainable development
- Ehical frameworks
13. Global Issues (Homework #4 due) (Homework #5 assigned)
- Multinational corporations, globalization of engineering
- Technology transfer, appropriate technology
- Computer ethics, weapons development
14. Cautious Optimism and Moral Leadership (Homework #5 due)
- Cautious optimism as a technology development attitude
- Moral leadership in engineering