CSE 275 Homepage - Fall 2003
Social Aspects of Technology and Science
Notices and Warnings
Remember that your papers
are due on 4 December!
Be sure to check this website frequently; important notices will be posted
near the top of the homepage; homework and readings will be posted on their
respective webpages, not given in class. You should reload pages frequently,
because I may well be editing the same page that you are reading! All
webpages are subject to frequent unannounced updates.
The lecture notes are an important part of the course, and are linked to
the outline page; they will evolve as the course
develops. However, the class notes are not a substitute for
attending class or doing the readings - much more information is given on some
topics in lectures and readings, and there will also be hardcopy handouts,
guest speakers, diagrams drawn on the board, interactive discussions, and more
in class. Also, the emphasis on topics in the notes may not reflect the
importance of material. In short, all of lectures, notes, text, and other
readings are necessary for this course.
Homework answers from different students with strongly overlapping content
will be assigned a grade of zero, and there will be more drastic consequences
for repeat offenders. You can talk with other students about how to approach
homework problems, but you are not allowed to work together on solutions. See
the Integrity of Scholarship
Agreement (from Scott Baden) and UCSD's official policies on
Plagiarism; see also the
most recent amended policy (sorry, it's in MS Word). You are
expected to abide by these rules; failure to do so can have very serious
This course explores issues on the interfaces among technology, science,
and society, with a special focus on information technology and ethics.
Topics include privacy, the internet and the web, spam, electronic commerce,
chat rooms, ethics, requirements engineering, actor-network theory, Kuhn's
theory of paradigms, post-modernism, neo-classical economics, ubiquitous
computing, and more. See the course outline for
Prerequesites are CSE 9, 10 or 11, the ability to read basic works in the
humanities, especially sociology, and the ability to write reasonable English.
You will have to write short homework essays and a final paper. The course
open to undergraduates with permission of the instructor.
- Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30-10:50 am, Sequoia 148
- Instructor Office Hours: Monday, 10 - 11 am, 3131 APM.
- Computerization and Controversy: Value Conflicts and Social
Choices, edited by Rob Kling (Academic, 1996). ISBN 0-12-415040-3.
All of these books should be on reserve at the Science and Engineering
Library. We will not be using the recommended books very much in class, but
some of them are likely to be relevant to your project.
- The Social Life of Information, John Seely Brown and Paul
Duguid (Harvard Business School, 2000).
- A Gift of Fire, Sara Baase (Prentice Hall, 2003, second
edition). This is oriented towards law.
- Social Science, Technical Systems, and Cooperative Work, edited by
Geoffrey Bowker, Susan Leigh Star, William Turner and Les Gasser (Lawrence
- Sorting Things Out, Geoffrey Bowker and Susan Leigh Star (MIT,
- Moral Imagination: Implications of Cognitive Science for Ethics>,
Mark Johnson (Chicago, 1994).
- High Wired, edited by Cynthia Haynes and Jan Rune Holvevik
- The Cultures of Computing, edited by Susan Leigh Star (Blackwell,
- Computers, Minds and Conduct, Graham Button, Jeff Coulter, John Lee
and Wes Sharrock (Polity 1995).
- Requirements Engineering: Social and Technical Issues, edited by
Marina Jirotka and Joseph Goguen (Academic Press, 1994).
- The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn (Chicago,
- Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact, by Ludwig Fleck
- The Scientific Revolution, Steven Shapin (Chicago, 1996).
- Aramis, or the Love of Technology, Bruno Latour (Harvard, 1996).
- Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer, Michael White (Addison-Wesley,
- Isaac Newton, James Gleick (Pantheon, 2003).
- Laboratory Life: The Construction of Scientific Facts, Bruno
Latour and Steve Woolgar (Princeton, 1986).
- The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture and Deviance
at NASA, Diane Vaughan (Chicago, 1996).
- Consilience, Edward O. Wilson (Vintage, 1998).
- Computation and Human Experience, Philip Agre (Cambridge, 1997).
Grades will be based on the last four items below, especially the last; the
extent to which your class participation, your homework, and your project
demonstrate your familiarity with, and ability to apply, significant ideas in
the course, will be important in their evaluation.
- Course notes
- Reading assignments
- Homework assignments
- Class participation
- a short vocabulary quiz towards the end of the quarter
- Projects - these are due the last day of
- Homepage of Andrew Odlyzko,
fascinating material on networks, privacy, electronic publishing, electronic
- Benetech, a non-profit
organization seeking to apply Silicon Valley thinking to help disadvantaged
communities through technology.
- The homepage of Phil Agre
at UCLA contains many interesting publications, a good bibliography, and
several relevant links.
- Homepage of Geoff Bowker,
interesting material on sociology of science, including biodiversity
informatics, information infrastructure, classification systems, medical
records, and more.
- Homepage of Leigh
Star, interesting material on sociology of science, including boundary
objects, classification systems, information systems, and more.
- Homepage of Jennifer
Preece; see in particular, the subsite on her new book, Online Communities.
This is not a technical course in the usual sense, but it is
intellectually rigorous; it will carefully explore significant issues on the
interfaces among technology, society and ethics, drawing on a variety of
rigorous theories. It is expected that you will learn to think clearly about
how technical and non-technical aspects interact in the real world, especially
regarding ethical issues, and that this will be helpful to you in your work
and in your life after graduation.
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To the homepage of the previous CSE 275
Maintained by Joseph Goguen
© 2000, 2001, 2003 Joseph Goguen, all rights reserved
Last modified: Thu Dec 2 10:02:30 PST 2004