CS 195 is a discussion-intensive course about the social implications of computer technology. The purpose of this course is to help students make informed and thoughtful choices about their careers, participation in society, and future development activities. Readings and lecture topics are drawn from a range of fields that together seek to describe our contemporary global society: sociology, philosophy, economics, public policy, etc.
Class: Monday 5:00 to 6:30 PM in VLSB 2050
Small-group discussion sections: Thursday 4:00 to 5:00 and 5:00 to 6:00 PM in Soda Hall 405 Sign up here by Wednesday 02/21 at 5:00 PM.
Readings for each week will be released on the Tuesday before class. Finish the readings before class!
Small-group discussion sections will cover topics to be discussed in the following lecture. You are only required to attend one discussion section (total, not per week).
Lecture topics will not be determined only by the wisdom of your instructor. Instead, you will collectively choose your own adventure through the material. To guide discussion topics, a weekly survey will be announced on Piazza. Finish the weekly survey by Monday 2 PM!
You will write three short essays (500-1000 words) that contain your original thoughts about issues from the class. You can choose from the prompts we provide or choose your own essay topic subject to approval by the course instructors. Essays will be announced on the website, in class, and on Piazza.
Essays are peer reviewed, which means you will review nine essays and have each of your essays reviewed by three of your peers. You will also have the option of posting your essays publicly. Those who do so will be eligible for prizes.
We would like to encourage you to explore a range of perspectives on the issues we will be discussing in this course. This semester, we will put you in contact with one of your peers and suggest a prompt for you to discuss in one-on-one conversation for at least half an hour, at a time and place of your choice. If you decide to go through with the conversation, fill out this form to be entered in a drawing for a prize. (The link will be made live once peers are assigned.)
The course is graded P/NP. The reason for that policy is to ensure that you can feel free to express opinions different from those of the instructors, both in class meetings and in written work.
In order to receive a passing grade in CS 195, you must complete the objectives listed below:
In the event that you do not earn the required number of points, we will provide an opportunity to make up extra work, though you should not count on this.
Lecture is going to be a mix of discussion, video clips, students asking questions, small group discussion, and class-wide debriefing. Attendance will be taken in class as well as in small-group discussion.